Cosmetic Surgery Videos

Laser Resurfacing vs. Regenerative Fat Grafting

Procedures Facelift, Laser skin resurfacing, Fat transfer
Length of video 4:10

Besides a facelift, there are several optiosn for treating the signs of an aging face. As our dermis thins, facial skin loosens, and wrinkles develop, many patients seeking short-term results turn to botox. For patients who are not interested in a facelift, but want long-lasting results, the alternatives are laser skin resurfacing or fat grafting.

I believe that fat grafting offers a huge advantage to the lasers currently being used by plastic surgeons and dermatologists and in this video I explain why and illustrate with a few of our patients' before and after photos.

A laser is a destructive technique - you aim a beam of energy at the skin and it literally vaporizes the tissues and destroys part of the dermis, which is a complex structure that is very difficult to regenerate. Your body reacts to regenerate by scarring (collagen build up).

A fat graft, on the other hand, utilizes your own fat, which contains naturally occurring adipose stem cells, to restore volume. The stem cells themselves are a regenerative tissue, restoring volume and improving the quality of the skin.

I would much rather use fat grafting to make the face look younger because it actually makes the face younger. It is truly the most natural way to get a long-lasting, youthful, facial rejuvenation.

Learn more about how laser resurfacing and fat grafting works to help make a decision that's right for you!


Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez and today I want to talk to ou about alternatives to a facelift to make your face look younger.

Well, the first ones most people think about are laser and nowadays, fat grafting.

I'm going to tell you a little bit about my experience with laser. Laser is a destructive technique. You aim a beam of energy at the skin and it literally vaporizes the skin layer.

Now, some lasers go more superficial, some go deeper, but the basic thing is they vaporize the tissues.

The modern lasers are a little bit better in that they just vaporize the tissue in a little column, leaving normal tissues in between, which then heal. That healing is done by scar. The laser companies will tell you that there's a lot more deposition of collagen, but that collagen, really, what it is, is a scar.

Now scars, like all scars, will remodel over a period of time, and get softer. And what you will see in the real clinical case of the face, is that over a period of time, the face will relax and you will lose the effects of the laser.

Another problem that I have with the laser is that it destroys part of the dermis, and that's a very complex structure that is very difficult to regenerate.

I have a picture of a patient who had a facelift done, with laser, and she lost some weight, and the structure of the dermis collapsed and she had a lot of very fine wrinkles, which were not really correctable by more laser, that would have thinned out the dermis even more. What I ended up doing with that patient was rescuing her with a fat graft.

Why do fat grafts work? Well, the fat grafts themselves have stem cells in them. And the stem cells are a regenerative tissue. You see, unlike the laser, which is a destructive tissue, which then your body then comes back into regenerate, the fat grafts themselves give you, right away, structure - and then, you get regenerative cells that know what to do. The cells will develop into blood vessels, or they will develop into structure. They have even been shown experimentally, to develop into the kind of sweat glands and oil glands in the skin that help that shiny luster of youth in your face.

So the fat graft, to me, is a much more comprehensive answer, which has the beauty of being a regnerative answer rather than a destructive answer.

I'd like to show you this case of a patient who had acne. In the past, I would have treated this case with laser. However; having the opportunity to inject graft, we did fat grafts in her. The results are permanent. I last saw her 2 or 3 years after surgery, and she had the same results as after 4 months after surgery.

The skin, however, looked really, so much better. The patient told me shw wore make-up much less often because her skin was so much better.

In short, I will tell you that I would much rather use fat grafting nowadays to make the face look younger because it actually makes the face younger.

Thank you very much for listening to our blog and stay tuned for more.


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