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What to Expect from Mini Face Lift and Fat Transfer Recovery Process?

My mom has recently had a mini face lift and fat transfer. She's not very happy with the recovery so far (it's been about 4 days). Her cheeks don't look symmetrical, as if the doctor pulled one cheek tighter than the other. It looks almost comical. Is this normal? Should it look so big & unnatural? She's also in a lot of discomfort and pain. What should she expect during recovery, will the cheeks look natural, is there anything we can do to help with the pain & bruising, will the tightness go???

Doctor Answers (6)

2 weeks of swelling and distortion is common with fat grafting with minilifts.

+2

The swelling and bruising from a minilift ($6000-8,500) usually is minimal after 1 week but the fat grafting can last 2 weeks before you look decent.  The longer time passes, the more everything smooths out.  Be patient and give it 3-4 months to see the end results.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD


Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Fat transfer

+1

The problem probably lies with the fat transfer. Your mother needs to be patient and let the heealing process coninue. Without a hematoma, I have never seen this much difference right to left Fat transfer is frought with all kinds of issues.

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Its normal to have prolonged swelling after face lift and fat transfer

+1

I would expect swelling to last about 10 days especially with the fat transfer in addition to the lift. A medrol dose pack, night time light compression dressing and keeping the head elevated will facilitate resolution of swelling. If the patient has hypertension, it needs t be well controlled. The asymmetry will improve with time and massaging over the next 4-6 weeks. Sometimes its necessary to do additional fat transfer or even soft tissue filler to make adjustments for resorption of transferred fat. In my practice, a lower face lift with mid face fat transfer for volume enhancement followed by CO2 fractional resurfacing of the face 4-6 weeks later has produced excellent rejuvenation without the cost, down time or risk of a full facelift. Don't hesitate to have your mother seek reassurance from her doctor during the immediate recovery period.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Brookline Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Mini lift and fat transfer

+1
I am sorry your mom is having a tough recovery period. She does look quite swollen for four days postoperative. It is hard to really determine how much is swelling and how much fat the surgeon transferred to her face. Tell her to give the swelling some time she is very early in the recovery phase. Hopefully the asymmetry is just a sign of her healing and she may just have swelling in one side that is currently more prominent. Have her sleep elevated and stay on a low sodium diet. I wish her the best with her recovery.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Miniface lift

+1

it is too early to judge, it has been only 4 days. there is a lot of swelling and bruising.

Wait 6-12 weeks then make a decision. You should consult a BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON (AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY)

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Minifacelift and fat injections

+1
Fat injections can create significant swelling for extended periods of time and the combination of fat injections with surgery is likely contributing to her swelling and discomfort. Nonetheless, she is only 4 days postop and I recommend waiting at least a few weeks before u make any initial assessments. The tightness will go away, as far as cheek asymmetry, this could be swelling of one side more than the other and I recommend waiting a few weeks.

Anita Mandal, MD
Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.