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 8

Swelling and asymmetry after facelift

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Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and firmness in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate, and it is not uncommon for one side to resolve faster than the other. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.

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

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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

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Fat transfer

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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

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

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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
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

Mini lift and fat transfer

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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 218 reviews

Miniface lift

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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

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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

Healing and Recovery After Your Facial Procedure

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First and foremost, its best to remain patient. It is still early in to your recovery. The healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away.
#Recovery time from a #facelift varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). The marks from a facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
The scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the facelift will become apparent and the real result will be seen. If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

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.