What Happens After a Facelift/fat Transfer Procedure if You Lose 10-15 Lbs Post-op 2nd Week from Stress over the Facelift?

I am over 60 and had a facelift over 10 years ago and was seeking to volumize parts of my face. I liked my face the way it was prior to this surgery and have lost 12 lbs. in a week going from 110 to 98 lbs. because my face was pulled so high and tight and I don't like the way I look now. I believed I needed the facelift in order for the outcome of the fat transfer to be better and it has caused me so much stress. The swelling has gone down but it also looks like my face is deflating.

Doctor Answers 8

10 lb Weight Loss Following Facelift and Fat Grafting

    A 10 lb weight loss following facelift and fat grafting should not compromise results in most people.  If you are a very small person with very little body fat, gaining the weight back should restore the volume.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Weight Change after facelift and fat transfer

In general marked weight loss and gains accelerates the aging process, however I suspect that once you gain your weight back you will do well. The transferred fat that has taken will respond to the weight gain and should recover its normal volume.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Fat transfer plastic surgery

Dear Scruffles,

  • Don't fret, just re-gain the weight and the fat should swell back up in your face
  • Stress often becomes a vicious cycle, you stress, eat less, lose weight, lose more volume, stress etc
  • That is way too dramatic of a weight loss in one week, so eat as much as you can..pasta, ice cream, steak, rice

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Facelift/ Fat Transfer and Weight Loss

Your question is a bit confusing so I will try to separate the parts to give you an answer. It is fairly rare in a secondary facelift to need to redo the entir lift as certain areas of the face tend to age  and are more  obvious than other areas. Your weight loss is problematic as it represents roughly 10% of your body weight. After two weeks your postoperative swelling should be going down yet two weeks is not enough time to determine the "take" of the fat grafts and at this point in time your weight loss should not effect the fat. It seems that the swelling from your lift and simultaneous fat grafts may have camouflaged your "volumnizing" and as the swelling decreases you may not have enough fat to counteract the tightness of the lift. Regardless you should know the answer in about six weeks. 

Paul S. Howard, MD, FACS
Hoover Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat cells get smaller but do not go away when you lose weight


Thank you for the question.  When weight is lost, fat cells, those that are there as well as those that were grafted, get smaller but do not go away.  So as you gain weight again the fat cells get bigger again.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Weight Loss Post-Operatively

I typically tell patients that up to 15 pounds of weight loss should not have a much of an impact if at all on the results of a facelift.  Realize too that swelling typically goes down pretty quickly after a fat transfer, so that is a large part of this is due to the resolving of swelling.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Weight Loss From Post Operative Stress

Thank you for the question. Any surgical procedure can lead to "feeling stressed". It is unusual to have what amounts to a loss of 10% of total body weight. You need to see your plastic surgeon and discuss this with them. They may want to give you a sedative, Xanax or Valium, to help you relax. They will also explain that at this point you are very early on in your healing process. This will translate into a tightness on the face due to the inflammation and the scarring that is currently taking place. this will continue to progressively improve over the next 2 months. This does not mean that you will continue to look as tight as your are now for the next 2 months.

It is not unreasonable to assume that once you have had time for the swelling and the scarring process to subside allowing the soft tissues of the face to accommodate , as well as gained the lost weight so as to fill out the contours of the face, your perception will most likely change.

For now try to be patient and continue to follow up closely with your plastic surgeon. They not only have the benefit of an in-person exam but know what has already been done and can therefore give you the best advice.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Stress and weight loss following face lift and fat transfer

First, it is not unusual to feel stressed following any surgery including a face lift and/or fat transfer.  If the stress is severe and your losing weight check with both your surgeon and your primary physician.  they may want to consider giving you a medication temporarily, to make you feel more comfortable and, hopefully help you gain back the lost weight.  At your normal weight of 110 lbs. a 10-15 lb. weight loss is substantial, can make your face look deflated, and should not be ignored.  Once you have regain the weight and you have had a chance to heal, you may well be pleasantly surprised how good your surgical results are.  Best wishes. 

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.