Is it possible to lower malar fat pads which have been raised too high?

I had a midface lift done through the eye. It warped my face completely. Is it possible to lower the malar fat pads once they have been raised? I'm Asian, and they raised the fat pads too high on my face.

Doctor Answers 14


I AGREE WITH ELIZABETH MORGAN MD PHD.  The best option to minimize complications is to seek well trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in the first place.  If an unsatisfactory result occurs, it should be identified early while it is repairable. Without photos we cannot assess if you have a real or perceived problem.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Mid-face lift - cheek pads too high now

Thank you for your question about your malar fat pad lift.

  • If surgery was done recently, you are swollen and things will improve.
  • Without photos one can't comment on your result but it can be quite difficult to lower the cheeks once tissues have healed.
  • If surgery was done in the past week or so, early urgent revisions can be done if necessary - but must be taken up with your own surgeon.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes, Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Is it possible to lower malar fat pads which have been raised too high?

Hi !

Thank you for sharing your question. 

Cheek elevation in mid face lifting is normal stage early after surgery. An overcorrection is mostly preferred.  for the adequate final outcome. If needed, a revision correction could be done almost 6 month after the original surgery to allow for the normal recovery for you and  of the tissues. It is possible lower your cheeks. 

Please visit with your surgeon to discuss your concerns. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Good luck

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Midface lift issues

Thank you for the question. Without photos, I can't give any specific advice. However, a midface lift in an Asian patient seems unusual right off the bat. Obviously not all patients are the same... but Asian patients typically have higher and more prominent cheeks to begin with. Regardless, a midface lift is designed to elevate the fat pad from a ptotic (lower) position to the level of the orbital rim (eye socket bone). This can be done through a browlift type incision (my preference) or through a lower eyelid incision. Reversing the effect should be possible, though it depends on how the tissue was anchored and if any skin was removed in the lower eyelids. Please visit with your surgeon to discuss your concerns. Take care and best of luck!

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

High fat pads from mid facelift

I am sorry that you are having issues about your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

elevated cheeks is a common normal stage early after surgery of this type. Usually overcorrection is needed for the adequate final outcome. Correction could be done 6 month after the original surgery to allow for the normal position of the tissues. 

Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Is it possible to lower malar fat pads

You don't say how long since the procedure. If it has been a few weeks or less waiting may be your best option. Lift procedures always settle it the first weeks to months. If you are sure that the result has stabilized micro-liposuction and possibly cutting some of the deep sutures are options to consider.

Curtis Perry, MD
Downey Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Is it possible to lower malar fat pads which have been raised too high?

 Hi, this is one of the issues with that type of facelift procedure.  Non smiling photos of your face from the front and side would help in the evaluation.  At this point fat reduction using micro-liposuction could be used to reduce excess fat over and around the cheeks for proper shaping.  This is part of my facelift technique described below.

 I have performed facelifts for over 30 years and have performed many minimally, invasive type facelifts.  Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces.  Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front.  Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

 If the chin is weak, this creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin.  Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face.   I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

 If you have "jowls” these are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last).  The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face, deep plane, cheek lift and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions and no incisions extend or are placed within the hair.
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery ( several days instead of weeks or months with the more invasive type facelifts mentioned)
  • can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
  • no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
  • excess fat can be removed
  • excess skin removed
  • cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op

I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure.  When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Photos are needed please

To answer your question accurately we would need photos.   It is possible to lower malar pads but it is a little tricky.  Schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.   My Best, Dr Commons

Asian patients and the intermalar distance

Great caution must be exerted when increasing the intermalar distance in patients who already have a large intermalar distance, or the cheeks may appear too wide apart.

Surgeons with a specific interest in the mid face can guide you best with this problem.

In many patients who are just in the early postoperative period after surgery, the swelling abates and the appearance improves.  Hopefully this is the case with you as well!

I've written a chapter and a few articles on just this topic.  They are pretty boring but you may want to read them anyway, particularly the bit about the intermalar distance.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Is it possible to lower malar fat pads?

I am sorry to hear of your disappointment with your surgery.  Yes the malar fat pads can be repositioned but it depends on a number of factors.  At minimum we would need to see pictures of how your face looks today.  You really need an in person consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who perform a lot of facelifts.

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 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.