Mini Lift and Fat Transfer for Tightening Facial Skin? (photo)

How well does fat grafting work to fill in the hollow area underneath your eyes, and lines down the sides of your nose and mouth?

I am interested in having a few things done, I have lost about 30 lbs since January, and now I’m noticing this hollow look underneath my eyes, not too deep lines from the nose running to the mouth, and a little bit of lose skin underneath my chin.

I only weigh 115 so it’s noticeable and I have a few acne scars that seem to disappear when I gently pull my skin back so I’m wondering if a mini lift would help. Can the procedures to fix all these things be done under local sedation versus anesthesia?
Thanks for any help!

Doctor Answers 11

Mini Lift and Fat Transfers after Weight Loss

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Your question is valid if you are seeking some small, but effective touch-ups.

Fat grafting is an excellent technique for filling in hollows around the eyes, but can produce lumps and bumps in the very delicate skin in that area.  Hyaluronin fillers are often better suited because their flow characteristics are easier to control in thin delicate tissues. Fat grafting works great over the cheek mound.

Hyaluronin fillers are also a good alternative for the creases around the mouth.

Ask your surgeon which he/she prefers.

The Mini-Lift will provide a little tightening to the jowl and perhaps some improvement to the nasolabial folds. Not as long-lasting as a full Facelift, it can be a useful "stop-gap."

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Determining the Facial Procedures Best For You

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During your #consultation, your skin texture and elasticity, as well as your underlying skin structure and your facial bone structure will be evaluated. Based on this evaluation, your board certified plastic surgeons will create a custom surgical plan, detailing specific techniques and recommendations to meet your goals. In doing so, he or she should be sure to have a full understanding of what results you expect. If you are not a #candidate, your surgeon can make other suggestions to address your concerns and objectives.
It is possible to #combine #surgeries. In fact, I commonly recommend other procedures to go accompany a facelift, such as blepharoplasty or a midface (cheek) lift, to name a few. The combination of multiple of facial procedures may create an optimal result. The best procedure approach will be discussed in greater detail during your one-on-one #consultation. I invite you to visit to view a complete list of surgeries commonly performed.
It is extremely important to seek a board certified plastic surgeon highly trained with your desired procedures. I also encourage you to look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients. Also, reading patient reviews of those who have had combined surgeries will be beneficial. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

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

Mini Lifts and Fat injections are an excellent facial rejuvenation combo

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Hi Katyrae,

Looking at you picture it is clear you do not need anything drastic. With the weight loss you had and your strong underlying bone structure your face has lost some tone/definition and volume.

A Mini Lift would work well for you in getting more tone/definition to your face and "cleaning up" your jaw line. When done well it can restore some volume as well.

Fat Injections to your cheek and eye area would provide excellent volume and help establish a nice "heart shaped" youthful look to your face.

These procedures can be done together under local anesthesia or IV sedation. 90% of our patients choose just local anesthesia and do wonderful. Either way your safety and comfort come first. No need for full general anesthesia in these types of cases.

The bad news - your acne scars really will not improve too much from these procedures. Look into lasers or dermabrasion for that.

All the best to you,

Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Mini Lifts do great to freshen up the face and are done under local now.

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Mini lifts are very easy to undergo now that they can be done under local anesthesia which is less risky and less complications. Fat injections do help in some cases but are very unpredictable and can get lumpy/bumpy with time. I think you would do great with a minilift and some fillers. Expect to pay around $6-8500 for the mini lift and enjoy the new you. Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

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


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    Fat transfer can enhance the face and any surgical proceedures done. However any serious aesthetic change needs to be done surgically and since great face work can be accomplished with oral sedation and local anesthesia it is by far the way to go. No mater what anyone says or whatever technique is used fat transfer ( which has its place ) does not accomplish what great surgery does. If you have sagging, wrinkles, or hollows get a good facelift under oral sedation and local anesthesia from an experienced surgeon and you will have great long lasting results done in the safest and easiet way possible.

How effective is fat grafting with a mini lift to reduce sings of aging?

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Dear Katyrae, 

Combination of fat grafting and mini lift is an excellent choice for you.  Since you have lost weight there is loose skin on your face and neck area which respond well with a mini lift. Your weight loss also has caused volume lost in your cheek and under eye area which will improve with fat grafting. To increase the fat viability I add PRP ( platelet rich plasma) to my fat grafting. I have seen excellent results with it and my patients are happy with it. For your reference you may want to check my published article regarding fat grafting with PRP results in the Journal of American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery 2006. Good Luck. Regarding choices of anesthesia, I highly recommend you to get it done under local anesthesia with oral sedation. 95% of  my facelifts are done under local anesthesia and my patients love it, so do I. 

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

A minilift could help remove some extra skin and Fat injections are great for the Hollows under the Eyes.

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A minilift could help remove some extra skin and Fat injections are great for the Hollows under  the Eyes.  I have many patients that I have done a minilift for acne scars.  My patients seem very pleased with the results for this reason. It is not a common application for a minilift to improve acne scars but some people find it very useful.  Fat injectons under the eyes are a great way to improve the volume loss there and the dark circles, and baggy look in this area. 

Fillers can also be done here as a temporary measure.  Fat injections, if all variables are positive, can last years in this area.  Volumizing in this area is the most natural and, in my opinion, is better than any type of lower eyelid lift or cheek lift.  Fat injections are also great for acne.  A thin layer under a bed of acne scars will improve their appearance, rejuvenate the skin and elevate some depressed scars to a degree.  I think volumizing your whole cheek could really help your appearance.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Lift and fat grafting

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A mini-lift and fat grafting can certainly be done under sedation. I would not recommend under straight local. The fat grafting should help with filling out the depressions you describe.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat grafting to the face

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Fat graft to the face is ideal for the sunken hollow face. It can give a great result, however you must be prepared to do it more than once.

Fat grafting is technique dependant, and require attention to details in preparing the fat , then transfering that pure fat in small pearls deep in the facial layers and work up towards the skin. Thus fillin the face in layers. That will assure better take of the graft and even distribution and less lumpiness.

Harvesting fat from one area of your body where there is plenty, processing that fat and transferring it, or injecting fat to fill depressions, or filling areas where fat is lost, or areas of the body that need enhancement. We loose fat from the face and other areas of the body. Replacing the fat lost with your own fat from another part of your body is a safe, effective, and an excellent way of correcting the problem. Lips loose bulk with aging, fat injection to the lips can restore the youthful look. Transferring fat can smooth wrinkles and reverse aging of the face. Fat transfer to the buttocks to enhance the buttocks, is very commonly used.

Transferring your own fat has always been an attractive solution as there are no allergic reactions, there is usually an abundance of it, and is the ideal filler. Newer techniques to harvest purify then implant the fat has improved the survival of transferred fat dramatically. In fact, many of us are transferring fat to enhance the results of other cosmetic surgeries such as facelifts, Filling hollow eyelids, and depressions.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Mini lift and fat injection options for cheek augmentation and midface lift

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Plastic surgery patients have many options for sunken, hollow cheeks and the midface area. Although age and sun damage are the biggest contributing factors, many patients on HIV medications have a condition called facial lipodystrophy, which also causes hollow cheeks. Other patients develop hollow underneath the eyes from weight loss.

Regardless of the exact method, the aesthetic treatment is for cheek indentations and eyelid hollow is augmentation. Fortunately, one has many options to add volume to sunken cheeks. More temporary injectable fillers, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Radiesse, last several months by augmenting the skin. The cosmetic facial treatments must be repeated, but injections are simple office procedures with little downtime. Injectable fillers are more affordable.

Another injectable solution is Sculptra. It's a material which is injected much deeper into the face and stimulates fibrous tissue over time. Results are not immediate, but rather develop months after treatment, but last much longer. Patients usually require more than one treatment for the desired cosmetic effect.

The more popular solution for injection is fat from you own body, performed either under local, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. Fat injections have the possibility for long-term natural results. Some touch-up injections may be necessary, but may be performed in the office.

The most permanent solution for the cheek is enhancement with a silicone implant. Cheek augmentation with implants is performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia via a small incision inside the mouth. There is more swelling and bruising as compared to the other techniques, but results last much longer.

Lastly, a combination of various volume enhancement solutions may be performed at the same time with a surgical lift of the mid face and cheek area.

Based on this picture, you have both loss of volume in the area and sagging of the cheeks. You may benefit from a combination procedure, performed at the same time or delayed by several months. Speak with a facial plastic surgeon to discuss cheek augmentation to find a cosmetic treatment which is appropriate for you.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 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.