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los angeles, CA

Does a malar fat pad lift with suture really work?
Mid Face Liftface liftFacelift

I'm thinking about getting one, but I'm not sure of the effectiveness. I want to lift my cheek area a bit (getting a bit flat and hollow), as well as improve the angle of my jawline.

I'm also wondering how long a recovery would be since it's not a full facelift.


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Doctor/Professional Answers (2)   


Plastic surgeon
Southlake, TX
United States
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  I'm not impressed
August 19, 2009 9:22 PM

Check on the cost. I get that the results are good for about 18 months to 3 years on average depending on the technique and surgeon. A cheek lift or full face lift may not be that much (more)
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Plastic surgeon
Beverly Hills, CA
United States
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  Malar fat pad lift
August 18, 2009 9:57 AM

A midface lift typically does not give a good correction in the jowl area. It is better to perform a facelift. Patients who are expecting jowl correction with any midface procedure will (more)
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Member Comments (1)

Camb, MA
United States
  Patient to patient advice:
April 28, 2010 1:09 PM

Concerning lifting the malar fat pad, I've witnessed what I feel is a very impressive technique aimed at doing that. (In a video that Dr. Aston presented explaining his technique to lift it.)

The technique is called "FAME" which is an acronym for; Finger Assisted Malar Elevation.

Through an incision, kind of above the ear and near the vertical part of temple hairline, his finger finds it's way to a (dissection) plane somewhat under the lateral and lower arc of the orbicularis muscle. It's a plane that's hard to describe (verbally) where it is. But in the video, he shows doctors how to find it and also shows, although it's kind of a deep plane, it's also one that easily yields to finger dissection to pull it apart.

So, this mysterious plane is underneath the orbicularis muscle and it leads to 'finding' the malar fat pad which is somehow connected to this plane. When this plane is dissected, then it's easy for him to GLIDE it upwards and outwards in a diagonal vector as to reorient the malar fat pad to a place where it looks better on the face.

Thing is though it did not appear to be a 'singular' operation like one you could just get for that alone. It was demonstrated in conjunction with basically a full face lift where the other part of the lift was via an incision more downward beside the ear and via a different dissection plane. However, during the process, BOTH planes met up. Like he could put his finger through the lower incision to show that the dissection from the upper incision to get at the malar fat pad 'met up' with each other.

So, this was something that did not depend on a suture suspension of the malar fat pad but rather a nifty way of finding it, releasing it and gliding it over to a place it looked better. But the OTHER part of this operation addressed the jowl area.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not meaning this to be a 'rec' from me for Dr. Aston. Just to remind you (as a patient) that there are a variety of ways different doctors perform "Midface lifts" or "cheek lifts". Like it's not a thing where either you or a doctor, by virtue of calling it a "Midface lift" or a "cheek lift" or even part of an "extended face lift" is in any way, going to describe any GENERAL way that area is lifted.

Things like a "midface lift", "cheek lift", "face lift" ect don't really describe what they are going to do (or could do for you) just because those words are used to classify a procedure. The reason for that is many different doctors have different approaches; to performing those so called things.

Some doctors, via the different techniques they use CAN lift part of the jowl during a "cheek lift" but that's by virtue of the type of "cheek lift" they do as also being one that engages part of the jowl in a way that it 'goes along for the ride' which resolves to the WAY they do it. Likewise with lifting the malar fat pad. There are ways to do that without depending on sutures to hoist it up, e.g. my above description of how Aston gets at it in the process of a surgery where he's also going after jowls.

There are just a A LOT of combinations of what a "cheek lift" could be or mean and there are even ways to avoid a very invasive one and instead do less invasive things that give the 'illusion' of one. So, "recovery time" and even what the surgery does for you or does not do for you, will depend on the PLANES they dissect, the extent in which they disrupt the planes to move things around and all those things will differ from doctor to doctor because the WAY they address the midface or cheek area will differ from doctor to doctor.



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