Will Fat Injections Help Lift Up Sagging Cheeks And Jowls?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 68 years old and had a mini-face lift when I was 55 and a Lifestyle neck lift four years ago. While these have provided improvement, the areas around my cheek and eyes have not been addressed by these previous procedures. I was thinking of some fat injections under eyes and into upper cheeks to “pull up” some of downward sag.  I find I am more afraid of large incisions as I get older! Was thinking of correcting with long lasting fat injections first, and then see where that gets us?

A: Given that you have already had two versions of facelift surgery, you are correct in assuming that removing more skin even with longer incisions, probably does not have a great facial rejuvenation benefit. This would be particularly so in the cheek area and below. Fat injections for you are an interesting option. While they will provide more volume/fullness to the cheeks, I am not sure how much lifting effect they will have as they push out more than they push upward. There is also the additional issue of how long-lasting fat injections are in  someone of your age. But if you adopt the attitude of ‘let’s see where that gets us’, that is a good mental attitude to have about a procedure in which it is not clear how well it will achieve your objectives. But there is little downside to doing since it is a natural material. I do overfill a bit with the fat injections but it would be important to not overdo it so there is not a prolonged period of being too puffy. More injected fat does not always equate to better long-term fat volume retention.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana