Rejuvenation of the midface by elevating the malar fat pad: Review of technique, cases, and complications

Academic Article


  • The midface is an area where definite and consistent improvement is still hard to achieve. Vertical suspension of the malar fat pad is an effective midface lift that complements facial rejuvenation to obtain an overall appearance of youth and beauty while maintaining the personal features of the patient. To substantiate its effectiveness, the authors evaluated the complications and long-term results of the malar fat pad elevation proper and in conjunction with other facial procedures. A retrospective review of the medical records of 458 consecutive patients who underwent malar fat pad elevation by the senior author (B.C.D.) from January of 1994 to January of 2000 was conducted. Because 14 patients had their malar fat pad re-elevated, the number of midface lifts totaled 472. Of these, 437 had a combined superficial musculoaponeurotic system excision and tightening, 19 had a combined limited superficial musculoaponeurotic system plication/imbrication, and 16 had elevation of the malar fat pad only. Elevating the malar fat pad appears to be a sound, straightforward, and effective means of rendering a youthful midface. It consistently reshapes the malar eminence, softens the nasolabial fold, and rejuvenates the lower eyelid. This technique provides lasting results, with an acceptable complication rate. Facial nerve injury, in particular, was infrequent and temporary. In addition, the prehairline scar happened to be quite inconspicuous, especially in patients older than 55 years. This experience confirms that malar fat pad elevation is a safe and effective method to rejuvenate the central third of the face.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • De Cordier BC; De La Torre JI; Al-Hakeem MS; Rosenberg LZ; Costa-Ferreira A; Gardner PM; Fix RJ; Vasconez LO
  • Start Page

  • 1526
  • End Page

  • 1536
  • Volume

  • 110
  • Issue

  • 6