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Facial Slimming: Botox Jaw reduction or Buccal Fat reduction?

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Facial plastic surgery to make areas of the face larger or smaller is a common request among many patients. Modern cosmetic techniques provide a variety of options for each facial area, such as the cheeks and lower face. Buccal fat reduction and Botox jaw reduction are some facial slimming options, and many patients who may think their face is “too fat” are unsure which aesthetic treatment would be more appropriate.

Buccal fat is a distinct “ball” of fat in the middle part of the face. Some patients are born with relatively more buccal fat, and this facial fat does not really fluctuate with body weight changes. Sucking in one’s cheeks partially simulates results with buccal fat reduction. The procedure normally takes less than an hour and is performed via IV sedation. A small incision is made on the inside of the mouth and a conservative amount of this excess buccal fat is removed. Stitches dissolve over several days. Pain is minimal and recovery generally pretty quick.

On the other hand, the masseter muscle is a large muscle on the sides of the face and in some patients this muscle is just naturally larger. Teeth grinding or excess gum chewing can make this lower jaw muscle larger too. Some patients may also complain of pain or headaches, which may be associated with TMJ.

Botox jaw reduction is an office procedure, similar to other Botox treatments. Discomfort is brief and minimal, with usually minimal, if any, bruising and swelling. Results develop gradually over several weeks as the lower jaw muscle (masseter) shrinks in size. Botox jaw reduction is temporary and treatments must be repeated every few months in order to maintain desired aesthetic results.

Which treatment is the best option? Well, each treatment addresses different areas and some patients may benefit from both. Starting with Botox jaw reduction is usually a good first option, as the risks and downtime are the lower as compared to buccal fat reduction. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a plastic surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Comment below.

2 Responses to Facial Slimming: Botox Jaw reduction or Buccal Fat reduction?

  • Amanda says:

    That’s cool that buccal fat reduction will generally take less than an hour and just uses an IV to sedate you. Personally, my cheeks have always been a bit chubby, and I thought it was going to go away naturally, but it hasn’t. It seems like finding someone to remove my buccal fat would be a good idea.

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog! Buccal fat generally doesn’t change much with a healthy diet or routine exercise. Buccal fat reduction may be performed alone or combined with other procedures to contour the face as appropriate.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.