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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.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.