Sculpting the Face with Buccal Fat Reduction

Blog post - before after buccal cheek fat reduction
Blog post - before after buccal cheek fat reduction

Before and after photograph cheek fat reduction. This patient also had neck liposuction and chin augmentation with implant to further sculpt and define the lower face.

Chubby cheeks are a sign of childhood and youthfulness. For children, chubby cheeks are appropriate and cute. Adults, however, with chubby or round cheeks may complain of appearing too young, too fat, or having a “baby face”. Excess cheek fat (buccal fat) contributes to this chubby appearance of the middle and/or lower face. Patients are born with this excess buccal fat, which doesn’t typically respond to a healthy diet or exercise.

We’ve reviewed buccal fat reduction in previous blog post. This cheek fat reduction procedure typically takes takes less than an hour and has quick recovery. Small incisions are placed inside the mouth, so there isn’t any external scars. Patients can return to work the next day, if desired. Below is an operative video of buccal fat reduction.

Plastic surgeons sculpt the face with buccal fat reduction to be more proportionate with less attention brought to the chubby cheeks. The goal of buccal fat reduction is not to create a gaunt appearance. Patients after cosmetic cheek fat surgery report appearing more mature and less childlike after buccal fat reduction. In addition, the upper cheeks may appear enhanced secondarily by drawing attention away from the relatively excessive mid facial cheek area lower in the face.

Washington DC plastic surgery patients want to return to work quickly and appear natural. One doesn’t want to appear “hollowed” after plastic surgery. Careful evaluation by a facial plastic surgeon can help determine whether relatively excess buccal fat is present and if cheek fat reduction is appropriate. Plastic surgeons may suggest other procedures in addition to or as an alternative to cheek fat reduction. Facial fillers for lower eye bags and upper cheeks, facial fat injection, chin augmentation, or Botox® jaw reduction are some other aesthetic considerations when sculpting the face.

Patients who may be candidates for buccal fat reduction are often not overweight. Rather they report having a round or moon face throughout their lives, despite a healthy lifestyle, and desire a more sculpted appearance. Cheek fat reduction may be an appropriate option for consideration.

Have you considered cheek fat reduction? Share your thoughts below.

2 Responses to Sculpting the Face with Buccal Fat Reduction

  • Alexandra Rosen says:

    I have never been happy with the shape of my face. Even though I have an athletic build, eat a healthy diet, and excercise regularly, my face shape does not reflect my overall weight. It is unrealistically round, and my parents called me Cabeza Melon (melon head in Spanish) all throughout my youth. I’m 24 years old and want my face to look more mature and less like a chubby child.

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog. Even slim patients with a healthy lifestyle can complain of relatively chubby cheeks or ill-defined facial features. Some patients can consider buccal (cheek fat) reduction to help thin the face. Supplemental procedures may include jaw reduction, chin augmentation, and neck/chin liposuction as appropriate to improve contour and definition.

      Dr. Chaboki

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