The Myth That Buccal-Fat-Removal Can Make You Look Older
A lot of patients that have “chubby cheeks” (big lower anterior cheeks, fat cheeks, etc.) are hesitant to undergo buccal fat removal plastic surgery because the widespread “believe” that this type of cosmetic plastic surgery is going to make them “look older” (now and later). I am writing this blog to clarify that this “myth’ is not true and that buccal fat removal will not make you look older if you address the chubby face accordingly. For doing that I will be showing clinical examples that clearly demonstrate this statement.
“I have chubby cheeks, but I have heard buccal fat removal could make you look older”
Why buccal fat removal could make the face look older?
Very simple: because it may cause sagginess of the lower facial skin IF you don’t have good cheek bone structure! That’s they key point. The problem is not the buccal fat removal surgery. The problem is that people with chubby cheeks tend to have poor cheek bone definition, and therefore when the buccal fat removal is performed (alone), they may end up looking older now and of course down the road.
Good cheekbones always make people look younger and more attractive. Even in people with no chubby cheeks, the ones with good cheekbone prominence (like most of the female and male models) they look more attractive and more chiseled than similar mates (with no chubby cheeks) that have no good cheek bone projection.
Therefore, chubby cheek correction surgery (buccal fat removal) would be very often accompanied with analysis of the cheekbone structure and very often with cheekbone enhancement with either soft tissue fillers (like Juvederm Voluma™) or cheek implants.
For example, the following patient came to my practice asking for buccal fat removal to correct the chubby cheeks. After analyzing her “chubby cheeks”(and the entire face of course), I pointed out to her that she didn’t have good cheek bone projection. Therefore, I told her that buccal fat removal alone would not give her the chiseled model-like facial appearance that she was looking for.
I told the patient, that her cheekbones needed to be enhanced either before or after the buccal fat removal with either soft tissue fillers or cheek implants. In order to demonstrate to her what I meant, I did what I call a cheek augmentation “test drive”: I injected local anesthesia in one of her cheeks to simulate the effect of cheekbone enhancement with fillers and I compared the before and after pictures.
In the picture bellow on the left you could see how her face looks at baseline (untreated cheek bone). On the picture on the right side you can see how her face looks AFTER her cheek bone is enhanced with volume augmentation. Does she look older? No, not at all. Actually she looks younger (rejuvenated) and her chubby (lower) cheek has improved a little bit also! Therefore, if non-prominent cheekbones are enhanced with either soft tissue fillers or implants before or at the same time of buccal fat removal, the removal of the buccal fat will not make the face look older.
In this picture bellow also shows the appearance of the face before cheek enhancement (left side) compared with the enhanced cheek (right side).
Now, once the deficient cheekbones are corrected (with either soft tissue fillers or cheek implants), buccal fat could be performed to correct chubby cheeks WITHOUT making the face look older.
In the pictures below you can see this patient before surgery (left side) and after both cheek enhancement with soft tissue fillers (Juvederm Voluma) and buccal fat removal (right side). These before and after pictures clearly show that buccal fat removal corrected her chubby cheeks and helped to achieve a chiseled facial appearance WITHOUT LOOKING OLDER (or having saggy facial skin) because her cheek bones were enhanced with soft tissue fillers.
Buccal fat removal plastic surgery is performed at my office under local anesthesia without any oral or IV sedation, nor general anesthesia. For cheek enhancement I highly recommend the use of Juvederm Voluma since it is a soft tissue filler that last approximately 2 years and has the advantage that can be dissolved with a second injection shall it be necessary. If the patient chooses cheek implants I recommend Medpor™ implants rather than silicone implants due to a significant number of advantages.
In conclusion, buccal fat removal plastic surgery will not make the face look older if any cheekbone deficiency is corrected at the same time with either soft tissue fillers or cheek implants.
John Mesa, MD
Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
Specialist on buccal fat removal under local anesthesia
New York City – New Jersey
NYC: (332) 205-6400
NJ: (973) 264-0032