Have you ever been told that you have a “baby face” or “chipmunk face?” If so, you likely have a large buccal fat pad in the middle of your cheeks, just below the cheekbones. Everyone has buccal fat, but some of us have larger buccal fats than others. If your buccal fat pads are too large, you might be told you have chipmunk-like cheeks or a “baby face.” In some cases, large buccal fat pads make it appear like you weigh more than you actually do. Unfortunately, buccal fat can’t be reduced through exercise and diet, making medical or surgical intervention the only available option.
There’s nothing wrong with having them, but if you’re self-conscious about your cheeks, you can opt for surgical or non-surgical buccal fat removal.
Option #1. Buccal Fat Removal – Who Is It Suitable For?
Buccal fat removal, also known as cheek reduction surgery, is a surgical procedure wherein the buccal fat pads are extracted from your cheeks, instantly thinning the cheeks to give you sharper angles.
You should consider a buccal fat removal if you have round and puffy cheeks that you want to reduce and if you’re close to your ideal goal weight. Buccal fat isn’t the only possible reason for chubby cheeks — you can also have chubby cheeks due to weight gain. However, buccal fat removal isn’t meant for patients who want to remove excess fat tissues, only the enlarged buccal fat pad. Buccal fat removal is also unsuitable for patients with an already-narrow face.
This surgery is an excellent option for:
- Young patients between 20 and 50 years of age
- Those seeking more defined cheekbones and a sculpted profile
- Those with an overly flat or moon-shaped face
- Patients in good overall health
- Individuals that have maintained a stable and healthy weight
The buccal fat removal procedure starts with local anesthesia injected into your cheeks to prevent sensation. Even though you’ll be awake for the procedure, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will make an incision on the insides of your cheeks and then apply pressure on the outside to push the buccal fat pad through the incision. After cutting away the unwanted fat tissues, the surgeon will close the incision with dissolvable sutures.
After the procedure, you’ll be given a special mouthwash for regular rinses to prevent infection. You’ll be on a liquid diet for a few days, following which you’ll progress to soft foods and then normal foods. Your face will be swollen and bruised for a few days, and it might take up to 3 weeks for complete recovery. You can resume working in a few days, and you’ll start noticing the results in about 10 days.
Option #2. Fillers + Botox
If you’re concerned about surgeries, you can also opt for fillers and Botox. While fillers and Botox don’t remove the excess buccal fats, they sculpt and contour your face to give you a more streamlined and angular look. Injecting dermal fillers into strategic locations around your cheeks can give your facial skin an instant lift, making your features appear angular instead of drooping down. Botox, meanwhile, relaxes the dynamic wrinkles and smoothes your facial skin to give you a smoother and lifted look.
Fillers and Botox injections are suitable for patients who prefer contouring and lifting their cheeks rather than undergoing surgeries. Dermal fillers usually show instant results, and Botox results appear in a few days. There’s no pain, discomfort, or downtime, so you can resume your daily activities immediately. However, unlike surgeries, the result from fillers and Botox are temporary, so you might need maintenance treatments later.
However, unlike surgeries, the result from fillers and Botox are temporary, so you might need maintenance treatments later.
If you have any other concerns, please talk to a reputable plastic surgeon who can discuss your options. Dr. Sedgh is an exceptionally talented and compassionate plastic surgeon who carefully examines your facial skin and discusses your concerns to recommend the ideal treatments for your specific needs. He also understands that each individual is unique, so he curates a personalized treatment plan just for you. Reach out and book a consultation with Dr. Sedgh today