One of the most successful procedure combinations to contour the face and neck can be achieved with two relatively straightforward procedures: buccal fat removal and liposuction of the chin and neck.
Oftentimes, patients may fixate on one area of their face they wish to see improvement in and are surprised when I recommend a combination of procedures ideal to achieve the results they are looking for. If you have good skin elasticity and extra fullness in your cheeks and under the chin, buccal fat removal with liposuction below the chin is ideal to create more definition in the cheeks and a more defined jawline.
Buccal fat removal, or cheek reduction surgery, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to reduce the amount of fat between your cheekbones and jawline. This fat is naturally produced and acts as a cushion for your facial muscles, teeth, and jaw, and it also helps to shape your face. While everyone has buccal fat, thicker fat pads can create “chubby cheeks” and make the face appear overly puffy and round.
I perform buccal fat removal using a local anesthetic to completely numb the area. This allows my patients to remain awake but pain-free, thus avoiding the downtime and side effects of general anesthesia for a quicker recovery. Using a very small incision on the inside of each check, just above your natural bite line, I am able to access the buccal fat pad and, depending on the patient’s goals, either reduce the volume or remove the pad completely. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, and recovery takes between 1-2 weeks.
Full results are visible about 3 months following surgery, and the natural structure of the cheekbones is revealed to create a more defined silhouette.
While everyone has buccal fat, thicker fat pads can create “chubby cheeks” and make the face appear overly puffy and round.
Buccal fat removal results can be somewhat subtle, especially if performed alone. The amount of buccal fat you have is typically genetic, influenced by weight gain, or both, so it is common for patients who carry excess weight in their cheeks to also have an increased amount of fat in the neck and submental area (double chin).
Using liposuction to sculpt the chin and neck enhances buccal fat removal results as each area complements the others, creating more balanced proportions to achieve a far more striking appearance that also appears completely natural.
This procedure combination is ideal for patients with firmer skin who have excess fat in the cheek, chin, and neck areas and do not require lifting procedures to reverse signs of aging and tighten sagging skin. In general, some facial fat is needed to help avoid the thin, gaunt appearance that patients who experience advanced signs of aging wish to correct, so simply removing fat in these patients will exacerbate their symptoms.
Other facial augmentation procedures can also define facial features and may be an ideal alternative for patients who may not experience optimal results with this procedure combination.
Facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is used to lift and tighten the skin of the face and neck to create more defined facial features and reverse signs of aging. With this procedure, removing excess skin plays a key role in achieving an enhanced facial appearance. Facial fat can be removed during a facelift; however, fallen fat pads are often repositioned, or additional fat is added via fat transfer to help restore youthful volume that is naturally diminished in the aging process.
In contrast, buccal fat removal with liposuction only removes excess fat to highlight facial features, and lax skin is not addressed by this combination. I would recommend a facelift for patients who have loose skin and other signs of aging and wish to achieve more complete facial rejuvenation.
Dermal fillers are an extremely versatile, non-surgical solution to achieve more definition in the midface and chin, and can be used to enhance a number of different facial features. When expertly injected, fillers can be used to add volume to the cheek and jawline to create more distinct features. Dermal fillers are also an effective option to reduce signs of aging by filling in lines and hollows for plump, healthier-looking skin. Additionally, dermal fillers can be used for lip augmentation.
Aside from the temporary anti-aging effects of dermal fillers, this treatment differs from buccal fat removal with liposuction as it adds volume instead of removing it to highlight the bone structure, and dermal fillers require touch-up injections to maintain its effects. I would recommend dermal fillers to patients who have naturally slimmer faces who want to define their cheekbones and jawline and enhance their skin’s appearance.
My goal is always to achieve safe, complete results that my patients will love. This begins by connecting with them during their consultation to gain a full understanding of what they want to see improved. With their concerns and goals in mind, I can share what procedures can best fulfill their aesthetic vision. This collaboration is key in my patients experiencing the very best results possible that last for years to come.
About Dr. S. Larry Schlesinger in Honolulu: Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. S. Larry Schlesinger has over 30 years of experience performing a range of plastic surgery procedures and is well-known for achieving optimal aesthetic results using safe, proven techniques. To learn more about how Dr. Schlesinger can combine procedures to achieve optimal results, schedule your consultation by calling 808-597-8835 or contact us online today.