Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess buccal fat pad in the lower cheek areas and reduces facial fullness like puffy and chipmunk cheeks. Also known as cheek reduction, buccal fat removal decreases prominent cheeks and results in a more sculpted facial shape, including in the jawline area. Dr. Douglas also performs autologous procedures such as Fat Grafting, adding fat to areas that have lost volume or need extra definition. Dr. Douglas uses fat harvested from the patient's own body, which can then be re-injected to enhance facial fullness, fill creases or build up shallow contours. This is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed alone or in addition to other procedures. Dr. Douglas often performs buccal fat removal, fat grafting, or fat injections along with other surgical procedures such as orbital decompression on patients with Thyroid Eye Disease to achieve optimum aesthetic results.
Many patients often ask Dr. Douglas what they can do to improve their facial appearance. The first thing he starts with is facial contouring. Most of his patients have an expansion of their lower face. They go from a narrow “V” shape with wider cheekbones and to a squarer face with enhanced buckle fat in the cheek areas.
One of the contouring procedures he talks about with his patients is narrowing the back of the face in the masseter muscle. This can often be done with just a little injection of Botox. This procedure creates a much narrower and aesthetically pleasing facial contour. Additionally, the other procedure to improve facial appearance is buccal fat removal. This procedure enhances the cheekbones, similarly to make-up contouring or shadowing, but is surgical and permanent. Dr. Douglas can do it conservatively from a very small incision inside the mouth. It is usually done in about 30 minutes and is a completely outpatient procedure. It is very safe and can be combined with many other procedures to really enhance the contour. He usually adds a little bit of filler or fat to the upper cheeks and narrows the lower face to give the patient a more youthful appearance. This could also be done with minimal chin liposuction or Kybella. Again, these procedures contour and improve facial appearance without a complete overhaul. Dr. Douglas states that these little enhancements can go a long way.
Figure 2: Pre-(A) and 6 weeks post-surgical (B) photographs of a 30-year-old woman who suffered from thyroid eye disease. She underwent bilateral lateral wall, medial wall, and fat decompression, bilateral lower eyelid retractor release, bilateral fat grafting to the cheeks and nasal mid face, bilateral buccal fat removal and bilateral Kybella injection to face.
Figure 3: Pre-(A) and 4 weeks post-surgical (B) photographs of a 30-year-old man who suffered from thyroid eye disease. He underwent bilateral lateral wall, medial wall, and fat decompression, left upper eyelid posterior approach blepharotomy, bilateral fat grafting to cheeks, nasal mid face, and temples, bilateral buccal fat removal and bilateral Kybella injection to face.