Apr 25, 2023
May 5, 2022
Depending on your beauty goal, it is crucial to understand better the true result difference between buccal fat pad removal and cheek liposuction before committing to the surgery.
SINGAPORE, April 2022 — Buccal fat removal, also known as buccal lipectomy, is a facial cosmetic procedure for those who have a naturally fuller face ("baby face" or chipmunk cheeks") and yearn to define their facial symmetry. Despite having been around for some time, it is become a trending facial cosmetic procedure over the recent years due to the rise of social media, shares Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director at Amaris B. Clinic, who has more than 15 years of facial liposuction and body sculpting procedure experience on a diverse portfolio of male and female patients in Singapore.
Buccal fat, located close to facial nerves and other vessels, sits between the cheekbones and the jaw. It is a vital structure that impacts our overall face shape and facial symmetry. Buccal fat pad increases between the ages of 10 and 20 and then slowly decreases until about 50, but some may also experience early loss in their buccal pads in their 30s.
Dr Rod Rohrich, surgeon and author of The Role of Buccal Fat Pad in Facial Aesthetic Surgery, says, "For every five patients I see who want their buccal fat pads removed, only one needs it." This statement highlights an important issue - people do not necessarily understand what they need to achieve what they want. Therefore, a doctor's responsibility is to educate and propose the right treatment or procedure to their patients, advises Dr Ivan Puah.
The buccal fat pad is an important structure as it facilitates gliding with the muscles of speech and chewing, and the movement of facial muscles. It also plays a role in facial aesthetics and can be modified to define an appearance. The raised realisation on the importance of facial appearance, where much credit is due to the influence of social media, has led to many people subscribing to buccal fat removal as a facial cosmetic procedure solution to their specific appearance issues.
Age, skin, face shape, and thickness of the buccal fat pad are vital considerations for buccal fat removal. Like all other cosmetic surgeries, buccal fat removal is a delicate procedure requiring skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeons to perform it meticulously. As buccal fat removal is permanent, over-resection of the buccal fat pad may cause a deflated midface, which may contribute to premature ageing.
"Facial liposuction delivers different results and is done for different indications compared to buccal fat removal procedures - It can eliminate excess fat from jowls, jawline, chin and upper neck. Not only does it help to reduce excess fat from these areas, but it also allows a skilled doctor to sculpt and re-create a more defined jawline and chin. Best of all, facial liposuction, if done in a specific way, helps to lift and tighten facial skin. Therefore, the facial liposuction is suitable for patients who wish to look slimmer, to achieve lower facial skin tightening and a more defined jawline and chin," explains Dr Ivan Puah, MOH-accredited liposuction doctor and Chairman of Lipo Peer Review Committee Singapore.
Facial fat volume and distribution are essential in sustaining facial contours and youthfulness. Losing and removing too much facial fat or losing fat in the wrong areas would make one look less youthful and rejuvenated. One of the main complications of buccal fat removal is that too much fat pad is removed, as it would lead to hollowing of facial tissues.
Facial liposuction is a more suitable sculpting procedure as it can effectively remove excess facial fat pockets while lifting the lower face resulting in a well-defined and slimmer jawline. With its capability to eliminate excess fat from other parts like the jowl, neck and chin, and in the hands of experienced and qualified doctors, facial liposuction can produce a more balanced and defined appearance.
It is critical to do as much research and understand the different results different surgical techniques and modalities can achieve that is suitable for your overall facial harmony before committing to a permanent cosmetic surgery as the effect is unfortunately irreversible.