I am a 22 year old female with a round face, would Genioplasty or Buccal Lipectomy be a good option for me? (photo)
Doctor Answers 3
Your face will naturally thin out and become longer as you age.
Of course you can consider these procedures, and I'm sure you can find surgeons who are willing to perform them for you. I am a facial plastic surgeon and specialize in facial rejuvenation. As people's faces age, your cheek fat pads (buccal fat pads) will naturally thin out. Many women who gain weight during pregnancy and then lose the weight afterwards seem to have their faces change by thinning out their buccal fat pads under the cheek bones. I suspect that as women gain the pregnancy weight, the face can only gain so much additional volume and cannot get any bigger, however, after the pregnancy, the weight is reduced, the fat which gets burned off burns off the body as well as the face evenly, and these women seem to have thinner faces than pre-pregnancy even though they reached their pre-pregnancy weight.
Some people naturally have more of a "baby face" and perhaps a slight surplus of buccal fat (your baby fat). This will help you look younger longer. At 22 years old, you do look younger than your stated age and could still pass for a high school student. In your case, you are likely being carded at bars which may seem like a bad thing, but for my older patients, they are flattered if they get carded.
Aging is inevitable. When people are young, they are in such a rush to look older, yet once they reach that appearance, the overwhelming desire is to then stay younger. If you have the buccal lipectomy, it will likely may your cheeks thinner and show your cheek bones more. This may make you look closer to 25-30, but most people who are 25-30 wish they looked 21. If you do not have the buccal lipectomy, most likely when you are 30 you may still pass for 21.
Some celebrity examples of a chubbier younger look and looking amazing even in their 40's is Jennifer Aniston. If you Google image search her photos when she was in her early 20's, she had a much rounder face. Her face is thinner and elongated with age, but at the same time she looks amazing. Note that she has never been pregnant, and her weight has never changed much since the TV show "Friends." Even without pregnancy her face has naturally thinned out and elongated. Now compare her to Courtney Cox who was also on "Friends." She has had children and her face has thinned faster than Jennifer's. Compare photos through the years as they both aged, and ask yourself which path you would prefer to go along.
Addendum: Also look up Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio. There are photos showing her around Titanic and a more recent photo of her and Leonardo together. If she did buccal lipectomy in her early 20's, she would not look the way that she does now, and would likely need fillers or fat grafting later to try to reverse some of the aging changes to regain a more youthful appearance as she got older.
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Samir Shureih MD. FACS