I feel like my cheeks are very fat and even fatter when I smile. My mouth is also thin (horizontally) and I feel like I have to put in a lot of effort just to smile a little bit. When I smile, I don't have the parentheses around my mouth, either. I'm not overweight or anything ( I'm 5'8 and 112 pounds), so I don't think losing weight will help much. Can you tell me if removing the fat surgically will give me the parentheses around my mouth and allow me to smile more easily?
Do You Think Getting the Fat in my Cheeks Removed Will Help Make It Easier to Smile? (photo)
Doctor Answers (2)
Muscle function makes you smile not static fat removal
Buccal fat pad reduction is a procedure that is not commonly performed but can make sense in the right patient. It is important to understand the anatomy before undergoing the surgery so that you are well informed. Normal aging reduces the buccal fat pad volume. It is true that some people have more volume in their cheeks than others. However, it is also universally true that that volume will decrease and descend over time. Removing too much buccal fat can cause premature aging. It is also important to remember that replacing fat that has been removed is extraordinarily difficult if not impossible. The main reason is the location of the buccal fat pad. It usually resides underneath a large muscle that is responsible for majority of the power motions of your chewing. Once that fat is removed that space collapses. Once collapsed it is very difficult to find the exact space and to reinsert a substance such as a filler or better yet fat. One potential solution is to use something like Sculptra. While I generally do not advocate buccal fat pad removal, I understand why somewhat would want procedures such as this. I tried to choose my patients very carefully and I also tried to be conservative in the amount of fat that is removed. Surgeons who trivialized this procedure simply don’t understand how difficult it is to correct deformities that may occur. The cost of the procedure can run anywhere from $3000-$7000, depending upon your geographic locale. Please visit with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon. My best advice is to always be conservative with any buccal fat pad reduction.
Fat cheeks and smiling
Buccal fat reduction is permanent removal of excess fat from the cheek or middle face area. It is a good option for patients who feels that have too much facial fat. The buccal fat generally does not change with body weight changes. Smiling can pull up this fat higher. Based on the photographs alone, you may be a candidate for buccal fat reduction. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a plastic surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.