Is this buccal fat, lower facial fat, or jowls? What will fix it? (Photo)

I'd like your thoughts on whether the fat pockets on either side of my chin are jowls, lower facial fat or buccal fat and the best approach for removing them to get a streamlined jawline. At the moment I'm considering submental lipo, would this help?

Doctor Answers 4

Is this buccal fat, lower facial fat, or jowls? = possibly all of the above #buccalfat buccalfatremoval #chiseled face

"Jowls" in young patients are generally secondary to fullness of the lower cheeks and also sagging of the facial skin due to inadecuated cheek bone support.

In my practice, when young patients come for evaluation of "jowls", most of the time they do have a prominent buccal fat as well as poor cheek bone projection both anteriorly and laterally. In patient with good cheek bone projection, buccal fat removal usually address their concern. In patient that also have poor cheek projection, cheek enhancement with soft tissue fillers like Voluma, help to address the "jowls" by lifting the lower face skin, thus helping to achieve a more chiseled face in addition to the buccal fat removal.

Patients interested in determining if buccal fat  removal may help to achieve a chiseled face should make a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specialized in plastic surgery procedures of the face.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Is this buccal fat?

I think it's just some dependent or low hanging fat and most likely the buccal fat pad is contributing to it. I like buccal fat removal as procedure but only in very specific situations.  I think in your case that particular procedure might make you look hollow and older. What I see is an attractive young woman who better be careful not to negatively affect anything. That being said I think Ulthera might be a good option to enhance jawline without undergoing surgery.  If anything I don't see room to take away fat. I see opportunities to add volume in the mid face, Possibly the temples, And the lateral cheekbones just a bit.  Adding volume could be performed with Volume, Radiesse, Sculptra, or fat grafting.

Chase Lay MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Fat at the jaw line

Hello and many many thanks for your question.

A youthful face is characterized by its fullness and by a smooth transition between the subunits of the face. Facial fat sits in a number of compartments or pockets in the face; broadly there are more superficial and then also a set of deep fat pockets. 

There can be a redistribution of fat with time; some fatty areas of the face then look reduced in size, whereas an the appearance of a deposition of fat can occur unwanted areas, such as under the chin (submental) and in the lower eyelid, but also around the jowl where then a bulge appears as there is a ligament preventing an  even contour. Without more views such as a lateral it is difficult to be definitive but I would feel that the fat bulge at the sides of the chin is jowl fat; buccal fat pad fat is deeper though it can indirectly contribute to the jowl by dropping and being near to the jowl fat.

The jowl bulges can be improved in a number of ways both by utilisation of dermal filler placed judiciously, some injection techniques and also surgery either direct or by liposuction. Submental liposuction would normally be addressing fatty bulges directly under the chin in the midline of the anterior neck and not in the jowl area; you do not appear to have much in the way of fat in the submental area present so I would definitely chat to your surgeon to more precisely delineate and agree on a plan to approach your concerns.

I hope that you found this information to be helpful.

my very best wishes

Tariq Ahmad, MBBChir, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Fat pockets along jaw

Thank you for asking about your facial appearance.

Your face is quite thin and along your jaws, you appear to have enlarged masseter muscles. You might need Botox into the masseter to thin it. I see no need in this photo for liposuction of the face or neck at all. Please see a plastic surgeon for an examination and assessment before having treatment.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.