I was born with a lot of fat on my face, people always tell me I have a "baby face". I'm 26 and I had my buccal fat pads removed, which has helped. The only problem is that I have excess fat/tissue along my jawline. I don't know if there's enough to actually do a lower facelift, but there's too much of it to fix with just laser treatments or other skin-tightening procedures. What are my options?
Options for Getting Rid of "Baby Face"?
Doctor Answers 8
Buccal fat excision
For patients with a baby face, especially patients over 30, it may be possible to reduce the buccal fat pads. This can establish a nice cheekbone-cheek contour. Of course, the overall facial symmetry should be evaluated. Chubby cheeks may arise from a deficient cheekbone area, so removal of the buccal fat pads might not be right for that patient.
The buccal fat pad can be easily accessed from inside the mouth.
For years, there has been resistance to removing the buccal fat pads, because of the fear of hollowness during old age. However, the buccal fat pads atrophy anyway over time. Also, you see photographs of many of the parents of patients requesting buccal fat pad removal, and the parents still have "chipmunk cheek" look, even in their 50's, 60's and 70's!
We have found removal or reduction of the buccal fat pad to be valuable in the right patient.
Baby face: Is there a problem?
A clear majority of my patients would love to switch places with you. If you look 30 years ahead, your "baby face" will be your most admired asset. I agree with Dr. Wallach's answer. Don't be too hasty in removing facial fat, because in the long term, it may cause you to age faster.
Liposuction above the jawline is a no-no, below the jawline may help to create a more angular face. Implants can take a way the rounded look you do not like. The combination of cheek implants and a chin implant can help in this regard. Of course, this is all hypothetical and your own facial features may not improve with this advice.
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Facial fat atrophy occurs with age
Without seeing photographs or examining you in person, it is very difficult to answer this question. In general, defatting a face is not a good idea unless it is extremely excessive. Remember as you age, the face usually undergoes changes that may cause facial fat atrophy. If surgery is performed at this age to remove fat, you may have an advanced aged look when you are a bit older, which is not pleasing.
Fat in the right places
I am glad you are happy with your buccal fat pad removal. It sounds like you were a good candidate. One option is liposculpting (liposuction of jaw and chin). This can help define your jaw line. Without photos it is hard to comment on fat grafting but this is also an option in young people.
It may seem counter intuitive to add fat when you say your problem is fat cheeks. What we do is add fat around the cheeks to the side of the highest and most projected point of the cheek bone and taper it to the lower face. This helps to camouflage overly chubby cheeks. This is especially helpful in thin women and in combination with buccal fat pad removal is a powerful maneuver. All of this can be done in clinic with some calming medications and local anesthesia.
I recommend getting a consult with a surgeon who does this procedure frequently to get a full facial analysis to make sure your specific goals are addressed.
Hope this helps.
Best of luck.
Options after buccal fat
Buccal Fat Removal
Buccal Fat, Baby Face and Aging.
Thank you for your question. Overall, the face is a delicate and a complex area of the body where the smallest facial procedures could reflect considerable facial changes. It is important to note that with age progression, buccal fat atrophy will take place at various intensities depending on multiple factors.
With that perspective, de-fatting your face is best performed by a well experienced surgeon who can preserve your natural looks and the “identity” of your face by removing just the appropriate amount of buccal fat.
Without your examination and your photographs, it is not possible to go over your case in more details and show the best of your facial features.
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.