Buccal Fat or Loose Skin? Can Cheekbone Fillers Help the Problem at All? (photo)

Is there a quick self exam I can do to determine whether the area I'm looking at is excess fat or loose skin? I am a very healthy and skinny 19 year old male. I'm looking at my cheek area. It's not as defined as it should and I'd like to know if it's because of buccal fat that just won't budge or loose skin. (I used to be much heavier than I am now so perhaps the loss of fat left some loose skin) If you think it is the buccal fat, is there an alternative procedure? I hear bad things about B.F.R.

Doctor Answers 3

Not a good candidate for BFP reduction

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.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Buccal Fat Pad Removal at young age

Hi Jonjon1212,


It is important to note that aging causes the atrophy of the buccal fat pad; so it is crucial to be a candidate for buccal fat pad removal before considering it as a viable option, especially at young age.


Based on your photograph, it looks like you do not have "chipmunk cheeks" and you already show a defined jaw and chin, hence an oblong face.


Therefore, I recommend that you seek consultation with an experienced surgeon who will provide you with the best solution to enhance your facial features while preserving your natural appearance.


Thank you for your question and for sharing your photographs.


Best of wishes to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Buccal fat or loose skin

After evaluating your pictures none of the defects you mention are visible. Pehaps your mirror is fogged

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 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.