Could Facial Liposuction Help with my Cheeks?

I have overly thick pads of fat at the "front" of my cheeks; when I diet I lose from the "back", around my cheekbones, but never at the front. I hate the way they look, and also the way they feel; they seem to retain water at times, and then they feel "swollen", although their appearance doesn't change much. I'm well within my ideal weight range, and don't want to lose much more. Both my parents have heavy, jowly faces, so I'm pretty sure I know where this is going eventually. 28, female. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 24

Facial liposuction for cheeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your smiling photo bunches up your cheeks making my assessment difficult. You
are young and there is usually greater fullness in the region of the cheeks in younger people. Nevertheless, barring any unusual medical problems, the contour of your cheek is most likely your inherited anatomical trait. I do not feel that there are any good beneficial treatments to reduce fullness of the cheeks.

I do not feel that facial liposuction makes any significant improvement in reducing the fullness of the cheeks. There are cases where it can actually increase the fullness due to added swelling from the procedure. It may even create a distortion. I recommend that you heed great caution before undergoing any invasive procedures to reduce the prominence of your cheeks. By the way, in looking at your photo, you happen to be very pretty.

Full frontal cheeks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You should schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. You might get referred to them via a physician who takes care of you. If your volume were indeed fat, and you have it removed, you might be unhappy when you're older and you can't maintain a young appearance because of the hollowness of the cheeks. Liposuction might create problems in the face which are not common elsewhere, such as nerve injury, parotid duct injury or irregular indentations. If it is done, it should be done by a very experienced and conservative surgeon. The cause of your fullness, might not be fat volume. It might be partially or completely due to an enlarged muscle that we use to chew food. Such a hypertrophic masseter muscle could be made flatter by an expert treating it with botulinum toxin (Botox or Dysport). You would need an examination to determine three-dimensionally the cause of your unhappiness. Don't rush into any treatment and make sure you understand all the possible risks. Good luck.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Hard to see if there is an issue from this photograph

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The photo you have provided with your face in a full smile bunching up the cheek fat. You honestly look great in this picture. It would be much more useful to have a photograph of you with your face at rest.

Facial liposuction can be performed in a very focal manner. It is important to recognize that not all fat in the face is bad. I would also agree that you don't have a lot of weight to loose. My best advice is to be careful what you look for because you might just find it. What I mean by this, is if you convince yourself that what you need is facial liposuciton and go out and ask for it, you will find someone to do it - right or wrong.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Facial contouring

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question and your photo.  Liposuction in the face is most effective in the neck and under the chin, and decidedly less precise for contouring the cheeks.  Your neck and jawline are already quite attractive.  Direct excision of buccal fat pads, done through incisions inside the mouth, might be a reasonable option for sculpting your cheeks. 

The enemy of good.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
You look well! Although further photographic views are necessary to accurately answer your question, midcheek/malar area liposuction is unusual and highly prone to contour irregularities as complications.  Indeed, most patients are seeking increased volume to these areas (fat transfer, cheek implants, etc). With my limited assessment, I would recommend you consult an American Board of Plastic Surgery Surgeon, but proceed with caution......

Liposuction of the cheeks is seldom indicated.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In your photo, you're smiling which makes evaluation impossible.  I almost never suction cheeks because loss of fat with age occurs and suctioning it makes little sense.  Sometimes the buccal fat pad can be decreased in size but these are very unusual cases.

Liposuction of the cheeks should be done with caution

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

When I look at your photo of the cheek area, the area of fullness is the upper middle part of the
cheek, and generally here liposuction needs to be done very cautiously because obviously there is a lot
of nerves that run underneath the skin surface.

Also, Facial Liposuction needs to be done very carefully
because you can get more contour irregularities of the cheeks, i.e. indentations in that area.
Occasionally the area right above the smile line, in some people can be very very thick and a small
amount of liposuction can be done with a microsuction with a small cannula. But generally Liposuction
on the cheek should be done with caution.

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Surgical sculpting of the face

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Correction of full cheek can definitely be achieved with a well planned and executed surgery.  Liposuction of the cheek areas needs to be done in a precise fashion, so as not to produce irregularities of the cheeks.  This area is very unforgiving and requires expertise and experience to achieve the desired result.  In addition, on occasion a very specific area of the cheek, buccal fat pad, needs to be addressed.  Make sure that your surgeon carefully assesses your cheek anatomy to choose the best surgical approach.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Facial liposuction is to be avoided

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Liposuction along neck and jawlines can be very satisfying in bringing about neck tightening and contouring. However, liposuction of cheeks or anywhere else on the face is not advisable for risk of nerve injury. In addition, the ideal complexion is one that has fuller volume along the upper 1/2 of the face which you currently have. You may have regret in a couple years if you have excess facial subcutaneous tissue removed, e.g. buccal fat pad removal, as hollow cheeks can be a sign of aging.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Different options in facial contouring

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Liposuction is a popular and effective way to contour the body. However, for the areas of your cheeks liposuction is not recommended. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in facial rejuvenation, cheek lifts, face lifts and dermal fillers. They will be able to examine your face and determine which combination of treatments will help you meet your aesthetic goals.

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.