What, if Anything, Should I Do About my Chubby Cheeks? (photo)

Hi, I'm 38 and I'm really tired of people commenting on my cheeks. When I look at pictures from the neck up I look 20, 30, or more pounds larger than I am. I have a round face and I look like a number of family members. In fact, my sisters and I all look alike only I have the cheeks. I have put my time in waiting for my face to thin and it hasn't...I've only gotten better with my contouring and highlighting. What's the best course of action? I want to look natural.

Doctor Answers 3

Buccal fat removal to refine cheek contours

As we age we tend to lose fat in the face. If you are clearly not experiencing this then you may consider removing some of the fat surgically. The only fat removal in my experience that looks natural is removal of the buccal fat. This fat lies deep to the skin and its removal creates and narrowing of the lower cheeks without any risk of surface irregularities that would result from liposuction in the area. The results are subtle but safe. Something to consider.

Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Buccal fat pad 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.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Chubby cheek options

You are fortunate to have fat in your cheeks...in general people with more fat in their face tend to look younger than people who have lost a lot of facial fat...buccal fat removal could give you more a desirable heart shaped face if done properly...it should highlight the upper cheek contours by giving more definition to the low light lower cheek region...

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 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.