Have you ever been told you have a babyface, chipmunk cheeks, chubby cheeks, or you “look so young”? If you’ve heard these things and you’ve felt frustrated by them, then the chances are you have excess buccal fat on your face – and maybe even a double chin to match, which is what really gives the impression that you have a “soft” face. You should know that at Steven H Dayan, MD in Chicago, IL the solution for this problem is buccal fat removal.
Does Buccal Fat Removal Help With a Double Chin?
Absolutely. Buccal fat removal can also help remove a double chin and contour your face into a more mature, slim, and streamlined version of yourself. Buccal fat removal is a plastic surgery procedure that can shave off, sculpt, or entirely remove the buccal fat pads from your cheeks, which can have the added bonus of contouring your face into an ideal shape.
Adding double chin removal to your treatment is simple and commonly done for patients who have an overall “round” appearance.
How Does Buccal Fat Relate to a Double Chin?
There are a couple of reasons why excess fat in the cheeks might emphasize excess fat beneath the chin. For one thing, excess fat in the cheeks can add extra weight to your face, which blurs your jawline and can give the illusion of your cheek fat being directly connected to your under-chin fat.
Surgery that removes buccal fat and a double chin is sometimes called the “ultimate double chin treatment”, as it accomplishes the task of slimming the face out from two directions. This treatment is more comprehensive than having either procedure as a stand-alone surgery.
How Does Buccal Fat Removal Work?
This is a surgical procedure which means it will involve precise incisions into the buccal fat, or the fat pads, of your cheeks to remove the desired amount of excess fat.
If you choose to also have a procedure to slim down or remove your double chin, additional incisions will be made at this time so you can enjoy a more cohesive result after you are healed from the procedure. This procedure will also involve the use of local or general anesthesia, like most other plastic surgeries.
What Can You Expect Before, During, and After the Procedure?
Whether you’re seeking to only remove buccal fat pads or you intend to remove excess submental fat, also fat beneath the chin, you can expect a few common steps from your procedure, including:
Every plan to have plastic surgery first starts with a comprehensive consultation to evaluate your qualifications for the procedure. We will go over your expectations for the procedure, give you information and education about the procedure, and your ultimate aesthetic goals. The goal of the consultation is to make sure you and your plastic surgeon are on the same page, which is why you might consider bringing reference photos to your consultation.
Part of your consultation will also include gathering other information about you, such as your medical history, your current medications, any drug allergies you have, and your history of past surgeries. Please be honest during this portion of your consultation so your surgery can be planned safety for your health and recovery.
Although your surgeon will give you specific directions on how you can prepare for your treatment, there are a few general pre-procedure instructions you can expect to follow, including:
- Temporarily discontinue blood-thinning medications
- Do not use alcohol or tobacco products 24-48 hours before surgery
- Fast before your treatment
A stand-alone procedure to remove buccal fat will only require local anesthesia and can be expected to take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Buccal fat procedures that are combined with double chin treatments may take longer. The specifications of your sedation and expected procedure time will be determined by your surgeon.
Your surgeon may give you specific directions on how to sleep or eat during your recovery period after your procedure. A few general post-procedure instructions include:
- No heavy lifting or strenuous activity
- Stay on a liquid diet
- Do not use alcohol or tobacco products for at least 3 to 5 days
- Take medications as prescribed
Both the stand-alone procedure to remove excess buccal fat and the procedure to eliminate double chin allows patients to return home immediately after the procedure to begin recovery. Patients may prefer to arrange for transportation after their appointment. Your recovery may take several days, often 10 to 14 days, before you can resume all of your normal daily activities.
How Soon Will You See Results?
The results of your treatment will be apparent once you have fully recovered. However, depending on the amount of fat removed, some patients report noticing immediate slimming results in the cheeks, jawline, and under-chin areas of the face. Your optimal results will be most obvious during your follow-up appointment.
Are Results Permanent?
Yes, the results of this procedure are permanent. This is because the fat that is removed from any area of the body does not grow back given that we are each born with a predetermined number of fat cells. Fat cells, unlike skin cells, cannot regenerate, so the results of this treatment can last a lifetime, both for excess fat in the cheeks and beneath the chin.
FAQs About Buccal Fat and Double Chin
1. What Causes Buccal Fat and Double Chin?
Buccal fat and double chin often appear together, causing an undefined jawline, soft cheekbones, and an overall soft, round-faced appearance. The cause of buccal fat and double chin are well-known, as much research has narrowed the causal factors to two main variables: genetics and body weight.
Genetics is the leading cause of both buccal fat and excess fat beneath the chin. Studies show that there is a greater amount of stem cells in the cheeks that lend themselves to creating larger fat pads.
But genetics doesn’t only determine how many cells you have and how those cells behave – genetics also determine the likelihood of developing excess fat in the face based on heredity. Essentially, if your immediate blood relatives are quick to gain weight in the face or have double chins, you likely will have a harder time ridding yourself of excess facial fat.
Weight is the more obvious cause of buccal fat and under-chin fat, although it can be a misleading factor. People who have a greater body weight tend to have a higher amount of body fat to store the fuel for the cells. Because fat cells swell in response to how much fuel is stored in them, the greater your body fat composition, the more likely you are to gain excess or unwanted weight in the face.
2. Do You Have to Be Overweight to Have Excess Buccal Fat?
No. Remember that your body weight is misleading. There are many slim and active people who have excess fat beneath the chin and on the cheeks, largely due to genetic factors out of their control. If diet and exercise have proven ineffective in eliminating excess facial fat, then your genetics are likely the cause.
3. How Can You Maintain Your Results?
Although the results of this procedure are permanent because fat cells cannot grow back, there is always the slim possibility that any remaining fat cells can swell and take you right back to where you started. This is especially true for buccal fat procedures that only remove a portion of the fat pads for a subtler result.
The easiest way to maintain your results is to manage your body weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and consuming alcohol in moderation are all good ways to maintain the results of your treatment.
For women, the hormones associated with pregnancy may alter your metabolism and cause excess weight gain in the face, so family planning may be necessary to maintain your results.
4. What Are Common Reasons for the Procedure?
Patients express many reasons for seeking one or both of these procedures, and each of these reasons is valid. The most common reasons for these procedures include:
Looking Your Age
Some patients feel that their first impressions are poor due to how much younger or “babyfaced” excess fat in the cheeks makes them look. The removal of buccal fat will give you a more mature look as it gives the impression that your baby fat has finally gone away.
Other patients seek this treatment to look and feel more attractive. Feeling attractive and confident can lead to a happier life, especially for romantic relationships. These procedures will chisel and sculpt your face into a more idealized aesthetic.
5. Will Buccal Fat Go Away With Age?
No. For many people, buccal fat still stubbornly clings on well into adulthood, which can be discouraging at best. While some might be pleased that buccal fat has allowed them to look younger, at a certain point buccal fat also leads to sagging in the jowls, which can be prematurely aging and cause greater dynamic wrinkles around the nose and mouth.
6. What Other Procedures Can Go With This One?
In addition to double-chin removal, there are several other treatments that are commonly used alongside buccal fat removal. Most of these procedures have the goal of sculpting or contouring the face, including neck liposuction, cheek contouring, chin sculpting, and jawline contouring.
If you are interested in combining more than one procedure at a time, please speak with your plastic surgeon about your aesthetic goals and expectations during your consultation.
7. Are You a Good Candidate for the Procedure?
Patients who are tired of being called “babyface” or “chipmunk cheeks” are likely good candidates for this treatment. There is no standard percentage of buccal fat that needs to be present to have a removal treatment.
If you want to have slimmer and sculpted cheeks, then this procedure is right for you. Likewise, if you have excess fat beneath the chin that you feel is lending itself to a softer overall visage, you might consider this combination of procedures.
Diminish Your Double Chin With Buccal Fat Removal Today!
We each have an idealized version of how we would like to look. For those who have fuller faces, slimming the cheeks and eliminating excess fat beneath the chin is a goal that can sometimes only be reached with the help of a plastic surgeon.
It’s time to feel confident about how you look! To learn more about how buccal fat removal can help with your double chin, contact Dr. Steven Dayan or Dr. Benjamin P. Caughlin at their Chicago, IL office to schedule your consultation appointment today!