It is no secret that facelift surgery continues to be the best way to get a major refresher. The facelift is not the extreme-tightening and lifting procedure it once was. Chances are you know or have met someone who has had a completely discreet facelift. Surgeons now operate with the intent of restoring the youthfulness of the face without the patient looking “done.” Treatment focuses on the lower face to correct jowls, loose neck and chin skin, and submental fullness known as a double-chin. While the surgical technique can improve the jawline and creases that form around the nose and mouth, it may not resolve the little bit of fat that diminishes mid-face contouring. To create stronger cheekbones, it may be beneficial to plan buccal fat pad removal to coincide with a facelift.
What Is Buccal Fat?
The lower cheek area needs a bit of fullness. The body naturally provides this with small pieces of fat called buccal fat. The pads of fat are situated in the inside aspect of the cheek, close to the mouth. Buccal fat may give someone a “baby face” or what is often called chipmunk cheeks. When correcting the signs of aging in the lower face, large pads of buccal fat can present a challenge. In our office near Las Vegas, patients can address this problem with a tiny tweak to their facelift procedure.
Facelift surgery focuses on tightening and smoothing the lower face. It does so by repositioning deep-plane tissue higher on the bone structure of the mid-face. This movement of muscle and connective tissue alleviates sagging along the jawline and upper neck and chin. Including buccal fat pad removal further accentuates the youthful nature of the face by eliminating puffiness below the cheekbones.
Buccal fat is removed through a small incision on each side of the inner cheek (inside the mouth). The fat is dense and contained as a pad, so removal is quite fast and gentle. The incisions are closed and heal quickly. After the fat has been removed, muscle and skin are then addressed through the standard facelift incisions made in front of and around the ears.