Does Buccal Fat Removal Accelerate Facial Skin Aging?

Patients are often concerned that buccal fat removal will age them. While a completely valid fear, premature aging as a result of this procedure typically occurs only after improperly performed surgeries. Removing too much buccal fat can make the face look gaunt and aged. This is why it is crucial to find an experienced plastic surgeon. An excellent surgeon will know how much buccal fat to remove to make you look good now and keep you looking good as you age.

How Does Buccal Fat Removal Affect Facial Skin Aging? 

We naturally lose fat in our faces as we age, and this includes a shrinking of the buccal fat pads. Because of this, an overzealous removal of buccal fat can cause you to age prematurely, leaving the skin on your cheeks sagging and hollow as your remaining buccal fat starts to deteriorate.  

If you have chubby cheeks and truly are a good candidate for buccal fat removal, a qualified plastic surgeon can remove enough buccal fat to improve your facial appearance now without taking so much that your skin ages prematurely later. In some cases, however, some light liposuction or another procedure may be a better option. While a second opinion is never a bad idea, don’t pursue buccal fat removal if an experienced and respected plastic surgeon advises against the procedure.

At What Age Do You Start Losing Buccal Fat Naturally? 

Typically, we accumulate facial fat between the ages of 10 and 20 and then gradually lose some every year until we reach about 50 years of age. Some people don’t start losing this fat until they’re closer to 30. While everyone is different, most people lose about 3 CCs of fat every year.

What is the Best Age to Get Buccal Fat Removal? 

As a general rule, plastic surgeons recommend that you wait until you are between 18 and 20 for buccal fat removal. Before that your body is still growing and potentially accumulating buccal fat or, depending on your growth pattern, getting ready to grow out of the baby-faced chubby cheek stage.  

Don’t wait too long for this procedure, though. You will lose buccal fat as you age, but you will also lose some skin elasticity. If your skin isn’t elastic enough, it may sag after buccal fat removal rather than snapping back into place tautly over your new cheek contour. If this happens, you and your surgeon may need to consider J-Plasma or another skin tightening technique.

Buccal Fat Removal Alternatives 

If you still have concerns about the effects of buccal fat removal, be aware that it isn’t your only option. At Mia Aesthetics, we offer skin tightening through J-Plasma which can correct sagging skin in your cheeks and other parts of your face. Chin liposuction and neck lifts can both make you look younger and give the face a slimmer appearance. If smile lines and wrinkles are a concern for you, a facelift may be a good option. Sometimes we can perform several of these procedures together to sculpt the look you want and address all of your concerns in one surgery.

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