Buccal Fat Removal: A Hot Plastic Surgery Trend
I perform about 3-5 buccal fat removals a week, which, for even the busiest surgeons, is a crazy number. As the surgery has gotten more and more popular, what many novice surgeons and perhaps even patients are surprised by is how common it is for men to want to have the cheek fat removal procedure done.
Male Plastic Surgery: by the numbers
Generally speaking, according to the most recent American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons annual data, only 8% of plastic surgery is male. When you look at the overall numbers; however, year by year we are slowly seeing an increase in the number of males willing to go under the knife.
The Male Psyche and Plastic Surgery
There is a classic meme above that is not too far from the truth. As a facial plastic surgeon, I have sat with patients and together analyzed facial features. Aside from hair, males rarely exhibit the level of self-criticism or even self-awareness that our female counterparts do. When we look at the procedures that men are willing to undergo, for the most part, they have an easy recovery and cost less.
What is Cheek Fat Reduction?
Cheek fat reduction, or formally buccal fat removal, is a procedure in which a small pocket of fat is removed in the lower midface in order to reduce the appearance of chubby cheeks, baby cheeks, or a round face. This is all done from inside the mouth, with just a numbing shot, and in under 30 minutes. It is impossible for even a plastic surgeon to tell the procedure has been done. Overall, the surgery is relatively pain-free, is accompanied by an easy recovery, and is not outrageously priced. The long-term results are subtle and with all of these characteristics, one can easily see why it would be attractive to a patient.
Buccal Fat Removal Cost
In general, men tend to care just as much as women about the cost of the procedure. I have anecdotally heard that it can be done for under $100 in Mexico border clinics. That being said for those not that brave, the procedure typically runs from $1000-$6000. While the procedure is considered safe overall, patient selection is very important.
Why is Cheek Fat Removal popular among men?
This question took me a while to figure out. I didn’t think most men would have thought about their cheeks, let alone have the ability to know this procedure even exists. Thank god for the internet! I slowly have learned that many men in their late 20’s wish to look more mature. This goes against the general adage of plastic surgery which to to make one look younger; however, I can see why someone would want to be labeled “hot” over cute. The subtle change in cheek contour after a cheek fat reduction can certainly do the trick.
Buccal Fat Removal 10 years later
One of the most common fears about buccal fat removal is: “Will buccal fat removal make me look old?” The short answer is that it adds contour to the face and does not CAUSE sagging; but in general, we do consider contour to be associated with an older look. When this becomes an issue is when sagging does NATURALLY occur and the enhanced contour (loss of volume adjacent to a bone) can emphasize this. The solution is not to add in volume but rather to lift the fallen tissues. This is why we so often see surgeons performing buccal fat removal in combination with a facelift.
Male Cheek Fat Removal Surgeon
Finding a surgeon who has an aesthetic eye and understands the differences in how buccal fat removal affects men versus women is key in getting good results. In general, men have thicker skin and will require a more aggressive amount of removal to see results. In addition male buccal fat removal surgery is more complex with harder to find fat and more bleeding. For that reason, it is advised to go to the best buccal fat removal surgeon who performs surgery on men. Ask to see male specific before and afters during your consultation.