Dr. John Mesa is a Harvard-trained, triple fellowship-trained plastic surgeon who is known for his extraordinary surgical techniques and stunning results. His specialty is cosmetic plastic surgery for the face and neck. He is known for delivering premier, individualized care and for achieving consistently beautiful, natural-looking results. Dr. Mesa has had extensive fellowship training at top educational institutions, including Harvard. His strong credentials have given him a unique set of skills for cosmetic plastic surgery. Haute Beauty chats with Dr. John Mesa on how a buccal fat removal procedure can remove chubby cheeks to achieve a chiseled facial look.
HB: What is Buccal Fat Removal?
Buccal Fat Removal is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure to remove chubby cheeks or “chipmunk cheeks” in order to achieve a model-like and/or celebrity-like chiseled facial look. Buccal Fat Removal helps patients with a “chubby” smile to have a thinner face when smiling. It also allows having a less round, more V-shaped facial appearance.
Photo Credit: ShutterstockHB: What is a buccal fat pad?
The buccal fat pad is a distinct pocket of fat located on the lower anterior cheeks that commonly causes chubby cheeks or “round” faces. These fat pads tend to be enlarged in certain families (genetically inherited). They also tend to increase in size with aging and weight gain. In most patients, these fat pads are resistant to a decrease in size with diet and exercise.
HB: Who is a good candidate for Buccal Fat Removal and who is not?
Patients that are good candidates for buccal fat removal are adults of almost any age who have chubby cheeks, have high cheekbones, have minimal facial skin sagging, and would like to achieve a chiseled facial look. Patients that don’t have high cheekbones can become candidates if they enhance their cheekbones with cheek fillers prior to the procedure. Patients that have chubby cheeks that are reluctant to decrease in diet and exercise are also generally candidates for the buccal fat removal procedure.
Patients that are generally not good candidates for buccal fat removal are patients with chubby cheeks and weak cheekbones who opt to NOT enhance their cheekbones with cheek fillers or implants; patients with jowls who wish to correct their jowls with the buccal fat removal procedure; and people with excessive facial skin sagging (that want to have a “facelift-like result with buccal fat removal”).
Photo Credit: ShutterstockHB: What is the Buccal Fat Removal surgery like?
The Buccal Fat Removal surgery in my practice is performed under local anesthesia (wide awake) in the outpatient setting. The procedure takes about 45 minutes and it is painless. Patients may feel some pulling and pushing in the surgical area but NOT pain. Since the procedure is performed under purely local anesthesia, they can commute in and out for the procedure by themself by driving, taking rideshares, public transportation. Patients also can fly in and out the same day of the procedure (there are no restrictions to fly right after undergoing buccal fat removal).
HB: What is the recovery like?
Recovery is mainly associated with cheek swelling that could last between 1-2 days to 7 days. The procedure is not really painful. Any post-surgical discomfort is usually addressed with Tylenol (acetaminophen), and/or ibuprofen. Patients are recommended to refrain from exercising for 2 weeks after surgery to avoid exercise-induced-swelling of the surgical site. Patients start seeing results as early as the 3rd-week post-procedure. The final results are seen in 3 months after.
HB: Do you think celebrities and models undergo the Buccal Fat Removal Procedure?
Most models and celebrities tend to have very chiseled facial appearances due to their inherited genetics (they were born like that). However, there is a (big) group of models and celebrities that have to undergo buccal fat removal to achieve their chiseled high fashion look. That is clearly evident when you search on the internet before and after pictures of certain celebrities and you find that before they had chubby cheeks and after they are chiseled (don’t have chubby cheeks) while maintaining the same body habitus (weight). Personally, I have performed the procedure on multiple models and celebrities. For the purposes of confidentiality, they will not be named.