Can My Face Be Slimmed Down By Liposuction?

Q: I am a former patient of Dr. Eppley. I had buccal fat removal and love my results… however, I am still interested in having facial liposuction to sculpt my cheeks out a bit. I am wondering if he can do this and this is possible.

A: The removal of the buccal fat pads is the largest fat depot that can be surgically removed on the face aside from the neck. Its removal creates a slimming change in but one region of the face, the submalar region or the area right below the cheek bones. There are no other distinct or encapsulated fat areas to remove on the face. The rest and majority of facial fat is located in the subcutaneous level or right under the skin. This is much more difficult to remove and can only be addressed by small cannula liposuction. Many such facial fat areas are not even treatable by liposuction.

When patients seek a slimming effect of the face, they often are referring to the side of the face from the cheeks down to the jaw line. This leaves a lot of facial areas beyond the submalar or buccal fat region. Most of these areas can be treated by liposuction if done carefully and not done too deep. The buccal branches of the facial nerve lie on top of the muscle layer just underneath and injury to them should obviously be avodied. The question is not whether it can be done, but whether any significant change can be achieved. In general you can not make a wholesale facial slimming change by facial liposuction but small discrete areas may be able to be improved.    

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana