Can Perioral Mound Liposuction Make My Cheeks Look Sucked In?

Q: Dr. Eppley,I am interested in liposuction of the perioral mounds. The effect I am going for is what happens when I suck in my cheeks. Would the procedure produce such an effect? However, I have read that it is difficult to do liposuction in this area and that scars and asymmetric results are common. Could you also tell me more about the risks? Thank you!

A: The perioral mounds are small fat collections that lie outside of the corner of the mouth and on the lower end of the cheek area. They are not part of the buccal fat pads, as is commonly thought, but is a less defined area of subcutaneous fat between the skin and the buccinator muscle. A prominent perioral mound can be reduced by small cannula liposuction. The entrance site is just inside the corner of the mouth in the mucosa so there are not resultant scars. Generally 2 to 3 cc of fat can be aspirated from each side. I have not seen that asymmetry or skin irregularities are a problem afterwards. The only real risk of the surgery is that the effect it creates is not significant enough. While I have always seen a reduction of the perioral mounds with liposuction, it will not create the look of sucking in your cheeks. That look results because the soft tissues of the cheek are like a trampoline being suspended between the bony supports of the cheek and jawline. They can easily be pulled inward with suction but no amount of facial fat removal can create that same effect. Perioral mound liposuction is best done as part of buccal fat pad removal to create an overall better facial thinning effect.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana