Q: I am a fit 24 year-old guy but I don’t like the look of my cheeks. They are definitely chubby and they don’t fit my face or the rest of my body. I would to get rid of my chubby cheeks, All my family have chubby cheeks and they don’t look good on them either. I have read on the internet about different cheek procedures such as excision of the bichat fat pad, liposuction and smartlipo? Can you please tell me what to do?
A: Chubby cheeks or fullness in the cheeks is caused by excess fat in two different areas not just one. The upper submalar area (right below the prominence of the cheekbone) is where the buccal fat pad (formally known as Bichat’s fat pad) lives. The lower submalar area, unlike the buccal fat pad, is not one large piece of localized fat but is composed of diffuse subcutaneous fat. (fat layer between the skin and the buccinator muscle) A buccal lipectomy which is done from a small incision inside the mouth will help reduce the size of the area right under the cheek. But a buccal lipectomy will not change the fullness below that in the lower submalar area closer to the level of the mouth. These are perioral mounds which can be reduced by very small cannula liposuction done from inside the corners of the mouth. Both locations of fat removal are needed to get the best reduction of chubby cheeks.
Dr. Barry Eppley