Will Perioral Mound Liposuction Make My Face Thinner?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to remove fat from both sides of chin and redefine my jawline and make my face symmetric again. I had a procedure 3 months ago to remove fat from my cheeks (bichat fat) in order to make it look thinner. I did not attain the expected results as my face doesn’t look thinner but is now asymmetric and it looks like I have a lot of fat on both sides of my chin (makes me look older!). Can you please help?

A: Often surgeons think that taking out the buccal fat pads will make a face thinner when the fullness problem is actually much lower. There are two separate fat compartments between the cheek and the jawline, the well encapsulated globular buccal fat pads located just under the cheek bone and the more superficial and less volume perioral mounds located just under the skin besides the corner of the mouth and extending down to the jawline. Since I have no idea what you looked like before their removal, I can not say whether removing the buccal fat pads was truly the main cause of your facial fullness concerns. But the subcutaneous fat around the mouth and chin (perioral mounds) now looks fuller because it remains unchanged as the area above it where the buccal fat pads are is now thinner. It may be that microliposuction of this fat area would complete the ‘project’ and should help. Whether any fat should be replaced due to the asymmetry above caused by the buccal fat pad removal may be a solution to also consider. It is either that or do further removal on the fuller side. That choice is a matter of your aesthetic judgment.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana