Reducing the cheeks is a surgical procedure to make the lower face appear thinner by removing buccal fat.
What is a Cheek Reduction?
This is a plastic surgery procedure to eliminate chipmunk cheeks and chubby cheeks. It involves making incisions inside the mouth and removing the buccal fat from the cheek membranes. This procedure is appropriate for those who have a round face contour which is resistant to diet and exercise.
Is Cheek Reduction Done Using Liposuction?
No. There is a difference between cheek reduction and facial liposuction to reduce chubby cheeks. Cheek reduction is a specific plastic surgery procedure which involves incisions inside the mouth whereas liposuction can leave visible scarring externally. Liposuction suctions out the fat using a cannula (a thin vacuum rod). On the other hand cheek reduction is a surgical procedure where the surgeon removes buccal fat from the inside of the cheek with forceps or surgical tweezers.
Is a Cheek Reduction Suitable for All Ages?
Cheek reductions are most commonly performed on people in their 30s and 40s. As we age, the human face typically loses some of its fat and starts to thin out. This usually occurs in the late 20s. If you are considering having your cheeks reduced before your mid 20s you need to be aware of the possibility of your face naturally thinning out after the operation. This could drastically alter the surgical results, making your face appear unnaturally skinny and disproportionate to the rest of your body.
A good indication may be to look at your family members to see if your round cheeks are hereditary in your family. If so, then your face may not thin out naturally, indicating that the procedure would be quite safe to perform. However, there is still a risk of our cheeks losing some fat in time and accordingly cheek reduction may not be appropriate if you are under the age 25.
You must be aware that removing buccal fat is irreversible. Since the fat is contained in membranes, it cannot be replaced once it’s been removed. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise whether the procedure is suitable depending on your individual circumstances.
Asian Cheek Reduction
Not all Asian people have the same facial structure. However, many have fuller faces with prominent cheekbones and very excessive cheek fat, creating a very round looking facial contour. Plastic surgeons can utilise two procedures to reduce this kind of facial profile. A cheekbone reduction can reduce the size of the upper portion of the mid-face, whilst excising buccal fat can slim out the lower portion of the mid-face. Utilizing these two procedures can create a more aesthetically pleasing contour for rounded Asian faces.
Does a Cheek Reduction Hurt?
You should not experience any pain during the operation. Usually a local anesthetic is used. Once the anesthetic wears off, you will experience mild to moderate discomfort. Your face will feel tight and tender and you will have swelling and bruising. You will be prescribed pain medications to alleviate some of the discomfort. You can help the healing process and avoid aggravating the pain by taking it easy and sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows.
Pronounced facial movements including talking may cause pain for the first few days. You will most likely be on a liquid diet for the first couple of days. Try to keep your tongue away from the incision site to avoid affecting the stitches and unnecessary pain.
Can I Avoid a Cheek Reduction Through Face Exercises?
If you are overweight, then weight loss through diet and exercise commonly reduces fat in the facial region as well. However, if your chipmunk cheeks are hereditary it is extremely difficult to reduce cheek fat just by losing weight.
There are various facial exercises which can be done. For example, you can suck your cheeks inward whilst keeping the lips closed. Do this one cheek at a time, hold, release and repeat on the other side. You should try this together with other recommended cheek exercises before you consider surgery. There is no guarantee that these facial movements will reduce chubby cheeks to your desired state, however it is a non invasive option to try first.
How to Find the Best Cheek Reduction Surgeon
Cheek Reduction is a plastic surgery procedure which requires specialty training and experience. Although any doctor can be a cosmetic surgeon and claim to practice in plastic surgery, invasive surgeries should only be done by a plastic surgeon that is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To ensure your surgeon is also experienced in cosmetic surgery, find out if they are a member of the ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). If the surgeon does not have hospital privileges for the procedure, make sure that the surgeon’s facility is accredited, state licensed or certified by Medicare.
Be sure to ask your doctor which procedures they specialize in, where they trained and how many treatments they’ve performed. Obtain lots of before and after photos of patients they’ve treated for the same area using this technique.
Even if a plastic surgeon has the right credentials, this does not mean they will be good at reducing chubby cheeks. Apart from researching their formal qualifications and training, try to find customer reviews to see the overall satisfaction rate of your potential doctor. Independent recommendations are invaluable for assessing the best doctor or surgeon who is most experienced in the treatment. Don’t be tempted to opt for the cheapest cost without considering the above factors. A cheap center may not offer the experience you desire. Also, you may wish to consider whether you feel more comfortable with a female or male physician.
How Much Does Cheek Reduction Cost? Price Information
Price Range: $$ affordable $$$ moderate $$$$ high-priced
Price Indicator: $$$$
Cost of Cheek Reduction: $3,500 - $6,000
Average Cost: $4,750
Fees Include: Surgeon fees, anaesthetic, operating room fees, surgery garments
Cost Variables: Prices vary depending on the amount of buccal fat required to be removed, your individual facial contour and the roundness of your cheeks.
Health Insurance: Having your cheeks reduced is a cosmetic elective procedure which is not covered by private medical insurance plans.
Medicare/Medicaid: Not covered – cosmetic procedure.
Hospital Fee: Not included in the above prices. If patients opt to have the procedure done in hospital, additional hospital fees apply.
Facility Fees: Included in the above prices.
Ask the clinic for the total cost including physician fees, anesthesia, facility or hospital fees, patient garments, follow up visits and whether any discounts apply.
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