Will my buccal fat removal affect my look years later?

Should I be worried that my face will look too flat later on in life if I get my fat pads removed? I'm not super old or anything.


F, 34, New York

Tags:woman age 25-34 cheeks

I don’t think that you should worry about what will happen as you get older if you get buccal fat removed. I did the surgery last year and I’m in my late fifties. I just got tired of looking in the mirror and seeing my chubby face staring back at me, so I went for the surgery. Now I look great. I even have cheekbones! It’s like getting a whole new look. I’ve read that some doctors say the reason our faces look wrinkled when we get older is that we lose the fat in our face. I think that logic is faulty because not every older person has a sagging face. Maybe some of how we look in old age has to do with our diet and lifestyle, or maybe it's a hereditary issues. Personally, I’d rather take my chances and look good now. At worst, I’ll get it fixed through surgery later on.

Both my sister and my mom have had buccal fat removal and it taught me a lot about the process itself. So, my sister (who is 27 and had her fat removal 3 years ago) has always been incredibly happy. She has one of those really full faces that no matter how skinny she actually is she always looks like a fat chipmunk. I'm not trying to be mean, it's just how she looked before she had this done.

After she had this procedure done she was so much happier and she felt like she looked more her age and she stopped complaining about looking "too fat." However, my mom (who is 58) had this procedure done 2 years ago because she has similar cheeks and has always struggled with them. She loved them for the first year but this year she's actually having fat put back in.

It's because as you age, or if you're older, you're going to find that you're not going to have enough fat to keep wrinkles from forming. So, long story short, you probably will love your buccal fat removal if you are younger but will find as you age that you don't love it anymore and will need to get fat injected back into your face.

It honestly depends on whether or not you maintain the same weight that you are when you have the surgery. If you have this procedure done and then gain weight you're going to build more fat deposit on your cheeks anyways. If you stay at the same weight rage then it's going to look the same for a while before you have to start thinking about additional issues.

What I have heard is that this procedure can make it easier to develop wrinkles on the face. That's because it's removing the stuff that keeps your skin plumped out and looking more youthful. I think that this issue can be lessened by using a comprehensive skin care routine regardless of how old you are but I would think that eventually, you would need to have a filler injected to ensure that your face looks like you would want it to.

All cosmetic surgery is going to make you look different down the line. I asked my doctor about how I'll look when I'm 40 or 50 (about a decade or 2 after my procedure) and he did tell me that I would have a greater chance of wrinkling. I have already started to address that through a high-quality skin care regimen and avoiding spending too much time in the sun.

I do know that there's a greater chance that I will want to have fat injections done on my cheeks once I'm older, which I think is kind of hilarious given that I had fat removed. That doesn't particularly bother me though, and if you're young enough you will only have to deal with it in a few decades anyway.

Before I had buccal fat removal, I had the classic baby face with overly chubby cheeks. It made me very self-conscious, especially when I would go out on dates. After the surgery, my oversized cheeks turned into, what I consider, normal sized cheeks. The procedure gave my face contour and made me look younger. It made a noticeable difference in my appearance without it being obvious what I had done. Many people have told me how great I look and ask what I've done differently because they cannot figure it out. It's been a year since my procedure and I haven't experienced any flatness and it hasn't made me look older.