Walter R. Siemian, M.D.
I was wondering about the surgery that thins out your face. I think it involves sucking the fat out of the cheeks. What does this surgery entail?
There are several surgical techniques that can be used for fat removal in the face. Some involve direct surgical excision of the fat (such as removal of fat in the jowl area during a conventional facelift) and others use lipoplasty (liposuction). In the cheek area, the most common location for excess fat removal is the cheek fat pad. The fat pad is usually removed through the mouth; it can either be teased out and excised, or gently suctioned out of its position, and then surgically removed. The pad is the size of a teaspoon in volume, so the change in facial contour is subtle. Some surgeons have concerns that removal of this fat pad may produce a gaunt look as a person ages. However, removal of the fad pad, when performed conservatively, may be appropriate for properly selected patients.