CBS NEWS – Across social media, many users, primarily younger women, are buzzing about a plastic surgery technique called buccal fat removal. While the procedure is simple and has been around for years, it’s grown in popularity for those drawn to the look of a narrow, angled facial structure.
The surgery, which is done under local anesthesia, involves incisions being made in the back of the mouth so some of the fat in the cheek area can be removed. It is nearly impossible to reverse, causing some concern among experts.
Dr. Ira Savetsky, a plastic surgeon in New York City, told CBS News that he has seen an increase in patients requesting the “irreversible” procedure, which is called a bichetomy.
“The interest in the buccal fat pad really just stems from people’s sort of obsession with having a really defined and countered jaw line,” Savetsky said.
“And I think that’s all driven from social media. In this era of selfies and just photos in general … people really started to notice, more than ever, their jawline, and buccal fat is something that is very intriguing to people.”
“It’s quite easy to remove too much, so you have to be really gentle and only remove the excess and leave a normal amount behind so that as the patient ages, they don’t age prematurely and get an overly hollow lower face.”
The surgery is purely cosmetic and does not have any medical benefits, but some people are better candidates for it than others, said Dr. Rod Rohrich, a Dallas-based plastic surgeon.
“In about one in 10 patients that come to me for buccal fat removal is (the procedure) really indicated,” Rohrich said … READ MORE.
PEOPLE – Unless you’re a plastic surgery aficionado, or you religiously follow Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram, you may have never heard of buccal fat removal.
The procedure — which involves removing fat from the cheeks to create a more contoured face — is less popular than breast augmentation, face lifts and fillers, but it’s still highly requested by patients, including Teigen.
“I did that Dr. Diamond buccal fat removal thing here,” the cookbook author and model said on her Instagram story, pointing out her newly sculpted cheek area. “And since I quit drinking,” she added, “I’m really seeing the results, and I like it.” (On Sept. 26, Teigen revealed she was 70 days sober.)
PEOPLE spoke with New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Steven M. Levine, whose subtle improvements grace some of the most famous faces and figures in the world, about the procedure. (He is not Teigen’s surgeon.) … READ MORE.