Liposuction on the face – procedure, risks, costs

With around 45,000 liposuctions per year in Germany (in the US, even around 260,000!), The procedure is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures in men and women. Not only the silhouette but also the face can be greatly streamlined with it. A specialist answers the most important questions.

What is liposuction?

“During liposuction, the so-called liposuction, the adipose tissue is selectively dissolved under the skin and locally aspirated with a thin cannula by the specialist,” says Dr. Susanne Steinkraus, specialist in dermatology and aesthetic medicine in Hamburg. “In this way, problem areas can be targeted and brought into the desired shape.” The very popular procedure is performed most frequently on the stomach, buttocks, hips and thighs. But the cheek area on the face can also be visibly shaped.

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What can facial liposuction do?

“An unfavorable distribution of facial fat such as very full, round cheeks (so-called chubby cheeks or hamster cheeks) and a double chin strongly characterize one’s facial expression and promote unclear facial contours,” says Dr. rock neck. “Liposuction of the cheeks can reduce the size of a large, round face. It also allows you to modify the jaw line and accentuate the jaw line, giving the overall impression of a more prominent and well defined face.”

What Happens During Cheek Liposuction?

In cheek liposuction, fat cells are specifically removed from the cheek area. “During the healing process, the skin around the treated area reshapes itself. This can streamline the face, which in turn leads to a more defined profile and a more pronounced jaw line, ”says Rock Neck Dr.

Liposuction of the cheeks is not very different from liposuction on other parts of the body and is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift.

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Cheek liposuction vs. buccal lipectomy

A distinction is made between cheek liposuction and buccal lipectomy procedure. “While both procedures remove fat from the face, buccal lipectomy involves the removal of a very specific fatty tissue in the cheek, the so-called buccal fat pad,” explains the specialist.

Facial liposuction procedure

1. Preparation

Cheek liposuction is done on an outpatient basis and usually takes about two hours. First, the doctor uses a pen to mark the cheek area that will be treated. If the results are minor, you will receive a pure local anesthetic or a local anesthetic with twilight sleep and, in rare cases, a general anesthetic, which makes the treatment itself painless. There are several techniques for removing the tissue.

2. Tumescence

Tumescence can be translated as “swelling” and is a special form of local anesthesia and is performed in preparation for liposuction. A mixture of saline, pain relievers, and epinephrine is injected into the cheek area, causing it to become stiff and swollen. This makes it easier to remove the fat.

3. Ultrasound

A small metal rod is inserted into the area which produces ultrasonic energy. This energy causes the fat cells to break down.

4. Laser

A small laser fiber is then inserted into the area to be treated, breaking down the fat.

5. Cannula

Finally, the fat is sucked from the cheek through a metal tube, a so-called cannula, to which an aspirator is attached.

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healing process

“After the procedure, you may experience temporary pain and swelling in and around the face that can be treated with over-the-counter medications,” said Dr. rock neck. “It is also a good idea to wear a compression garment for a few days while you are recovering. It is a kind of soft helmet that goes over your head and covers your jaw and neck.” Full recovery can take up to three or four weeks, but you are usually socially acceptable in 7-10 days.

For whom is facial liposuction suitable and for whom is it not?

When facial fat is removed, non-elastic skin can appear flabby and wrinkled. Additionally, liposuction can increase bruising on the skin. The treatment, therefore, is more suitable for people whose skin is supple and smooth and who have an average weight or at most slightly above average. People with thin, wrinkled skin are not good candidates for liposuction.

Additionally, you should be in general good health, with no underlying diseases such as heart disease or diabetes, and preferably a non-smoker.

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risks of processing

Temporary swelling and some discomfort are normal when recovering from liposuction and should subside as you heal. “Like any surgery, there can be complications with cheek liposuction. The risk can be increased if multiple cosmetic procedures are performed at the same time, “says Dr. Rock Neck. In rare cases, profuse bleeding can occur during the procedure, as well as an adverse reaction to anesthesia. The skin may appear flabby. or irregular after the procedure, as well as skin discoloration and accumulation of fluid under the skin (so-called seroma). In very rare cases, nerve damage can occur which can cause numbness, infections in or around the incisions and fat embolism.

“It is very important to consult a qualified specialist doctor to get the best results and avoid complications. Liposuction should really only be done by a certified plastic surgeon, “recommends the expert.

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Does the treatment have to be repeated? Does the fat come back?

With liposuction, fat cells are permanently removed from the body, which is why the treatment usually does not need to be repeated. However, if you gain weight after the procedure, it will proportionally affect your whole body. If you gain a lot of weight, new fat cells can even form in the treated area. If these again take on a disturbing volume, the liposuction can be repeated.

Cost of Facial Liposuction

The average cost of a cheek liposuction is around 1800-3000 euros and depends on the location, doctor and technique used. Since liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, the costs are not covered by health insurance.

The right surgeon

Once you have found a certified plastic surgeon, you can schedule a consultation. At this appointment it will be determined if you are a suitable candidate for liposuction and all questions, risks and details of the treatment will be clarified.

Don’t be afraid to ask all your questions and also to check the experience of the specialist. Possible questions could be:

– How many years of experience in plastic surgery do you have?
– How many years have you been performing liposuction?
– Do you have any experience with liposuction on the cheeks? If so, how many surgeries did you perform?
– Do you have any before and after photos that I can look at?


– with the expert advice of Doctor Susanne Steinkraus, Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine Practice in Hamburg

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