Dr. Andrew Jacono is Pictured in a Suit and Tie

Dr. Jacono Discusses Cheek Augmentation and Reduction with Katie Couric

Information about cheek augmentation and cheek reduction in New York, NY with Dr. Andrew Jacono.

A New Focus on the Cheeks

Illustration of a Cheekbone

In today’s world of beauty, everything seems to be about volume. Whether it be rounder buttocks, thicker thighs, or better-sculpted faces, the volume has become synonymous with social media success.

For the last few years, the Brazilian butt lift has been the hottest procedure on the plastic surgical market. This is due in large part to the body-positive movement and the support of certain social media juggernauts. In short, bigger, and rounder has come to mean better.

The Brazilian butt lift is still extremely popular, though, in the last few months, a different kind of cheek has become the latest focus: the one on the face.

“Recently, more people have come to my office asking for chin and cheek modification treatments than ever before,” says Dr. Jacono. “Many want augmentations, though some want reductions. Their decisions generally depend on their cultural idols and level of activity on social media.”

Ozempic: An Unexpected Influence

One of the most surprising influences on the recent cheek craze is Ozempic. This injection is normally used to treat diabetes and obesity but is now being used as a weight-loss miracle drug. Spikes in demand have caused widespread shortages, putting those with health conditions at risk.

“Ozempic isn’t meant to be used to lose small amounts of weight,” says Dr. Jacono. “It is specifically used to treat people who are 50 to 100 pounds overweight and have limited options.”

Worse, those who use Ozempic as a weight-loss remedy have noticed facial changes. Because Ozempic sparks fat loss, the face can become hollower and looser, which mimics natural aging. Contrary to popular belief, body fat serves important functions, including insulation and cholesterol regulation. It is also incredibly important for graceful aging.

“Generally speaking, when it comes to getting older, fat is your friend,” says Dr. Jacono. “It keeps your face looking full, youthful, and attractive.”

Because of Ozempic’s unintended side effects, many have turned to cosmetic procedures that restore volume. These treatments include dermal filler injections like Radiesse and Sculptra, which smooth pockets and wrinkles. Results last between 9 and 12 months, and the price per syringe is a few hundred dollars. Others looking for more dramatic results opt for procedures like a deep-plane facelift. Outcomes last between 10 and 15 years, though the price is steeper. Some surgeons charge upwards of $75,000 for this complex surgery.

“Facial hollowing is best treated by either minimally invasive or surgical intervention,” says Dr. Jacono. “Facial fillers are great for those looking for temporary fixes. However, they can become expensive in the long run, especially if patients return for maintenance injections. Facelifts, on the other hand, provide much more comprehensive results in a single payment. Of course, the choice is ultimately up to the patient. Either way, results are strong.”

Buccal Fat Removal

For every person looking to add volume is another looking to remove it. Those who have naturally fuller faces can undergo a surgical procedure known as buccal fat removal. Buccal fat is a pad of fatty tissue between the cheek and jawbone. It plays a major role in shaping the face.

“Unlike other types of fat, buccal fat is static,” explains Dr. Jacono. “In other words, it is unaffected by exercise and diet regimens. It can only be reduced through direct surgical manipulation. What’s interesting is that this procedure has seen a steep rise in popularity recently. In the last year or so, I’ve had a staggering number of patients ask me to remove or reduce their buccal fat.”

Buccal fat removal is a relatively simple procedure. Dr. Jacono makes small incisions within the mouth, exposes the buccal fat pads, and either removes them entirely or cuts away excess. The result is a more attractive, angular-looking face without undesirable fullness. What’s more, buccal fat removal is permanent. It cannot grow back after being removed or trimmed.

Cheek Augmentation vs. Reduction

What exactly is the difference between those looking to slim their cheeks and those looking to augment them?  What is the difference between cheek augmentation and cheek reduction procedures?

“Age largely determines what patients want or desire,” says Dr. Jacono. “Those with hollower cheeks are often in their 40s and 50s. They have lost significant weight or have aged to a point where their natural facial fullness has diminished. Those seeking buccal fat surgery, on the other hand, tend to be in their late 20s to early 40s. They usually have a heavier lower mid-face and want more angularity.”

No matter what procedure patients opt for, they should be aware that beauty trends are always changing. They should also know that treatments can have dramatic, sometimes permanent effects on facial appearance. Everyone should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon before making their decision. This ensures that patients are as safe and happy with their results as possible

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