Last updated date: 02-May-2023

Medically Reviewed By

Interview with

Dr. Seung Bae Jeon

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Hakkou Karima

Originally Written in English

Facial Liposuction Facts - Viewpoints from Expert Doctors

    In the current era, with the high beauty standards of this age, people are seeking perfection in how they look. 

    Every part of the body has a procedure to make it more visually appealing and to be in line with current beauty standards, especially the face. 

    Nowadays, if you want to adjust any feature in your face, it can be done so easily, and you can even go home on the same day of the procedure. 

    Even in traumatic cases like car accidents and fights or birth defects, if there is any deformity in the face, it can be corrected to become more aesthetic and to be in harmony with the rest of the face. 

    Facial plastic and reconstructive surgeries have become revolutionary lately. With a simple procedure, you can look younger or slimmer, you can augment or reduce a certain part in your body, or you can totally change how a certain part looks. 


    But have you heard about facial liposuction? Have you heard about liposuction in the first place? 

    If you didn’t, let me tell you what liposuction means. 

    Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that uses different suction techniques to remove the fat from a specific area in the body. Not only that, but liposuction can also contour and shape certain areas. That’s why it is also called the body contouring procedure. 

    Some people might confuse liposuction with weight loss procedures. They think if liposuction means losing fat, and an alternative to weight loss procedures. While in fact, liposuction procedures are not typically considered overall weight loss methods or alternatives to weight loss. 

    I mean if you are overweight, you are more likely to lose weight via diet and exercise more than you can lose from liposuction procedures. So, in conclusion, you would be a good candidate for liposuction if you have excess fat in a specific body area but otherwise, you have a stable weight. 

    Liposuction procedures are also so helpful for people who work out regularly, but they still have resistant body areas that don’t respond to diet or exercise. These areas include: 

    • The abdomen. 
    • Upper arms. 
    • Buttocks. 
    • Calves and ankles. 
    • Hips and thighs. 
    • Chin. 
    • Neck. 
    • Face. 

    In addition to these areas, liposuction can be used for breast reduction. 


    So, what is the concept of Liposuction? 

    First, you have to know how your body works. 

    When you gain weight, fat cells increase in size and in volume. 

    Liposuction, however, works on the number of fat cells. It reduces the number of fat cells in a specific area. The surgeon removes the targeted amount of fat according to the volume of fat cells and the appearance of the area. And as long as your weight remains stable, the new shape will persist. 


    But what about the skin? What happens to the skin after suctioning the fat? 

    After liposuction, the skin adjusts itself to the new contour. If the patient has a good skin tone and elasticity, the skin is more likely to appear smooth. 

    If the skin, however, is thin and poor in elasticity, it will appear loose and wrinkled. 

    Liposuction is among the most commonly performed aesthetic procedures. In 2015, it was the most popular cosmetic procedure for men and women with nearly 400000 procedures performed. 


    This is a general idea about what liposuction is?


    But what is Facial Liposuction? 

    Some areas in the face can be adjusted such as the cheeks, jawline, and chin. So, facial liposuction includes removing some fat ounces from these areas which makes the patient look like they have dropped several pounds. 

    Facial liposuction can be performed alone or in conjugation with other procedures such as facelifts and chin augmentation. So, this procedure is suitable for people who have a double chin or chubbiness around their lower face. Face liposuction can shape and contour the face, it can slim the face leading to a more defined profile and jawlines. 

    There is also cheek liposuction, which includes suctioning fat from the cheeks. However, it is different from buccal lipectomy, have you heard about it before? 

    Buccal lipectomy includes removing a specific fat tissue from your cheek called the buccal pad of fat. 


    So, who is a good candidate for Facial Liposuction? 

    In case liposuction is conducted as a single procedure, it is more appropriate to be performed in younger people with excellent skin elasticity, strong bone structure, and good muscle tone. 

    It is not suitable for people who have too much loose skin and little fat tissue. 

    It is not a secret when I say that young people always have better skin tone and facial look. So, why young people might need facial liposuction? 

    Well, the normal ageing process leads to bone resorption, decreased tissue elasticity and change in the distribution of the fat deposit. In addition to the sustained gravity effects over time, these factors lead to ptosis of the supporting structures of the face and neck. 

    Some environmental factors, however, might slow or speed the ageing process.  For instance, adequate and healthy nutrition will enhance and provide a youthful appearance. On the other hand, exposure to sunlight and radiation will speed up ageing effects and cause premature ageing. 

    That’s why some young people might need facial liposuction. 


    But with all these environmental factors around us, are Facial Liposuction effects permanent? 

    To a certain degree, yes. Facial liposuction results are permanent. Because under no circumstances should the sucked fat cells return. However, the fat under the chin might come back if the patient gained weight. 

    But again, as we explained earlier, fat liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. 


    But before you take such a step, before you decide you need facial liposuction, you need to know if it is safe and if it has risks.


    So, is facial liposuction safe?

    If performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, the facial liposuction is very safe and effective. 

    But still, facial liposuction can cause some risks. 

    Here are some of the possible risks of facial liposuction: 

    • Hematomas. Pockets of blood or bad bruising might form after the surgery. 
    • Seromas. It is the formation of temporary pockets of fluid under the skin. It can be drained with a needle if necessary. 
    • Infection. Infection risk is rare but not impossible. Some severe infections might be life-threatening. 
    • Necrosis. It means tissue death. A severe infection can lead to necrosis and vice versa. 
    • Burns. If an ultrasound technique is used, burns can occur. 
    • Fat embolism. Pieces of loosened fat may break away and get trapped in blood vessels of the lungs and then go to the brain. Fat embolism is considered a medical emergency. 
    • Numbness. Temporary nerve irritation is possible, so patients might feel temporary tingling or numbness in the affected area. 
    • Contour irregularities. After the surgery, the face might appear bumpy, wavey, or withered due to uneven fat removal or unusual healing of the skin. Sometimes the cannula used in suctioning the fat causes bruises to the skin and gives the skin a spotted appearance. 

    Your surgeon should go over these risks with you before your surgery. 


    Another important question we need to answer is, does it hurt? Is Liposuction painful? 

    Your surgeon will use local or general anesthesia. You may experience moderate discomfort. However, your surgeon will prescribe you a pain killer after the surgery for any experienced discomfort. 

    As for bruising, it is very individualized. Some people will bruise others will not. Swelling, however, can occur to everyone. It might take about 10 days to subside. Wearing the compression garment will speed up the process. 


    So, how is Facial Liposuction performed? 

    The procedure is usually performed under light sedation with local anesthesia.  And if you are having another facial procedure at the same time, you will need general anesthesia. 

    Then, small incisions are made within the natural folds of the skin under the chin or jawline. After that, your surgeon will use a cannula, a thin tube, to break up the fat and suction it out through the small incisions. 

    Liposuction has multiple techniques. In one technique, your surgeon might use ultrasound to use its waves in liquifying the fat cells making it easier to remove them by suction. 

    Another technique is the tumescent technique where a solution of sterile saline, lidocaine (anesthetic) and epinephrine (vasoconstrictor to reduce bleeding) are injected into the targeted area, engorging the tissues for a firmer working area.

    After removing the targeted fat cells, the incision is sutured, and a supporting garment is applied. 

    Recovery after liposuction is easier than it is with other facial cosmetic surgeries such as facelifts. However, you should expect swelling, bruises, or discomfort. 

    After the procedure, you can go home on the same day, but you might want to give yourself a week off from work and other activities to give the swelling time to subside. 


    Our role today is to answer most of your questions regarding Facial Liposuction. Today we have Dr. Jeon, who is one of the leading doctors at BK Plastic Surgery in Seoul. He is going to discuss Facial Liposuction from an experienced medical point of view.



    Dr. Seung Bae Jeon Interview


    What is facial liposuction?

    As the words reveal, it is a procedure to remove excess fat from parts of the face. It is a popular surgery lately.


    Which part of the face can have facial liposuction?

    Basically, any area of the face can, but the jawline and neck areas are common. Also, the area right below the cheeks, sometimes.


    Can facial liposuction be performed on multiple areas in one operation?

    Yes, it is possible. In cases where fat is removed from both the jaw line and the neck area, it can be done at same time and the results are better. There are no major issues with doing several areas at once.


    How long does the surgery take?

    Depending on the area, ten to twenty minutes. Even if many areas are done at once, the procedure can be done within an hour.


    What kind of facial liposuction clients normally do in Korea?

    In terms of facial liposuction, the most common is method using syringes. Laser systems are used supplementarily. Some who do not want to undergo surgery, choose to take fat dissolving injections.


    Is facial liposuction permanent?

    Since the procedure reduces the number of fat cells, it could be said it is permanent but if we assume the patient gets fatter and the remaining fat cells get bigger, the patient can get fatter again.


    The fat reappears in the liposuction area when we gain weight after the surgery?

    As I said before, since the number of fat cells are reduced, even if the patient gets fatter, the areas where the fat cells have been reduced tends to not regain as much weight since the fat cell count has dropped. So, the volume gained is lower than before the surgery.


    How long would the recovery period be?

    Normally, it takes a week or two for the inflammation to subside. After that, there should be no problem living life normally.


    What are the side effects of facial liposuction?

    Since the skin on the face are relatively thin, if one area is removed too much, it can look sunk in and have problems with blood circulation, it is a necessity that focused skills during surgery are needed and thus, having an experienced surgeon is best.


    Do we need to prevent skin sagginess after facial liposuction? Is there any method to prevent it?

    Since the volume in the face is reduced, there can be some areas with excess skin. In cases where a lot of fat is removed, it cannot be helped but have some excess skin. In such cases, we simultaneously perform a facial lift.



    Facial liposuction, as the words reveal, is a procedure to remove excess fat from parts of the face. It is a popular surgery lately. Basically, the procedure can be applied to any area of the face, but the jawline and neck areas are common. Facial liposuction is done conveniently and quickly. In terms of recovery period, normally, it takes a week or two for the inflammation to subside. After that, there should be no problem living life normally.