Extreme Contouring: The Cheek Procedures Millennials Are Getting (That You’ve Never Heard Of)

Data, Lifestyle, News, Non-Surgical, Trends


Contouring is hot right now—especially among millennials. On RealSelf, we’ve seen strong interest in Buccal Fat Removal, a procedure that slims the fat pads in the cheeks to reveal more defined cheekbones.

Another cheek treatment popular among the millennial crowd? Dimpleplasty—a surgical technique to create dimples in someone that does not have them naturally.

We talked to three leading doctors—Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Sheila Nazarian, New York Plastic Surgeon David Shafer, and Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Brent Moelleken—to learn more about each of these treatments.



Who’s getting it and why?

“I think in the age of selfies, women care more about small changes to their face that can improve their overall image,” says Dr. Sheila Nazarian, who performs a Dimpleplasty about once every two months. According to Nazarian, the procedure is most popular among women in between the ages of 20-30.


How long does it last?

“The decision to perform dimpleplasty requires a detailed discussion with the patient to understand their wishes and make sure they understand the risks and benefits,” says Dr. David Shafer. “Unlike fillers which can be dissolved or Botox which always metabolizes away in 3 to 5 months, surgical procedures give permanent results.”

He also pointed out that while natural dimples occur when a patient smiles and are less apparent or disappear when their face is at rest, “dimples created by dimpleplasty can sometime occur even at rest, especially during the first few weeks to months after surgery.”


What’s the average downtime?

“There is some swelling and some bruising after the procedure,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Also, the dimple appears exaggerated for 6 to 8 weeks and settles in after that.”


How much does it cost?

Price varies based on location, but patients can expect to pay roughly $1,575 according to RealSelf price estimates.


Buccal Fat Removal

Who’s getting it and why?

“Buccal Fat Removal is a little-known procedure,” says Dr. Brent Moelleken, who performs the surgery about three times a month. “When people hear they don’t have to live with the chipmunk cheeks that make them look like their older family members, they are excited and get the word out.”


How long does it last?

“Very few doctors know how to reverse the effects of buccal fat pad removal, so it is generally an irreversible process,” says Dr. Moelleken.


What’s the average downtime?

“[There is] very little down time, perhaps a long weekend,” says Dr. Moelleken.


How much does it cost?

Price varies based on location, but patients can expect to pay roughly $3,250 according to RealSelf price estimates.


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