Buccal Fat Removal vs Masseter Botox

By Florence Goulbourne

Nationwide, more and more people are leaning towards cosmetic and aesthetic treatments  as a solution for insecurities, perceived flaws and skin concerns – such as the effects of ageing.The world of cosmetic procedures has developed considerably in the last few decades, especially since the approval and growth in the use of Botox. 

In particular, many individuals strive to achieve facial sculpting and a more defined facial appearance through the use of various cosmetic procedures. Two options that have become more popular are buccal fat removal and masseter Botox. While both of these procedures target the face area, you must understand the differences, the results, and the considerations required to provide the best treatment options for your clients. 

Here in this blog post, we are going to delve a little deeper into buccal fat removal vs masseter Botox and explore the benefits, factors, and techniques you need to know to advise your clients on the best course of treatment for their needs.

Buccal Fat Removal vs Masseter Botox

While both buccal fat removal and masseter Botox are effective procedures that can offer a more defined and slimmer-looking facial appearance, you must understand the difference to offer clients the most effective options to suit them.

What is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal refers to the surgical removal of buccal fat pads from the cheeks. Buccal fat removal is typically performed by a qualified plastic surgeon under anaesthesia.The fat-removing procedure is often cited as a quick treatment often taking anywhere between 30-60 minutes to complete. It entails small incisions being made inside the mouth to allow access to buccal fat pads. Then by removing the desired amount of fat, a more contoured and slimmer facial appearance is achieved. Some of the benefits of buccal fat removal include: 

  • Cheekbone definition 
  • Facial contouring 
  • Long-lasting results. 

What is Masseter Botox?

Masseter Botox, also sometimes referred to as V-line jaw treatment or jawline slimming, involves the use of toxins such as Botulinum Toxin Type A injections, to reduce the size of the masseter muscles. These muscles are located at the angle of the jaw and are responsible for the action of mastication. By injecting these muscles with a toxin such as Botox, Azzalure or Letybo, you can reduce their size and achieve a slender, more feminine and tapered jawline. Aside from cosmetic purposes, masseter botox is a popular treatment to help relieve symptoms of TMJ disorders. As the botox weakens the masseter muscles, it relaxes the jaw. This stops the jaw and teeth from involuntary clenching, reducing symptoms such as tight jaw. pain in the jaw, neck, or face. Some of the main benefits of masseter Botox include: 

  • Offers a non-surgical and non-invasive approach to facial contouring
  • Provides facial slimming 
  • Alleviates symptoms of TMJ
  • Minimal recovery and downtime.

Procedure and Results

It is important that when learning about the two procedures you not only understand the difference but also have a clear idea of what results they can achieve. For example,buccal fat removal requires a surgical, invasive procedure that is typically performed under local anaesthetic and provides long-lasting results, whereas masseter Botox is a non-surgical procedure that is quick and minimally invasive. However, the results of masseter muscles are less apparent at first and usually become more apparent over a few weeks and maintenance injections are required to maintain the results.

Patient Selection and Considerations

Just like when undergoing any procedure or treatment, it is important to factor in patient selection and considerations for each individual. Here are some of our top tips on what you should be considering and discussing with a client before either procedure takes place. 

Remember that for most, as a practitioner, you are often under-qualified to offer buccal fat removal as it is a surgical procedure. If the patient isn’t the right candidate for masseter botox, as a practitioner, you should always suggest the best option for the patient even if it is not a treatment you offer in your clinic.  It’s important to note that the buccal fat removal procedure is not suitable for everyone, as it has a strict set of ideal candidate specifications that must be met in order to ensure optimal results and minimise the risk of complications.

Considerations for Buccal Fat Removal

  • Facial symmetry – it is important to consider the facial symmetry of a patient beforehand to ensure that a balanced appearance will be maintained after the amount of fat has been removed. 
  • Patient selection – the ideal candidates for buccal fat removal are those with a rounder and fuller face, those in good physical health, those  unhappy with the fullness of your cheeks and patients that are at their optimum weightRecovery period – it is important that patients are prepared for a recovery period of several weeks post-buccal fat removal. This can include bruising, swelling and discomfort. 
  • The price point of the treatment – patients can expect to pay anywhere between £3000-£9000* for a simple procedure, although costs may vary between clinics.

Considerations for Masseter Botox

  • Duration of effects – it is important that patients are aware that the effects of masseter Botox are not permanent and can typically last around 4-6 months. Therefore, most patients find that maintenance injections are required in order to maintain desired results which may end up a costly routine. 
  • Patient suitability – individuals that are suitable for masseter Botox include those with a more square-shaped or wider jawline which is caused by the masseter muscles being more prominent. 
  • Possible risks and side effects – any cosmetic procedure has a risk of side effects, including asymmetry, painful injection sites and temporary muscle weakness. 

To conclude, while both buccal fat removal and masseter Botox offer distinct approaches to achieving a more defined appearance and facial sculpting, the most preferable option depends on the individual. Buccal fat removal offers more permanent removal of excess fat in the cheeks but is an invasive surgical procedure that has a considerable recovery time and a heftier price point. In comparison, masseter Botox offers a non-surgical treatment with temporary results. 

Therefore, it is important that individual preferences, desired outcomes and facial features are considered when choosing between buccal fat removal and masseter Botox. By understanding the differences and considerations between the two procedures, practitioners like yourselves can help patients make informed decisions safely and effectively.

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