Cheek Reduction (Buccal Fat Removal)
What is buccal fat removal?
The goal of buccal fat removal is to thin the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows. Although a face that is naturally soft and filled out is considered youthful,some people find that their face feels too full, even chubby.
A buccal fat removal removes the buccal fat pad, a naturally-occurring pad of fat in the cheek hollow area. The size of the buccal fat pad varies with each individual patient,and the buccal fat pad in each cheek may be different sizes. Buccal fat pad extraction surgery is typically not performed in people with thin, narrow faces as removal of the fat may cause the face to look more gaunt with age.
Who is a good candidate for buccal fat removal?
In general, you may be a good buccal fat removal candidate if:
– You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
– You have realistic expectations
– You are a nonsmoker
– You are bothered by the appearance of your chubby cheeks
If you’re considering surgery, spend some time reviewing buccal fat removal surgery photos and learning about what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery.
How should I prepare for buccal fat removal?
– Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
– Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
– Stop smoking
– Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
What are the steps of a buccal fat removal procedure?
A buccal fat removal procedure includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.
Step 2 – The incision
A buccal fat removal surgery requires an incision on the inside of the mouth, on the inner portion of your cheek. Occasionally, the buccal fat pad may be removed during a facelift and not necessitate an incision inside the mouth.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Sutures close the incisions inside your mouth. Typically, these sutures are
absorbable, but each plastic surgeon performs the surgery differently. Be sure to avoid playing with the sutures with your tongue until cleared by your surgeon.
Step 4 – See the results
Your buccal fat removal surgery will result in a slimmer, more contoured cheek,specifically in the cheek hollow area.
What are the risks of buccal fat removal?
– Poor healing of incisions
– Anesthesia risks
– Fluid accumulation (seroma)
– Numbness or other changes in sensation
– Prolonged swelling
– Injury to branches of the facial nerve, resulting in temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness
– Injury to a salivary duct
– Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
– Suboptimal aesthetic result and/or minimal changes
– Possibility of revisional surgery
– Persistent pain
What results should I expect after buccal fat removal?
The final results of buccal fat removal surgery may be initially obscured by swelling. It may take several months for you to see the final results, as your cheeks gradually contour to their new appearance. The cheeks should appear less full or chubby in post-op results.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.