Buccal Fat Removal (Buccal Lipectomy)
Cheek Fat Removal
Do you ever feel self-conscious about your round or full cheeks?
A Buccal Fat Pad removal is an excellent option for those who genetically have large, wide faces, rounded faces, or those who just want a more chiseled appearance.
Layers of fat exist above and below the muscles that move your face (facial fat compartments) which allow the muscles to move efficiently during facial expression. The buccal fat pad is a specialized structure that develops to line the muscles of the jaw and allow you to eat and chew smoothly. Together all of the compartments of fat, facial muscles, and underlying bones are what give your face its unique appearance. It is very common for people to have excess buccal fat which rounds out the junction from cheek to jawline creating a puffy appearance.
Removal of the buccal fat and facial sculpting can effectively achieve a more angular or defined facial contour. We are unique in our approach to the procedure with the recognition that “puffy cheeks” may not just be from the buccal fat but shallow cheeks or undefined jawline. The most important aspect of determining if you are a candidate is the location of the fat and if more superficial fat, skin, or muscles can be a cause of contour that needs improvement.
Our personalized assessment will determine if you may benefit from our ability to sculpt other areas or augment your cheeks, temples, jawline, or under-eye using the harvested buccal fat. This capability to contour other areas or use fat for facial sculpting or manipulate superficial fat is one of the many reasons that patients will choose our office.
The procedure itself is about 45 minutes and is done with local anesthesia (numbing medication) or intravenous sedation. Small incisions are made inside the mouth near your upper molar teeth. During the procedure, you may feel a slight amount of pressure and tugging, but it is not painful. After surgery, most people get by with Motrin and Tylenol. You would be given an antibiotic mouth rinse to keep things clean. The sutures used dissolve within a few days.
Most patients have a significant amount of swelling for 3-5 days and the tissue can feel dense. We have you start massaging the area of removal starting at day 5 to help sculpt the tissue, reduce swelling, and help the tissue heal. After 1 week, most of the noticeable swelling is gone. After 10 days, you will start to notice the effects of surgery with a better cheek hollow definition. It can take several months for the final result when looking at photos, but for most patients, by 3-4 weeks, they can see the change very clearly.
The risks of the surgery are generally minor and uncommon. Most commonly it is persistent swelling, asymmetry, or imbalance that resolves after several weeks. Just like any procedure, healing can be unpredictable and further correction may be necessary. We devote the necessary time educating our patients about and create a common language to assure the procedure is correct for you.
Patients who have buccal fat removal may also benefit from jawline contouring, masseter reduction, or fat sculpting. These all accomplish different goals of shaping your face to give you the look you desire. Whether it is more angular, chiseled, or softer, we are experts at assessing your goals and delivering what’s possible.