Buccal Fat Contouring & Cheek Reduction
Though rounded facial contours are a hallmark of youth, many people are self-conscious about the round or chubby appearance of their cheeks. These “cherub cheeks” or “chipmunk cheeks” can result from a variety of factors. Younger people may carry excess “baby fat” that they will naturally lose over time. Others have a genetic predisposition to carry fat in their faces, while some have bottom-heavy faces as a result of their overall body type.
Patients who have chubby cheeks in relation to the rest of their face and body often find this fat is difficult to shed through normal diet and exercise, resulting in a full appearance even in people who are at a healthy body weight.
What Is Buccal Fat?
The buccal fat pad is a naturally occurring pocket of fat located within the cheek. Buccal fat is a continuation of a deep fat pad on both sides of the face, located between the facial muscles. A skilled surgeon can easily separate this fat from other facial structures, and remove it. Each cheek has about a quarter size ball of buccal fat. Removing this fat can help slim the cheeks.
Who Is Qualified for Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?
In general, any adult in good overall health who is concerned about excess cheek fat is a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery. If you desire a slimmer lower face, and you do not have too much hanging skin, then you can remove the buccal fat pads to further slim the cheeks and define the lower face. However, you have to understand, that the difference is minor. There are additional treatments and procedures, such as chin liposuction, which can add to slimming of the lower face.
What Is Buccal Fat?
The buccal fat pad is a naturally occurring pocket of fat located within the cheek. Buccal fat is a continuation of a deep fat pad on both sides of the face, located between the facial muscles. A skilled surgeon can easily separate this fat from other facial structures, and removing it via small incisions inside the mouth, can help slim your cheeks.
Excess buccal fat results in a full, rounded facial contour. Cheek reduction surgery is a possible way of reducing this unwanted lower facial fullness, resulting in a thinner contour. The procedure transforms the face from a square or boxy appearance to a more desirable “V” shape.
Buccal fat removal recovery
There may be some restrictions about the types of food the patient can eat:
- During the initial phase of buccal fat removal recovery, surgeons recommend a clear liquid diet for three days to help with hydration. Some liquids allowed during this stage include water, broth, and gelatin.
- Phase two includes soft foods such as boiled ages, overcooked pasta, and pudding. These foods help the patient improve strength and avoid using the operated area when chewing.
- Patients can go back to their regular eating habits by day 10 of buccal fat removal recovery. If they don’t feel ready to eat solid foods yet, they should talk to the surgeon.
Who is a good candidate for cheek reduction?
Patients worried about the appearance of their lower face due to excess fat in the area may be good candidates for the buccal fat removal procedure. Likewise, patients who have tried to slim their face through dieting and exercising with no results can benefit from buccal fat pad reduction. Sometimes even slim patients have chubby cheeks or a convex cheek appearance they are not happy with.
If you have prominent cheekbones and wish to rejuvenate the overall appearance of your face, it’s vital that you have realistic expectations for the outcome of cheek reduction surgery. At the time of your consultation at Kalsow Plastic Surgery, Dr.Kalsow will meet personally with you to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Buccal fat removal risks
Buccal fat pad removal is a very safe procedure. It takes about half an hour to perform. Most commonly it is performed under local anesthesia. A few stitches are placed inside the incisions in the mouth, which dissolve in a few days. Rarely there are some risks associated with the procedure.
Some risks of buccal fat removal, as listed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, include:
- Persistent pain
- Temporary facial nerve weakness
- Cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Deep vein thrombosis
However, the above risks are very rare.