Buccal fat pad removal is a procedure designed to slim the cheeks and to better define the zygoma area. It is performed through small incisions on the inside of the mouth, and can be done under local or general anesthesia. You are a candidate if you have large cheeks and desire a slimming of the lower face. Removal of buccal fat pad will make a mild but noticeable improvement. It will not make a drastic change to your lower face.
Recovery after buccal fat pad removal
Immediate: you will be able to go home the same day. Your cheeks will be swollen, and you will have absorbable stitches inside your mouth. I do not put a head wrap because it does not help much with the swelling on the cheeks.
1 week: the whole week you will be swollen like you had your wisdom teeth taken out. Usually the swelling is improved after about 3-4 days. You should stay on soft diet because chewing irritates the area which is healing. You will not see a result at this point, just swelling.
1 month: the swelling is 90 percent gone. You will see a little result but not a final result. The final result is visible at 6 months to 1 year, when all the swelling goes away and the tissues inside the cheek scar together to give them a more defined and slimmer shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the scars visible?
No, the scars are about 2 cm long inside the mouth. You will feel them for the first few months, but then they will soften. The are not visible from the outside.
How much fat is removed?
The buccal fat pad actually consists of four lobes. One should remove some of the buccal lobe, not the other lobes. The removal is conservative, small amount, otherwise you will have too hollow of cheeks as you age.
How long does the procedure take?
Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to find the fat pad, sometimes it takes half an hour or so. Each persons anatomy is different. Some fat pads are large, and some people barely have any.
What can be done to further slim my cheeks?
If the lateral cheek area is filled at the same time, with filler, or with fat transfer, then the lower face looks even thinner. This can compliment the results of buccal fat pad removal.