Buccal Pad Fat Removal

A face that is filled-out is considered youthful, but some people find their face feels too full, even plump.  It is where buccal pad fat removal attains significance.

Buccal pad fat removal, also known as cheek fat removal or buccal lipectomy, is a cosmetic facial surgical procedure that removes excessive fat pads from the cheeks to create a more contoured and chiseled facial appearance.  The surgery slims the cheek or face.  It is generally done on people who have chubby cheeks in relation to the rest of their face and body that can be due to genetic factors or weight gain.  Buccal pad fat removal is the direct way to get rid of the “round” appearance of your face.

The buccal fat pads are walnut-sized fat deposits deep in the cheeks.  When the fat deposits are large, they can contribute to a round, baby-faced look, even if you don’t have a lot of fat on the rest of your body.  Buccal pad fat removal can lend you a narrow look.  The goal of the buccal pad fat removal is to thin the cheeks, especially in the area of the cheek hollows.  The size of the buccal fat pad varies from person to person and the buccal fat pad in each cheek may also be different in size.

Am I the right candidate for the surgery?

First, you have to consult with an experienced cosmetic surgeon to make sure the round, filled-out appearance of your face is due to buccal fat pads, rather than fat deposits or an over-developed muscle in your jaw. 

Ideal candidate for buccal pad fat removal include individuals:

  • with chubby or puffy cheeks.
  • with a convex cheek appearance.
  • who have received mandibuloplasty surgery to reduce the size of the chin or jaw.
  • with prominent high cheekbones and sunken cheeks under the cheekbones.
  • who want to rejuvenate the overall appearance of their face.

If you are considering this procedure, be sure to do it for yourself, not for someone else or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.  It is always good to have realistic expectations.  It is good to review some buccal pad fat removal photos and what to expect out of the surgery.  Preparing ahead of time helps patients have a realistic expectations and speedy hassle-free recovery.

During the consultation with your plastic surgeon be candid about your surgical goals, past medical history and medications you are currently taking because success and safety of your buccal fat removal surgery procedure depends very much on your complete frankness during your consultation.  The surgeon may take photographs of your cheek for medical records and before-and-after comparison post-surgery.

Preparation for the procedure:

Before the surgery, you may be requested to get lab testing and medical evaluation.  If you are currently on any medications, some of which will be adjusted, such as stopping medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.  As it is done under anesthesia, be sure to arrange  someone to drive you back home and stay with you for at least the first night post surgery.

Surgical procedure:

After proper anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will resort removal of fat pad with an incision on the inside of the mouth, on the inner portion of your cheek.  After removal of fat deposits, sutures are used to close the incision.  Usually, absorbable sutures are used, but the choice of the suture depends on the discretion of the cosmetic surgeon as each case is different.  The surgery can also be performed in association with another surgery like facelift. 

Recovery post procedure:

It is a surgery that requires minimal downtime.  You may be required to spend the next 48 hours at home with head elevated at all times to alleviate the swelling and speed up the recovery process.  Sleeping with propped up pillows is a good idea.  While you can resume your work after about four days, you may continue to have swelling for about a week.  As there are incisions and sutures inside your mouth, make sure you eat a soft diet for about four days after your surgery.

Results from buccal pad fat removal:

For the first week, your cheeks would appear puffier, almost like before the procedure.  Swelling will subside after a week and your new contoured look will slowly reveal itself.  But it can take up to three months to see the final results.  It is only with time your skin can settle into the area hollowed out by the fat removal.

Are the results long-lasting?

Yes!  The results post surgery are long-lasting.  But if you gain a lot of weight post surgery, there are chances that your cheeks would again appear chubby as the fat cells under your skin expand.  So make sure you keep the ideal height-weight ratio.  Buccal pad fat removal in the right candidate can bring about a significant change in the face.

Benefits of buccal pad fat removal surgery:

  • More defined cheeks
  • Improved facial contours
  • Rejuvenated facial shape
  • Enhanced facial appearance
  • Increased self-confidence

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