Do you know that having a buccal fat removal can help you get thinner cheeks and a sharp jaw?
You might have observed a dramatic increase in celebrities and influencers who have sky-high cheekbones that narrow into the jawline so sharp that you could serve a turkey with it.
Thus, a quick search of ‘celebrity cheek surgery’ reveals a number of actual before and after images, but what exactly have they done?
Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure that is one of the most sought-after facial procedures over the past few years.
It involves removing the pads of fat in your mid-cheek area or the buccal fat pads so that you can have a slimmer and more contoured face.
The results may vary, however, they almost come with well-defined cheek hollows.
Let’s learn more about it in detail.
Buccal for or speaking more specifically, the buccal fat pad is present in your cheeks.
It is a segment of normal fat found in your lower cheeks and is a part of a system of fat that reaches from your temples beneath your jawline.
Buccal fat mainly helps you to chew food and the amount of this fat is consistent from one person to another regardless of gender.
Moreover, this fact remains the same over the course of your life, despite different changes in your body weight or figure.
Thus, you may find yourself often frustrated when you work so hard to shape your body in a certain way, only for your facial structure to remain the same.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal
This is a type of plastic surgery and is also termed buccal lipectomy or cheek reduction surgery.
During this surgical procedure, your surgeon will remove the buccal fat pads or cheek fat in your cheeks surgically. This makes your cheek thin and defines facial angles.
Your doctor or plastic surgeon can combine this procedure either alone or with other forms of plastic surgery as follows:
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Candidates for Buccal Fat Removal
You might be a good candidate for buccal fat removal if any of the following options apply to you:
You are in good physical health, have a healthy weight, have a round, fuller face, dislike the fullness of your cheeks, and do not smoke.
Moreover, if you have pseudoherniation fat is a small rounded fat mass in the cheek due to a weak buccal fat pad, are seeking facial feminization surgery, and have realistic expectations,s then you are a good candidate for this procedure.
However, it is important to note that this procedure is not for everyone.
Your doctor may not recommend this procedure in the following conditions:
Narrow Face; If your face is naturally thin, the surgery can cause sunken cheeks as you grow old.
Progressive hemifacial atrophy: Progressive hemifacial atrophy or Parry-Romberg Syndrome is a rare disorder that causes your skin on one side of the face to shrink.
Moreover, it is also known to affect the buccal fat pad in your cheeks.
Age: As you age, you naturally lose fat in your face, and this procedure can emphasize jowls and other signs of facial aging.
Thus, your plastic surgeon can help to determine if you are an ideal candidate or not.
Consultation for the Procedure
During the consultation for the procedure of buccal fat removal, your doctor will discuss the following:
Your surgical goals, medications drug allergies, and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, use of alcohol, or other drug use.
Moreover, they will also ask you about any previous surgeries.
They will also evaluate your overall health status and pre-existing health conditions, examine your face, and take photographs.
They will also discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment, discuss the outcomes of this procedure, and potential risks or complications you might have.
It is important to note that the success and safety of your procedure depend on your complete candidness during the consultation.
It is important to answer all the questions your doctor will ask. Be sure to ask the surgeon any questions you might have in your mind as it is important.
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Procedure for Buccal Fat Removal
The procedure involves the following steps:
Preparation for the Surgery
While preparing for the buccal fat surgery, your surgeon will ask you:
To get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, and certain medications.
These medications include aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase your risk of excessive bleeding.
Your doctor will perform this procedure in the hospital, or in an in-office procedure room.
If they perform the treatment while administering anesthesia or intravenous sedation, make sure to have someone drive home.
Also, they should be there to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery.
Buccal Fat Removal Procedures Steps
In the first step, your surgeon will administer medications or local anesthesia for your comfort during the procedure.
The choice may include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor can recommend the best choice for you.
In the next step, your doctor will make small incisions on the insides of your mouth, on the inner portion of your cheek to remove the buccal fat pads.
Occasionally, your docotr may perform this procedure along with a facelift and not necessitate an incision inside your mouth.
After removing the fat, they will place sutures to close the incisions inside your mouth.
Usually, the sutures are absorbable, however, every plastic surgeon performs the surgery differently.
Moreover, make sure to avoid touching or playing with the sutures with your tongue until your surgeon clears them.
Lastly, you can see the results as your cheeks will be slimmer and contoured specifically in the cheek hollow area.
After the Procedure
Before you leave for home, your surgeon will give you a special mouthwash to prevent infection. Moreover, they will also explain how to take care of your incisions.
You will need to eat a liquid diet for a few days and can later progress to soft foods before returning to your normal diet.
After the procedure, your face may swell and you may also experience bruising. However, they will diminish as you heal.
It is important to note that it takes at least 3 weeks for a full recovery.
During this period, follow the instructions of your doctor for self-care and eating, and make sure to attend all of your follow-up appointments.
You can expect the results in several months as it takes time for your chipmunk cheeks to settle into their new shape.
Generally, buccal fat removal is considered safe, however, like all procedures, there are a few risks of buccal fat removal and complications.
Possible complications include:
Excessive bleeding, infection, negative reaction to anesthesia, hematoma, lockjaw or seroma, or fluid accumulation.
It can also cause complications like salivary gland damage, facial nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac or pulmonary side effects, excess fat removal, facial asymmetry, or poor results.
In some cases, you might need another surgery to correct some of the above issues.
Cost of Buccal Fat Removal
The cost of the procedure varies from one area to another as well as from one plastic surgeon to another.
The procedure may also cost more or less depending on certain factors like:
The experience and training of the surgeon, type of anesthesia, or prescription medications.
Moreover, as it is a cosmetic procedure, your health insurance does not cover the cost of it. Thus, you will have to pay out of pocket.
However, before the procedure, you can talk to your surgeon’s office about the total cost and ask whether they offer payment plans or not.
Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
It is important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in buccal fat removal. This will ensure that fat that they will perform the procedure safely and properly.
You can visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a qualified plastic surgeon.
Moreover, it is important to find a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
This indicates that they have enough education in the field and training according to the specific professional standards.
It is also important to ask them certain questions at the initial consultation as it is the best way to find the best surgeon.
Consider asking the following questions:
- Were you specifically trained in Plastic surgery?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- Before and after photos of the procedure
- The number of procedures they have performed in the past
- How you can I prepare for the procedure?
- The place they will carry out the procedure
- Am I at risk of any complications?
- What can I expect during the healing process?
Lastly, make sure that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and they should also make you feel safe and at ease.
Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the size of your cheeks to create a slimmer face.
If you meet certain criteria and have a fuller face, you may be an ideal candidate. Generally, this procedure is a safe one and takes several weeks for complete recovery.
However, like all surgeries, there are few potential risks and complications, thus, for best results, work with a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon.