face Procedures

Buccal Fat Removal

The Quick Facts about Buccal Fat Removal

Length of Buccal Fat Removal Procedure: 1 to 2 hours
Anesthesia: Local or general
In or Outpatient Procedure: Outpatient
The goal of buccal fat removal is to thin the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows. Although a face that is naturally soft and filled out is considered youthful, some people find that their face feels too full, even chubby.

A buccal fat removal removes the buccal fat pad, a naturally-occurring pad of fat in the cheek hollow area. The size of the buccal fat pad varies with each individual patient, and the buccal fat pad in each cheek may be different sizes. Buccal fat pad extraction surgery is typically not performed in people with thin, narrow faces as removal of the fat may cause the face to look more gaunt with age.

Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal

For people with excess fat in their mid-face area, cheek reduction surgery offers many benefits, including:

More defined cheekbones
Better facial contours
Enhanced facial shape
Improved self-esteem

Who is a Good Candidate For Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal surgery is a highly customizable procedure. It is primarily designed to address the concerns of men and women who are worried about unwanted fullness in their cheeks. However, certified facial plastic surgeons typically do not recommend it for people who already have narrow faces, as removing the buccal fat pads may cause individuals with a thinner face to look gaunt as they age.

In general, you may be a good buccal fat removal candidate if:

You have realistic goals for what this surgery can help you achieve
You do not use tobacco products
You are unhappy about the appearance of your full cheeks

If you’re considering this surgery, spend some time reviewing before-and-after photos of buccal fat removal surgery patients and learning about what to expect during the healing process. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and smoother recovery.

What Are The Risks of Buccal Fat Removal?

As with any cosmetic surgery, the decision to have buccal fat removal is a highly personal one. You’ll have to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and side effects to decide if this procedure is the right one to help you achieve your desired appearance.

When you meet with Dr. Gillespie for a pre-surgical consultation, he will evaluate your medical history and explain in detail any risks associated with your surgery. You will need to sign consent forms to show you fully understand the extent of this procedure and that you accept the potential for risks and complications.

The possible risks of buccal fat removal surgery are rare, and include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, prolonged swelling, asymmetry, and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Dr. Gillespie will review these risks with you to ensure all is discussed before consenting to go through with the surgery.

What Results Can You Expect From Buccal Fat Removal?

Swelling may initially make it more difficult to see the ultimate outcome of buccal fat removal surgery. Be prepared that it will probably take several months before you will be able to notice the eventual results, as your swelling goes down and your cheeks gradually conform to their new, thinner shape. It generally takes about seven to 10 days for the tissues inside the mouth to heal after buccal fat pad removal. You may need to stick to a soft or semi-liquid diet in the first week or so after your buccal fat removal surgery.

Many patients who are hoping to address multiple concerns simultaneously choose to combine their buccal fat removal with other surgical procedures such as a facelift or rhinoplasty. Getting buccal lipectomy alongside other surgeries can ensure more consistent outcomes and consolidate recovery time. When you meet with Dr. Gillespie, be sure to ask about combining surgeries if there are other issues you wish to address.

Dr. Gillespie and his team will send you home from your surgery with detailed post-procedure instructions to follow, including what prescription and non-prescription medications to take, how to care for your incision sites, and any activities or foods you will need to avoid. As you are recovering, you will need to follow these instructions to the letter to ensure the speediest healing process and the best results. After surgery, if you notice you have a fever or have other unusual symptoms like dizziness or shortness of breath, contact our office immediately.

For additional information on buccal fat removal visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeonsfor this procedure. *

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary and specific results are not guaranteed.