Buccal Fat Removal

While a soft, full face is considered to be youthful, many feel that their face is too full. Buccal Fat Removal in Chicago can remove the excess buccal fat pad, a padding that occurs naturally in the cheek area. The overall goal of Buccal Fat Removal surgery is to permanently contour the face, specifically in the cheek area. While the amount of Buccal fat varies among men, it’s a cosmetic extraction surgery that is not recommended for people who have naturally narrow, thin faces. As removing buccal fat from such individuals will cause them to appear gaunt, particularly as they age.

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A pad of normal fat that sits in a man’s lower cheeks is known as buccal fat (pronounced “buckle”) which cushions the chewing muscles and is part of a larger network of fat that reaches to the temple. The amount of buccal fat produced is different for everyone, and in some cases, the buccal fat is excessive and can lead to an overgrown buccal fat pad, resulting in the fullness of the face that may be undesirable for the individual (commonly referred to as “chubby cheeks”).

If you’re uncomfortable with having a fuller face and prefer a more defined, enhanced appearance, buccal fat removal may be the answer to restoring your self-confidence. Buccal fat removal (also called buccal reduction, cheek fat removal, or a buccal lipectomy) is a simple surgical procedure that is performed to decrease the fullness in the lower part of the cheeks that may be genetic or the result of excessive weight gain. The result of buccal fat removal surgery will ultimately give the patient a sought-after contoured, sculpted, and enhanced symmetrical facial appearance, defining the cheeks and rejuvenating the shape of the face. Because the procedure is performed on the inside of the mouth, there is no visible scarring to worry about.

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First you will have a consultation with your plastic surgeon. During the consultation, you may discuss any existing or prior medical conditions, your expectations and goals concerning buccal fat removal, any current prescriptions and/or medications, including vitamins and supplements, drug/alcohol/tobacco use, and any allergies that you might have. Such information helps your doctor determine the best approach to your surgery and recovery plan while considering potential risks. Your surgeon will also take photographs and analyze your face to help plan the surgery.

You may need to stop using certain medications and receive a blood test before going forward with the operation. The surgery often involves a local anesthesia given in the treatment area. You won’t feel any pain during the surgery, but you will be conscious. An incision will be made inside the cheek, with pressure being applied on the outside to further expose the buccal fat pad. Then, the surgeon will cut and remove the unwanted buccal fat pad, and the incision will be closed with dissolvable stitches.

If you are receiving more than one surgery, the surgeon will administer a general anesthesia. In this case, you will need a ride to and from the operation.

Ideal candidates for buccal fat removal have fuller faces, are in good health, at a healthy weight, and are non-smokers. If you suffer from pseudogenization (a small fat mass in the cheek that develops from a weak buccal fat pad, causing the eyes to look fatigued). Buccal fat removal is recommended for someone seeking feminization of the face.

Buccal fat is not recommended for individuals with naturally thin or narrow faces, those who suffer from hemifacial atrophy (Parry Romberg Syndrome), or older patients; as we age, we lose fat in the face, and removing buccal fat may emphasize signs of aging.

After surgery, your face will be swollen with some potential bruising but will diminish as you heal. Your surgeon will give you a special mouthwash to prevent the incision from becoming infected, along with care instructions. A liquid diet will be recommended for the next several days, then you can progress to soft foods and your regular diet. Full recovery is about three weeks, follow your surgeon’s instructions for self-care and dietary guidelines, and attend all your follow-up appointments. Expect to see results in the next several months, it takes time for your cheeks to settle into their new shape.

Potential risks and complications concerning buccal fat removal include excessive bleeding, infection, a negative reaction to anesthesia, lockjaw, excess fat removal, facial nerve damage, seroma (fluid accumulation), salivary gland damage, cardiac or pulmonary side effects, and poor results. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you might have.