- April 21th, 2022
Everything You Need to Know About Buccal Fat Removal
Curious about buccal fat removal for well-defined cheekbones?
Buccal fat removal is a surgical process to create a defined facial contour and reduce cheek fat. The buccal pad lies deep within the fat of the cheeks. It’s located between the muscles of the face in an area below the cheekbone. The size of this fat pad determines the shape of the face. Everybody has them, but the size varies greatly for each individual. This pad can be reduced with surgery. It will create a more defined facial structure by slimming chubby or rounded cheeks.
If you have large buccal fat pads it creates a rounder or fuller appearance to the face. It’s sometimes referred to as a “baby face”. There’s nothing abnormal about having larger buccal fat pads in the face, but if you’d like them to appear smaller, Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery is skilled in performing this fat removal procedure.
What Is Buccal Fat Removal?
The objective of buccal fat removal is to thin out the cheek area of the face, specifically in the hollows of the cheeks. Even though a soft and supple face may be considered youthful, some individuals think their faces look too full or broad in appearance.
The size of the pad can vary with each patient and may be different sizes on each side of the face. This type of cosmetic surgery isn’t normally performed on patients with narrow or thin appearing faces. It would cause them to appear older and a bit gaunt in appearance. Rather, the goal is to create more defined cheekbones.
The Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal
Fuller cheeks are completely normal, but many patients desire to have well-defined cheekbones. Completing this surgery offers patients a way to enhance their appearance to have a defined facial contour. The best part is, all incisions are made inside the mouth of the patient so there are no visible scars after surgery. And the procedure is quite short, generally only taking a little over an hour to complete. The procedure and the benefits are personal and aesthetic. They also include:
- An enhanced facial appearance
- A more attractive profile
- A more defined and sculpted cheek appearance
- Restored confidence
Who’s a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Reduction?
If any of the following points apply to you then you may be a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery:
- You don’t smoke
- You have realistic expectations
- You’d prefer less full cheeks
- You have a chubbier or rounder face
- You’re at a healthy weight and in overall good health physically
- You suffer from pseudoherniation (caused by a rounded mass of fat that is due to a weak buccal fat pad)
- You’re interested in facial feminization surgery
But it’s not for everybody. Here are a few scenarios where buccal fat removal isn’t recommended:
- You’re a bit older. As people age, they naturally lose some of the fat in their faces. This type of surgery may emphasize signs of aging like the appearance of jowls making you look older than you are.
- If you have a disorder called hemifacial atrophy (Parry-Romberg syndrome). This can make the skin on one side of the face contract. It’s been known to affect the buccal fat in the cheek.
- If you have a narrow or thin face. The procedure could cause the appearance of sunken cheeks which will make you appear older.
Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery can help you decide if cheek reduction surgery is right for you and the consultation appointment will give you a clearer picture of what to expect.
What questions should I ask at the initial consultation?
The best way for you to find the answers to any concerns you’re having is to ask questions before the procedure. Consider asking the following questions before choosing your plastic surgeon:
- How many years of training do you have?
- Are you specifically experienced in plastic surgery?
- Have you performed buccal fat removal before?
- Do you have any before and after photos of patients you’ve performed this surgery on?
- What do I need to do to prepare for this type of surgery?
- How and where will the procedure take place?
- What are the complications and how will they be treated?
- What’s the healing process and how long does it take?
Most of all, you should feel safe with your surgeon. At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery you’ll always feel comfortable and at ease before, during, and after the procedure. Dr. Cat has performed thousands of face & neck plastic surgery procedures and is internationally acclaimed for her artistry and ability to give patients the refined and natural look they are wanting to achieve.
How Do I Prepare For Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?
Standard lab testing and a full medical evaluation will be performed before any surgical procedure. Buccal fat removal is no different. Before the surgery you should stop using all of the following:
- Herbal supplements that may thin the blood
- Any anti-inflammatory medications
This operation can be performed under general or local anesthesia. Whichever you opt for, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort or pain if you are going to a reputable surgeon. Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery prides themselves on their expertise, using meticulous and gentle techniques so you’ll feel at ease during the entire process.
What’s The Buccal Fat Extraction Like?
Before the Procedure
Before the procedure you will discuss the following points with your surgeon:
- Your past surgeries
- Any drug or medication allergies
- Any drug, alcohol, or tobacco use
- All current medications you may be on including supplements and vitamins
- Any current medical conditions
- What your expectations and goals are for the surgery
You may have to stop taking certain medications and take a blood test before the procedure can take place.
Then the surgeon will also examine your face and take photographs before any surgery takes place.
Having all of this information will allow your surgeon to determine the best approach, discover possible risks involved, and what the recovery process may look like.
During the Procedure
These types of procedures are normally performed in-office, but it can also be performed at a Surgery Center. Normally what that involves is:
- You’ll be administered local anesthesia on your face if you’re only receiving cheek reduction surgery. You’ll be awake during the procedure and you won’t feel any pain. Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery prides itself on using gentle techniques to ensure your comfort throughout the short process.
- Your surgeon will make a small incision on the inside of your cheek (inside the mouth). They will apply gentle pressure on the outside of your cheek to expose the buccal fat pad.
- Your surgeon will remove the fat then close the incision and seal it with dissolvable stitches. Any scars will be minimal and they’ll be invisible because this procedure is performed inside the mouth. You’ll be done in under an hour with little to no pain!
- If you are having more than just one surgery during your visit you’ll be administered general anesthesia. In cases like these, you’ll need to arrange transportation home.
After the Procedure
Before you leave the office you’ll be given a special mouthwash to ward off any infection. Your surgeon will discuss with you how to care for the incision after the procedure. You’ll need to be on a liquid diet for a few days, but after a while, you can have soft foods before returning to your normal diet.
Buccal fat reduction recovery is typically short (around three weeks). Due to the meticulous expertise of Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, any swelling or bruising should be minimal. Both will diminish quickly as you heal.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions during recovery regarding eating and self-care. Attend all of your follow-up appointments.
In the months that follow you will see the results of your new enhanced look. It just takes a bit of time for the cheeks to settle and contour into their new shape. You’ll be delighted by the signature refined and natural-looking result.
Buccal Fat Removal Cost
The cost of buccal fat reduction can range between $2000 to $6000. The cost could be less or more depending on the following factors:
- The type of anesthesia used
- Your surgeon’s level of expertise
As for insurance coverage – coverage depends on the insurance coverage but Buccal fat removal is typically considered an elective cosmetic procedure. Before you decide to receive the surgery check with your surgeon’s office and find out the potential total cost. Many offices have payment programs available for patients. Be sure to ask your surgeon’s office what payment methods they accept and if they offer any financing options for surgical costs.
Schedule A Buccal Fat Removal Consultation
If you think a buccal fat reduction might be right for you, learn more about this procedure and any other cosmetic surgery options to feel your best self. Give Dr. Cat’s office a call at 310-858-8808 and book a free consultation with one of our surgical consultants trained by Dr. Cat. They can answer many of your questions and help you determine what options there are for attaining the look you always wanted.