The buccal fat pads are small, round pads of fat tissue located within the cheeks. These fat pads vary in size. Sometimes, those with excess buccal fat may complain of having chipmunk cheeks, chubby cheeks, or a fuller face. To correct this the buccal fat pad is removed to slim the cheek area of the hollows resulting in a more pronounced cheekbones and more defined cheek hollows. This surgery is called buccal fat pad removal. We’ll go over how this procedure is performed as well as some precautions to keep in mind.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal Procedure
This procedure is done under general anesthesia. After anesthesia is administered, the surgeon cuts an incision along the inside of the cheek via the mouth. Then, they remove the buccal fat pads from the left and right cheeks. Absorbable sutures are placed along the incisions. Swelling is to be expected in the area after surgery and should go down within a few weeks. Expect about a few months to see final results.
Is Buccal Fat Pad Removal Permanent?
Yes, buccal fat pad removal is permanent. The buccal fat pads do not grow back after removal. However, weight gain can cause additional fat tissue to grow in the cheek area just as it would had the person not gotten buccal fat pad removal surgery.
Does Buccal Fat Pad Removal Age You?
It can, but many patients who seek buccal fat pad removal welcome the fact that it ages you. They are often young adults or middle-aged adults that have a “baby face” and want to look closer to their age. This surgery can provide the more adult look they desire.
Concerns About Buccal Fat Pad Removal
There are some concerns surrounding this procedure, but these can be avoided by getting an experienced, trusted plastic surgeon’s advice. The buccal fat pads often contribute to a youthful look, and their removal can age the face. It can also showcase signs of aging that were previously hidden by the volume that the buccal fat pads provide. This can include wrinkles or sagging which can result in a more gaunt look. Even in those who don’t have as many signs of aging or older patients who get this procedure in addition to a facelift, buccal fat pad removal can have this negative effect of a face that is unnaturally thin.
Screening for the ideal candidate is necessary to head off any issues. The ideal candidate is a young-to-middle-aged adult who naturally has a lot of fullness in the location of the buccal fat pads. They are at their ideal weight, and have realistic expectations of what can be expected from this procedure.
Are There Alternatives to Buccal Fat Pad Removal?
Morpheus 8 and Profound RF are two facial contouring options that can provide a more conservative alternative to undergoing buccal fat pad removal. Patients sometimes wonder if facial liposuction is an alternative; however, this procedure is risky due to possible unevenness and concerns about facial nerves. Facial liposuction also targets a different area of fat within the cheeks. For this reason, I don’t recommend facial liposuction to my patients.
To see if buccal fat pad removal may be right for you, contact my office using the link above. I will do a thorough assessment in which I take your concerns into consideration and advise you as to what I think may be the best course of action to help contour your face to match the look you desire.