Buccal Fat Removal

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Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat pad removal is a surgical procedure which is commonly performed to reduce the prominence of cheeks and to enhance the contour between the bony cheek and soft cheek areas.

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Location of buccal fat pad

It is commonly performed in conjunction with liposuction of lower face and neck as well as neurotoxin (Botox) injection to the masseter muscle to reduce the lower face volume.

How is it performed?

Buccal fat pad removal is performed under general anaesthesia as a day care procedure.

A small incision is taken on the inner lining (mucosa) of your cheeks near the upper 2nd molar tooth. Working through this incision your surgeon will dissect out the buccal fat pad and extract it by applying gentle pressure from the outside of your cheeks. The appropriate amount of buccal fat pad is then excised. The incision is closed with self-absorbing sutures.

Small adhesive tapes may be applied on your cheeks after surgery to minimize swelling.

Recovery

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies from patient to patient. The first couple of days after surgery you should restrict your activities and sleep with your head elevated for the first 2 weeks. This will help to minimize swelling. In addition, facial movements may be temporarily restricted or impaired. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. You will be advised to have a liquid diet for the first 2-3 days, after which you may resume normal diet. It is imperative that you maintain proper oral hygiene during the recovery phase.

You will be able to resume normal activities by the next day and should be able to resume exercises after 2-4 weeks after surgery.

Possible risks

Removal of buccal fat pad is a surgical procedure and has some potential problems associated with it. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

The potential risks include:

  • Excessive swelling (temporary)
  • Bleeding
  • Injury to parotid duct which may affect salivation
  • Injury to facial nerve branch

Consultation

During consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Previous surgeries

Your aesthetic surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take clinical photographs
  • Discuss your options
  • Recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of surgery and any risks or potential complications

It’s very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your cosmetic surgeon.

Preparing for buccal fat pad removal surgery

In preparing for surgery, you may be instructed as follows:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding