Though a face with a naturally soft, filled-out appearance looks more youthful, not everyone sees that as a positive. Some people find they are self-conscious about overly rounded, full, or chubby cheeks. If you are unhappy with your “chipmunk cheeks,” you may be a good candidate for buccal fat removal, also known as a buccal lipectomy.
The goal of buccal fat removal is to create a thinner-looking face by removing the naturally occurring buccal fat pads that are located near the corners of your mouth above the jawline. A qualified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Schmidt can remove these pads to give your face a leaner, more contoured shape, bringing balance to your facial features and providing you with a more symmetrical appearance.
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. Schmidt 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. Schmidt will review these risks with you to ensure all is discussed before consenting to go through with the surgery.
What Does Buccal Fat Removal Entail?
Dr. Schmidt performs buccal fat removal surgery in his well-appointed, modern Denver plastic surgery office. It is an outpatient surgery, and you will need to make sure someone you trust is available to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following your procedure.
A buccal fat removal procedure includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
You will receive either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your maximum comfort during the procedure. Dr. Schmidt will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – Making the Incisions
A buccal fat removal surgery requires making small incisions on the inner portion of each cheek to enable access to and removal of the buccal fat pads.
Step 3 – Closing the Incisions
Sutures close the incisions inside your mouth. During your healing process, be sure to avoid touching the sutures with your tongue or teeth. Since these incisions are small and hidden inside your mouth, they will be virtually invisible once they fully heal.
Step 4 – See the Results
Your buccal fat removal surgery will result in thinner, more contoured cheeks and a better-defined mid-face and cheek area.
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. Schmidt, be sure to ask about combining surgeries if there are other issues you wish to address.
Dr. Schmidt 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.
Your Buccal Fat Removal in Denver
If you are exploring your options for reshaping your face with buccal fat removal, contact Schmidt Facial Plastic Surgery to set up an individualized consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Schmidt. Having studied under the mentorship of some of the most renowned medical professionals in practice today, Dr. Schmidt is uniquely qualified to perform aesthetic surgeries that take each patient’s goals and unique facial anatomy into account to provide consistently outstanding surgical outcomes. He combines his attention to detail with his extensive medical training to provide all his patients with results that improve their self-confidence and the quality of their lives.