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Buccal Fat Reduction

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What is buccal fat reduction?

Buccal fat reduction involves surgical removal of the buccal fat pad through an incision inside the mouth in order to provide slimming in the lower cheek, or buccal region of the face.

Buccal Fat Reduction Before and After Performed by Jordan A. Cain, MD

Many patients are bothered by a fullness or roundness in the lower face and cheeks. This is sometimes referred to as “chipmunk cheeks” or having a “baby face.” In some, this may be related to an oversized buccal fat pad, which is located in the soft portion of the cheek lateral to the oral cavity. In the select patient, surgical reduction of this buccal fat pad can provide a slimming effect that adds improved contour to the lower third of the face. If this is a concern for you, Dr. Cain or Dr. Richardson can evaluate your facial proportions and determine whether or not buccal fat reduction may be an appropriate procedure to help you achieve your goals.

Will I look different after buccal fat reduction?

Buccal fat reduction typically provides a subtle but noticeable improvement in the contour of the lower cheeks. Our goal is always to provide a natural balance in facial features to bring out the best version of yourself.

Is buccal fat reduction safe? What are the risks of buccal fat reduction?

Yes, in the hands of an experienced surgeon buccal fat reduction is generally a very safe procedure. As with any surgical procedure, postoperative infection is always a risk, but with the use of an antibiotic rinse during the case and a course of oral antibiotics after surgery, this risk is minimal. There are important structures in the buccal region that must be avoided during surgery in order to prevent complications, so it is imperative that the surgeon has an intimate understanding of facial anatomy in order to minimize risk. This includes the parotid duct, which is a tube that connects one of the salivary glands to the inside surface of the cheek in order to provide saliva to the oral cavity. There are also branches of a nerve in the buccal region that act to move some of the muscles in the lower part of the face, and injury to one of these nerve branches could cause weakness and asymmetry in facial movement that may be temporary or permanent. Dr. Cain and Dr. Richardson have expert, specialized training in facial anatomy and surgical techniques that help them avoid these important structures and provide excellent outcomes with minimal risk.

Will buccal fat reduction make me look older?

Part of the aging process involves loss of facial volume through the atrophy of the facial fat pads. If someone already has a very slender lower face and the buccal fat is removed, this can create a gaunt appearance that can make a person look older. Additionally, someone who undergoes buccal fat reduction when they are young could notice their result become somewhat more prominent when they are much older as the other facial fat pads lose volume. In the appropriately selected patient, buccal fat reduction simply helps to achieve a balance between the facial features and provide subtle, natural, long-lasting results. Dr. Cain or Dr. Richardson will evaluate you prior to surgery to ensure that buccal fat reduction is the best procedure to help you achieve your goals.

How is buccal fat reduction performed? What happens during buccal fat reduction?

Buccal fat reduction is usually performed under a light sedation, but may also be performed with the use of local anesthesia while the patient is awake if requested. A small incision about 1 cm in length is made on the inside surface of the cheek. Blunt instruments are then used to carefully pass through a muscle layer in order to access the buccal fat pad. The buccal fat is then gently teased out through the incision until the appropriate amount to be removed is exposed. An electrocautery device is then used to cut through the attachment of the fat pad, while also preventing and reducing the risks of any bleeding. The incision site is rinsed to help prevent infection. Absorbable sutures are then used to close the incision, and the procedure is repeated on the other cheek.

Can I do liposuction instead of buccal fat reduction to get rid of chubby cheeks?

Liposuction is a procedure that is typically used to remove fat from a layer that is just below the skin. Because the buccal fat pad is deeper than this layer, it is not easily accessible with a liposuction cannula, and this not a safe or effective technique to remove fat in this area.

Is buccal fat reduction painful?

Buccal fat reduction is typically not a painful procedure. It is a procedure that some patients feel comfortable doing while awake. After surgery, patients may experience mild soreness or tenderness for a day or two, but this is usually easily controlled and resolves quickly.

What can I expect after buccal fat reduction? What are the downtime and recovery process like after buccal fat reduction?

Patients may experience mild soreness or tenderness at the surgical site for a day or two after surgery. You are able to eat the same day after your surgery, but are encouraged to eat mainly soft foods that will not cause you discomfort while you are healing. Many patients experience some mild to moderate swelling in the cheeks that will usually peak about 24-48 hours before resolving over the next few days. The sutures used to close the incision are dissolvable, but we will see you at one week after your surgery, and any sutures that are still remaining at that time may be removed. We ask you to avoid strenuous activity such as exercise and heavy lifting for 1-2 weeks after surgery. In general, patients are able to return to work within a few days, and some have even gone back to work that didn’t require strenuous activity the day after surgery.

Is buccal fat reduction permanent? Will buccal fat come back if I gain weight after surgery?

Yes, buccal fat reduction is permanent. The buccal fat that is removed does not regenerate after surgery. However, there are other areas of fat within this region of the face, and a significant weight gain could cause these areas of fat to enlarge and lessen the effectiveness of the buccal fat reduction procedure.

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How can I set up a Buccal Fat Removal Consultation?

Call or text Texas Facial Aesthetics at 469-362-6975 to set up a consultation with either Dr. Matthew Richardson or Dr. Jordan Cain. You can also email us at info@txfaces.com for more information.

Related Procedures

Fat Transfer

Neck Liposuction

Cheek Augmentation

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At Texas Facial Aesthetics, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care and results to our patients. We specialize in facial aesthetics, using the latest techniques and technologies to achieve natural-looking outcomes. Our fellow trained facial plastic and reconstructive doctors have extensive experience in facial anatomy and aesthetics. They work closely with each patient to create a personalized treatment plan that meets their goals and expectations. Whether you want to enhance your features, restore your youthful appearance, or correct a facial deformity, we are here to help you look and feel your best. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can transform your face and your life.