Buccal Fat Pad Removal in Melbourne – Mid Face Surgery for Thinner Cheeks
- Would you like less fullness in your face?
- Have you been called chipmunk face or chubby cheeks?
- Do you want a more defined cheek or cheekbones?
Buccal fat pad removal surgery, otherwise known as buccal lipectomy or cheek reduction surgery is a procedure in which your plastic surgeon removes or reduces the buccal fat pads from your cheek. This procedure can give your cheeks a more chiselled look, a thinner face, enhanced contours and facial angles.
Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne
FRCS, FRCSI, FRCSI (Plast. Surg)
Dr Briggs is dedicated to excellence in patient care and committed to treating each and every patient professionally, and with respect and privacy.
If you want to find out more about this procedure book a consultation today.
What is a buccal fat pad?
The Buccal fat pad is the deep-lying rounded mass of fat present in the middle of your cheek. It lies between the facial muscles beneath your cheekbone. The size of this fat pad can also determine the size of your face and varies from person to person.
Am I a Good Candidate for buccal fat pad removal?
You may be a good candidate for Buccal fat pad removal if you:
- Are wanting to get rid of chubby cheeks to achieve a more defined look.
- Have pseudo herniation in your cheeks. Weak pads of fat can cause this.
- You want to enhance the appearance of your cheekbones.
- Have excessive fullness in your cheeks that gives you a chipmunk like appearance. Which makes you self-conscious.
- You have lost weight but still, have the full appearance of your face. Especially in the mid-face region.
What are the Benefits of Buccal fat pad removal?
There are many benefits to buccal fat removal. First of all, it enhances the contour of your mid and lower face. Another benefit of Buccal Fat pad removal is that it does not leave visible scars as other Facial surgery can. If you suffer from self-confidence issues due to dissatisfaction in your appearance then this operation could not only help but it could also give you a confidence boost.
You should discuss your conditions, as well as the benefits of a buccal fat pad reduction before going through with the procedure with a plastic surgeon to see if the surgery is the correct fit for you.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal – The procedure
It is a quick and painless procedure that can be done within an hour. The following is the general steps take;
- As this is a simple operation it will be done as a day procedure, using either local anaesthetic with sedation or general anaesthetic. However, this depends not only on your preference but also on your surgeon’s advice. Surgeons will use a solution of Lidocaine, epinephrine, and saline to numb the area and limit bleeding during the procedure.
- Next, a small intraoral incision will be made between your cheeks and your gums, near the second upper molars. Due to the fact that the incision is made inside your mouth, you will not have any visible post-operative scarring.
- Then, your surgeon will apply pressure, from the outside to squeeze out your pad of fat through the small incision made between your cheeks and gums.
- Once an adequate amount of fat has been taken from your cheeks your surgeon closes the incision with absorbable sutures.
- You will be able to go home on the day of the surgery.
Post Surgery Recovery after BUccal Fat Pad Removal
While mild to moderate bruising and swellings is common after the surgery it will subside on its own. Mild pain is also common postoperatively. However, you will be prescribed anti-pain medication to minimise your discomfort.
In addition to prescribed medication, you will also be advised to use two pillows while sleeping, for at least 2 days post-surgery. Solid foods will also be restricted for a few days as you will have an intraoral incision. Furthermore, you will also be advised to rinse your mouth between 4-5 times a day for the first 7 days following surgery.
Fortunately, buccal fat removal surgery has very little downtime. Apart from highly physical activities, most activities can be resumed a day or two after the surgery. However, it will take you about a week to resume ALL your normal activities. Furthermore, you will only require a few follow-up appointments to ensure the healing process is going properly.
Risks and Complications Associated with Buccal Fat Pad Removal Surgery.
As is the case with every surgery, cheek reduction surgery also has a certain amount of risks, and its important that you understand these risks and possible complications. Including but not limited to;
- Facial asymmetry; resulting from unequal amounts of fat being taken from either side of the cheek.
- Puckering of the skin; if the skin does not shrink to accommodate the newly reduced area.
- Infection of the suture site; characterized by excessive pain and swelling.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Damage to Salivary glands.
- Or, damage to Facial nerves; which can lead to facial paralysis.
- Seroma; in other words, a build-up of fluid at the site of the incision.
The associated risks while unlikely are possible and significant. As a result, it is vital that this surgery is only performed by a fully qualified surgeon. A surgeon Like Dr Briggs. This reduces the chance of risks or complications occurring.
Seek immediate assistance from your consultant if you feel something is not right.
Your Buccal Fat Pad Removal Surgery Journey
The first phase in your cheek reduction surgery is your first consultation. During which you will have an in-depth discussion with your plastic surgeon about the procedure. This first consult is also to see if you meet the criteria to undergo the procedure.
Your surgeon will take a detailed medical history and enquire as to whether or not you smoke. They will also ask you about your goals for the procedure. It is important that you be honest and reasonable about your expectations with your surgeon. Your surgeon will also explain the modality of the procedure in full to you along with the risks involved.
You will be expected to:
- Not drink or eat for at least 6 hours before the surgery, if you are undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia.
- Refrain from using aspirin or other blood-thinning substance for at least 2 weeks before your surgery.
- If you are a smoker you will need to avoid smoking for at least 4 weeks before surgery.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption for at least 2 days before your procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is buccal fat pad removal?
- It is a surgical procedure where your plastic surgeon removes a pad of fat in your cheeks that lays between facial muscles. The fat pad is removed through a small incision inside of your mouth.
Are Bichectomy and Buccal fat pad removal different?
- No, they are the same thing.
What is the best age for buccal fat removal?
- The best age for buccal fat pad removal varies depending on the patient and their treatment goals. If buccal fat removal helps a patient achieve a balanced, natural-looking facial appearance and helps the patient reach their desired goals regarding appearance it can be done at any age irrespective of the patient’s age. However, it is generally advised after the age of 35 as in most people, their faces begin to thin as they reach their 30s, doing the surgery at an early age in these patients can lead to a gaunt appearance of the face as they age.
What is a buccal fat pad used for?
- In infants, it helps in the suckling of milk. It facilitates the muscles of mastication and also protects the sensitive muscles of the face from external injuries.
Can I brush my teeth after buccal fat removal?
- Brushing your teeth poses some problems during the early post-surgery stages. This is due to the fact that the toothbrush can easily bring too much pressure on the site of the incision. As a result, your surgeon will recommend that you use an antiseptic mouth wash for a week following the surgery to maintain your oral hygiene. Brushing can be resumed once the sutures dissolve.
What should I do after buccal fat removal? How do I take care of it after the surgery?
- In the recovery period following the surgery, it is important to protect the wound not only from the pressure of food but also from infection. You will be prescribed antibiotics, as well as pain killers to reduce the chance of infection and mild pain that can follow surgery, you will also be advised to maintain a soft diet for a week. In other words, avoid solid foods. Furthermore, it is vital you maintain oral hygiene by rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash 4-5 times a day.
Is buccal fat removal dangerous?
- It is generally a safe surgery but it is not without complications. Facial asymmetry, excessive bleeding, damage to the facial nerve, damage to nearby salivary glands, lockjaw, infection of the suture site, and seromas are few complications associated with the procedure. So, it is necessary that if you are undergoing this procedure you do it with a fully qualified surgeon that has experience doing the procedure, this helps minimize the risks.
Will I get a scar after the surgery?
- No, you will not have visible scars as the incision for this surgery is made inside your mouth.
Are the results permanent?
- Yes, the results of a buccal pad removal surgery are regarded as permanent. Once the fat is removed from the undersurface of your cheek, it will not come back.
Will Medicare or my health insurance fund cover me for buccal fat removal?
- No, as it is cosmetic or aesthetic surgery Medicare and your health insurance will probably NOT cover you.
When will the results be visible?
- It can take about 4 weeks to fully visualize the final result of the surgery. This is due to the fact that swelling and bruising take time to subside.
Can I get rid of my facial fat naturally?
- Limiting alcohol intake, drinking more water, doing specialized exercises for the face, reducing excess sodium in your diet and taking food rich in fibre can all help you lose extra fat in your face.
Does buccal fat removal surgery help with a double chin?
- Yes, it can help reduce a double chin, giving your face a thinner, youthful, and streamlined appearance.
Associated Procedures commonly combined with Mid Face Surgery
Buccal fat removal surgery can be done as either a single procedure or in combination with any of the following:
- Face Lift, a procedure which is done to get rid of excess facial skin. Which leaves patients looking more youthful.
- Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job. A procedure that changes the appearance of your nose through cartilage and/or bone removal.
- Can be done in conjunction with cheek reduction surgery.
- Combining the two surgeries enhances your facial features and gives a thinner look to your face.
- Chin Augmentation; this procedure uses an implant placed directly on your chin bone to augment an unprojected chin. A Chin augmentation, done along with buccal fat removal gives proper balance to your facial features, giving a more chiselled look.
Is Buccal fat removal surgery worth it?
If you wish to enhance the appearance of your cheekbones or have excessive fullness in your cheeks that is making you self-conscious about your looks, then this surgery could be for you.
Why Choose Dr Patrick Briggs for Buccal Fat pad Removal?
Dr Briggs is a highly skilled Specialist Plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience under his belt. He has received training in not only the USA but also England and Ireland.
Now he has settled in Melbourne, at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery where he is a Board Certified plastic surgeon who performs surgeries with innovative and up-to-date approaches. An expert in Face, breast, and body surgeries for men and women he offers high quality and natural-looking plastic surgery results.