Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Dr. Ayad Harb, one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Buccal Fat Reduction is an increasingly popular surgical procedure tailored for individuals who wish to diminish the fullness in their cheeks and achieve a more refined facial appearance. It targets the buccal fat pads that lie within the lower cheeks, responsible for a "chubby" or rounded facial look. This fat pad varies in size from person to person and may contribute to a softer, youthful appearance that some individuals wish to reduce for a more chiseled and mature aesthetic.
The procedure commences with a detailed consultation where the surgeon evaluates the facial anatomy and discusses the desired outcomes with the patient. It's performed as an outpatient procedure, typically under local anesthesia. A small incision is made inside the mouth, on the inner side of the cheek, allowing direct access to the buccal fat pads. The targeted fat is then meticulously extracted, sculpting the cheeks and highlighting the natural contours of the face.
One of the significant advantages of Buccal Fat Reduction is the absence of any visible external scars. Since the incisions are made within the mouth, there are no markings on the facial skin, leaving a smooth and natural finish. The surgery usually takes around an hour and offers a quick recovery, with most patients resuming normal activities within a day or two.
Buccal Fat Reduction may be performed as a standalone procedure or in conjunction with other facial contouring treatments, such as chin augmentation or a facelift, for a more comprehensive enhancement. The results are generally permanent, offering a long-lasting solution for those seeking to diminish the appearance of prominent or “chubby” cheeks.
While primarily pursued for aesthetic reasons, Buccal Fat Reduction can also have practical benefits. For example, reducing the buccal fat pads may facilitate better oral hygiene by making the cleaning of the inner cheeks more comfortable and effective.
Buccal Fat Reduction is a sophisticated procedure that requires an experienced and skilled surgeon. Individualized assessment and careful surgical technique ensure that the optimal amount of fat is removed, avoiding an overly hollow appearance, and preserving the natural attractiveness of the face.
Overall, the procedure provides a powerful means to enhance one's facial appearance, emphasizing natural beauty and individual characteristics. Through minimal incisions and a short recovery time, it offers a convenient solution for those seeking to accentuate their facial contours and achieve a more defined and youthful look.
24 hours post-surgery
Buccal Fat Reduction is not universally suitable for all individuals. Ideal candidates typically have a fuller appearance in the lower cheeks that they wish to reduce. They should be in good overall health, non-smokers or ready to quit smoking, and have realistic expectations regarding the results. The procedure is not advisable for individuals with a naturally thin face, as removing buccal fat may lead to a gaunt appearance. Age also plays a role; younger patients with youthful, elastic skin may achieve better results. The consultation with a skilled surgeon is a vital step to determine candidacy, where a thorough evaluation of the facial structure, medical history, and personal goals is undertaken. The surgeon will recommend the best course of action, considering all the individual factors.
As with any surgical procedure, Buccal Fat Reduction comes with potential risks and side effects, although they are generally rare and manageable. Potential risks may include infection, bleeding, swelling, bruising, or numbness in the cheek area. Temporary changes in sensation or facial asymmetry may also occur. It's essential to choose an experienced surgeon who adheres to the highest standards of care to minimize these risks. Proper post-operative care, following the surgeon's guidelines, will further reduce the likelihood of complications. Any concerns should be immediately addressed with the medical team to ensure prompt and appropriate care.
Buccal Fat Reduction offers permanent results as the fat pads removed from the cheeks do not regenerate. However, it is essential to recognize that the rest of the facial tissues continue to age and change over time. Maintaining a stable weight is crucial, as significant weight fluctuations can alter facial appearance. Following a healthy lifestyle, including proper skincare, diet, and sun protection, will also support the longevity of the results. Periodic consultations with the surgeon or a skincare specialist may help in maintaining the fresh and youthful appearance achieved through the procedure.
One of the standout features of Buccal Fat Reduction is that it leaves no visible scars. The incisions are made inside the mouth, hidden from view. This contributes to the natural appearance of the results and eliminates concerns about noticeable scarring. Some patients might experience minor internal scarring, but this is typically inconsequential and does not affect the appearance or function of the mouth. Following post-operative care instructions, including oral hygiene guidelines provided by the surgeon, helps ensure a smooth healing process without complications.
Yes, Buccal Fat Reduction can often be combined with other facial procedures to achieve a comprehensive facial enhancement. Procedures like facelift, neck lift, chin augmentation, or rhinoplasty may be performed simultaneously or in a staged manner. Combining procedures can provide synergistic effects, enhancing the overall balance and harmony of the face. However, this approach requires careful planning and consideration of the individual's anatomy, goals, and overall health. A detailed consultation with an experienced surgeon is crucial to tailor a personalized treatment plan that aligns with the patient's needs and ensures safety and satisfaction.