Buccal Fat Removal

Consultations offered at our three convenient locations in San Diego, La Jolla and Del Mar, CA

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Though rounded facial contours are a hallmark of youth, many people are self-conscious about the round or chubby appearance of their cheeks. These “cherub cheeks” or “chipmunk cheeks” can result from a variety of factors. Younger people may carry excess “baby fat” that they will naturally lose over time. Others have a genetic predisposition to carry fat in their faces, while some have bottom-heavy faces as a result of their overall body type.

Patients who have chubby cheeks in relation to the rest of their face and body often find this fat is difficult to shed through normal diet and exercise, resulting in a full appearance even in people who are at a healthy body weight.

Prime Plastic Surgery offers buccal fat contouring, also called cheek reduction surgery, as a solution for those who want to reduce the size of their cheeks. Surgical contouring of these fat pads can slim the cheeks and contour the face for a more chiseled and defined appearance.

Before and After Photos

About

The buccal fat pad is a naturally occurring pocket of fat located within the cheek. Buccal fat is a continuation of a deep fat pad on both sides of the face, located between the facial muscles. A skilled surgeon can easily separate this fat from other facial structures, making this surgery an ideal choice for anyone who is dissatisfied with fullness in their lower face.

Excess buccal fat results in a full, rounded facial contour. Cheek reduction surgery is a simple and effective way of reducing this unwanted lower facial fullness, resulting in a thinner contour. The procedure transforms the face from a square or boxy appearance to a more desirable “V” shape.

Candidates

In general, any adult in good overall health who is concerned about excess cheek fat is a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery. Skilled surgeons will tailor the amount of fat to remove based on your desired outcome. However, if your face is already relatively narrow, our surgeons may caution against getting this surgery, since most people lose facial fat as they age.

Procedure

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In experienced hands, buccal fat removal is a straightforward procedure. After administering anesthesia, your surgeon will make small incisions inside the mouth, through which they will isolate and carefully remove the precise amount of buccal fat to create the ideal facial contour. To complete the procedure, they will close the incisions with absorbable sutures.

While facial liposuction is another technique that can remove fat from the cheek area, most doctors and patients prefer contouring the buccal aft pad for its subtle and aesthetically pleasing results. It may be combined with micro-lipo of the cheeks to give a better result in the appropriate patient .Depending on your cosmetic concerns, cheek reduction can be a stand-alone procedure, or you can choose to get this as an “accessory” to other surgeries such as a facelift or rhinoplasty for even more outstanding results. Our surgeons can help you decide what is best for you after a one-on-one discussion about your expectations for this surgery. 

Risks of Buccal Fat Removal

As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with buccal fat removal. These include infection, adverse reaction to the anesthesia, very rare trauma to the buccal branch of the facial nerve and numbness around the incision sites. If you are a smoker, we advise you to quit smoking at least two weeks before your surgery, since smoking impedes the healing process and puts you at increased risk of complications.

Younger patients who are considering cheek reduction surgery should consider that the face tends to thin out on its own during the mid- to late 20s. Removal of cheek fat is permanent, so if you experience the fat loss that normally accompanies age further down the road, it can cause your face to have a hollow or gaunt appearance. If you are considering undergoing this surgery before the age of 25 or so, you should first take your hereditary factors into account, and review old family photos to determine if full or chubby cheeks are genetic.

Recovery

Cheek reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure. The recovery period after a buccal fat reduction is shorter than most cosmetic surgeries, with minimal impact on your daily life. You may have minor swelling, bruising, and soreness that you can easily manage with prescription over-the-counter medications. However, these side effects should not hinder your typical activities.

Since our surgeons perform the entire surgery from inside your mouth, it will not result in visible scarring on your face. As you heal, you will need to refrain from touching your sutures with your tongue. You may also find that it is easier and more comfortable for you to eat soft or liquid foods while you recover.

You will see an improvement in your face shape almost immediately after the procedure, but the results will only continue to improve over the following days and weeks as the swelling subsides. Though everyone heals at different rates, most patients will be able to return to work and their normal routine within a day or two, without any activity restrictions. We will send you home from your surgery with detailed postoperative instructions, including when you should return for any follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

Why Choose Prime Plastic Surgery

As leading aesthetic (cosmetic) surgeons, our doctors have dedicated their distinguished, long careers to helping people improve the quality of their lives with their surgical skills. Having attained their board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, our surgeons are internationally recognized for their contributions to the field of aesthetic medicine and has also become a frequent guest speakers and authors about their areas of expertise.

If you are considering buccal fat contouring, contact us today. Our team will help you decide which procedures and treatments will allow you to achieve the results you desire. We believe you deserve to be confident in your appearance so you can share the best version of yourself with the world.