Are you bothered by your fat cheeks? Maybe you’re envious of those who have perfect cheekbones? You’re not alone. It’s a fact that many people are self-conscious about their cheeks. There is something you can do about them though. You can get the cheeks you want through a procedure known as buccal fat removal.
What is buccal fat removal?
Buccal fat is the fat in the cheeks. And an excess of it leads to chubby cheeks, often called chipmunk cheeks.
Cheek reduction surgery is one of the best ways for you to get rid of it and get those toned cheeks instead. The reduction procedure is known as buccal fat removal.
There are a few causes of fat cheeks.
You may be overweight, or just have a genetic predisposition towards fatter cheeks.
Whatever the cause, cheek reduction surgery removes some of the cheek fat pads. This results in slimmer cheeks and a more sculpted and contoured face. You end up with a more chiseled, hollow appearance.
Who is it for?
Those opting for buccal fat removal should be over 18 and in good physical condition.
You need to keep in mind that it’s hard to change the results of a cosmetic surgery. So you need to be absolutely sure it’s what you want before you go ahead with it.
You should make sure you consult with a cosmetic surgeon who has good experience and a good reputation. Always be aware of the benefits, risks, and methods used for the procedure before you sign up for it. Your surgeon will be able to explain these to you.
They’ll answer any questions you might have, and advise you on your suitability for the procedure. They’ll also discuss your health and medical history, and will assess your facial features to determine the right amount of buccal fat to remove. You may have to have a physical examination to determine your fitness for the surgery.
Cheek reduction surgery procedure
The procedure is usually performed while the patient is under local anesthesia, though it is also performed under general anesthesia too. It usually takes about thirty minutes to an hour.
An incision is made in the back of the mouth between the gums and cheek. This exposes the main cheek muscle, called the buccinator. The surgeon then applies manual pressure on the external cheek. This leads to the buccal fat pads entering the interior section of the mouth through the incision. They’re then extracted further with the help of forceps or tweezers and the extra fat is cut and removed. The remaining buccal fat is then replaced to achieve the required result. The incisions are then sutured.
After surgery you’ll be taken to a recovery room to rest while you recover from the anesthesia. The procedure is often done on an outpatient basis, meaning you’ll be allowed home the same day. In some cases, you may stay in the hospital overnight.
Buccal fat removal outcome
The buccal fat procedure will result in you having thinner and more defined cheeks. This will enhance your facial appearance. You’ll feel much more confident about your looks. And you’ll no longer worry about people commenting on your chubby cheeks.
It can take up to four or five months before the full effects of the procedure become fully apparent. The end result is permanent, though of course if you put on a lot of weight your cheeks can get fatter again.
As the procedure takes place entirely in the mouth, there is no external scarring.
You’re likely to feel some discomfort, and even pain, after the procedure. There’ll be some swelling and you may have difficulty chewing. This can last for up to a week. Most people who undergo buccal fat removal are able to return to work within a week. You should still take it easy for a couple more weeks after this though.
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t notice any difference for the first week or two after the surgery. It may even seem that your cheeks are fatter than they were before. This is purely down to the swelling which will soon disappear.
Your surgeon will give you instructions on what to do after the surgery. You should make sure you follow these instructions. You’re likely to be prescribed pain killers and given advice about diet, exercise and bathing/showering.
Cheek reduction surgery risks
The procedure, like any surgical procedure, is not without risks. The major risk is injury to the buccal branch of the facial nerve. This may lead to partial face paralysis, numbness, loss of taste and other such factors.
Sometimes, the parotid duct may be damaged resulting in hematoma and salivation problems. Apart from this, adverse reactions to the anesthesia and infections are other potential risks.
Other risks are that the end result is not symmetrical or you end up looking gaunter than you wanted to.
As you age, your face naturally appears thinner anyway. So if you’re considering this surgery when in your 20s you need to take this into account. Otherwise as you age you may develop a scrawny look due to excessive thinning. This can make you appear older than you actually are. Again, you should discuss the amount of fat to be removed during your consultation with your surgeon.
Buccal fat removal cost
Buccal fat removal will cost you around $1500 to $5000. The actual figure depends on a variety of factors. For example, where you live, and the surgeon and facility you choose. This figure includes only the surgeon’s cost and not any miscellaneous costs.
Buccal fat removal is a great option for many people who are self-conscious about their fat cheeks. As with any surgical procedure, the benefits must be weighed against the risks and you must be realistic in your expectations. You should always consult with an approved surgeon first.