Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure that involves removing fat pads from the lower cheeks in order to correct what is commonly referred to as "chipmunk cheeks."  The procedure, which is sometimes used in combination with other facial cosmetic procedures, is used to produce a thinner face with a more sculpted appearance.

Understanding the Procedure

In order to perform buccal fat removal, the surgeon must first make an incision ranging from two to four centimeters long between the gums and the cheek.  This region, which is referred to as the Maxillary Vestibule, spans from the area above the second molar to the back of the patient's mouth.  The surgeon then exposes the fibers and the fascia of the buccinator muscle so the excess fat can be "teased" out from the cheek with forceps.  The fat is then removed and the incision is closed with sutures. 

Buccal fat removal generally takes only about one to two hours to complete.  Although swelling and bruising does typically occur for the first few days, it generally subsides within one to two weeks.

Risks Associated with Breast Reduction Surgery

As would be expected with any cosmetic surgery, there are potential risks and side effects associated with buccal fat removal.  Some of the more common include:

  • Bruising
  • Excessive swelling
  • Infection
  • Negative response to anesthesia

Some of the risks that are specifically associated with buccal fat removal include:

  • Asymmetrical appearance
  • Leaving the face looking gaunt
  • Temporary or permanent loss of sensation

It is also possible to experience fever, pain or pus drainage following the procedure.  Patients who experience these complications should notify their doctors as soon as possible so corrective action may be taken.

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