What is Buccal Fat Removal?
Buccal fat removal is a procedure that utilizes surgical methods to reduce the size of the overhanging buccal fat pads.
This is done by removing excess fat and skin through an incision inside your cheek (buccal mucosa). The opening through which this is performed is called “incisive papilla.” It is usually done under general anesthesia.
Who is a Good Candidate For Buccal Fat Removal?
A good candidate for buccal fat removal is somebody with excess buccal fat that makes them look old and tired. People with thick cheeks can also perform these procedures, which make their faces seem large.
This procedure targets to reduce the cheek area. But it will not affect your weight or your ability to chew food.
To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure, please consult with your doctor before making any decisions. Your doctor will examine you to determine if your cheeks are likely healthy and elastic after the surgery.
If you do not have enough skin elasticity, you will need to wait until your skin is stretched out first.
What Are The Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal?
Buccal fat removal has many benefits such as:
1. It reduces the buccal fat pads and the cheek area, giving your face a slim and younger appearance.
2. It also makes you look more refreshed and rejuvenated.
3. It can remove or reduce double chin, jowls, marionette lines, jawline definition, and turkey neck. This is achieved by removing excess skin and fat around the neck.
4. It can also be combined with other procedures like chin augmentation, cheek implants, liposuction, and facelift. The combination of these procedures gives you a more youthful and attractive appearance.
5. It improves your self-image, and you will feel more confident about yourself.
What is the Buccal Fat Removal Procedure?
The incision is usually made along the inner surface of your cheek (buccal mucosa), where it meets your lower lip.
The surgeon then inserts a small instrument to separate the buccal fat pad from other tissues. Consequently, he exposes its absorbent blood vessels, which will be used to stop the bleeding during surgery.
The fat pad is then removed using “electrocautery” or scraping the tissue with a blade. The wound is then closed by stitching it up.
It is done under general anesthesia. A chin incision will be used in most cases. It goes from the lower lip up to the bottom of your nose (columella). This provides excellent access for removing buccal fat pads and excess skin.
Afterward, the surgeons wraps you in bandages. They put you under observation in the hospital for a few hours before discharge.
The procedure can leave some visible scars on your lip or nose. But most of the time, they are invisible to people who do not know you had plastic surgery. But if you feel self-conscious about this, it is worth considering having a closed procedure.
This procedure takes 1-2 hours, depending on your age, skin thickness, amount of fat pads, and other factors.
Is Buccal Fat Removal a Good Idea?
This depends on a lot of factors. Buccal fat pads can be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem in the body. If they cause problems, it could be helpful to have them removed.
For example, your cheeks can start looking hollow if you have lost a lot of weight due to illness or other health problems.
It is worth consulting with a plastic surgeon who will examine you. Further, he would recommend the best way to remove these excess fat pads safely.
They can also tell you whether it would be worthwhile to consider other methods. Others include facial fillers, to help your face look more youthful and full instead of removing the fat.
If you are perfectly healthy and have no serious underlying problems, buccal fat removal may not be a good idea.
There can still be various levels of effectiveness depending on how much excess skin and fatty tissue you have. Talk to a plastic surgeon for more information about buccal fat removal.
How Long Does Buccal Fat Removal Last?
This is just like any other surgical procedure. It will last as long as the effects of the anesthesia and painkillers do. This procedure usually a few days to a week, depending on how you take care of yourself during that time.
Once the anesthesia wears off, you may experience mild swelling at the incision site. But it will go away within a week. You will likely have some bruises around the incision point, which you should cover with makeup to hide.
Pain may also be an issue, but your doctor can prescribe painkillers that work best for you.
It is very important to follow all of the instructions given by the doctor after surgery. This is because doing so will help you speed up your recovery.
If you notice any problems after surgery, such as bleeding or infection, see your doctor right away. Serious complications are rare but do happen sometimes.
This procedure is not considered permanent since the fat pads can grow back over time. It may even grow back within a year or two. Sometimes, multiple buccal fat removal procedures will be necessary to give you the desired effects.
When Do I Need It?
You should consider buccal fat removal if you have softer, squishier-looking cheeks or jowls than you would like. This can be due to genetics, weight loss, or other causes. It is common for people to decide they want this done when they lose weight. At the same time, their face becomes gaunt and tired-looking.
You should only consider buccal fat removal if you have a healthy, stable weight and enough skin elasticity. This is because it can be more dangerous to operate on someone who has lost a lot of weight. Also, it would be difficult whose skin is sagging due to loose skin.
Surgery like this also works best to treat loose skin when the skin is still stretched out. For example, if it is after weight loss. Removing fat pads before losing weight can make your cheeks look hollow. Further, your cheeks may look sunken, even if you do end up losing weight.
This procedure will not improve wrinkles or other signs of aging. This is because it only addresses excess fat deposits on your face. If your face looks old or wrinkled, you should consider different types of facial surgery instead.
Can Buccal Fat be Removed Without a Surgery?
Aside from exercise and dieting, plastic surgeons can offer several different non-surgical options to help you get rid of buccal fat.
The most common ones are Fraxel laser treatment which works by using short pulses of light to treat your skin. Non-invasive radiofrequency liposuction uses high-frequency electrical energy to destroy fat cells. On the other hand, non-invasive liposuction is a more invasive process requiring anesthesia.
In some cases, surgeons perform buccal fat removal via minimally invasive endoscopic techniques (MIS). This is usually the safest and most cost-effective option for areas that are difficult to access, like your cheeks.
The best way to find out if any of these procedures is right for you is to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. They will examine your face and discuss the various options available. The surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits with you to develop an ideal treatment plan.
Does Buccal Fat Come Back?
Yes. Like any other tissue in the body, buccal fat pads tend to grow back over time. Even if you removed it through surgery, there is still about a 40% chance that it will come back within two years.
This means that even after having this procedure, you may need to consider additional procedures like Fraxel laser treatment or other non-surgical options to keep your face looking younger and slimmer.
You should also try to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, which will help you maintain the results of this procedure longer.
However, If you follow all of your doctor’s instructions and go easy on the foods that cause you to gain weight, this should not be a problem.
How Many Are Buccal Fat Removal Procedures Needed?
Buccal fat removal is a very versatile procedure that you can repeat as many times as necessary.
Some plastic surgeons will even combine this procedure with other procedures like silicon injections, facelifts, and eyelid surgery to give you the most dramatic results possible. This can undoubtedly help save time and money in the long term.
However, it is essential to note that these procedures are not meant to be combined with more invasive surgeries like facial implants or all-invasive liposuction.
Plastic surgeons usually recommend 1 to 2 procedures for most patients, but it can take up to 4 thicker buccal fat pads. If you have had this procedure done before and still notice areas of excess fat after dieting and exercising, consulting with a plastic surgeon may be the right decision if further treatments are necessary.
How Long Does it Take to Heal After Buccal Fat Removal Before and After?
For most patients, recovery takes about 7 to 10 days with no strenuous activities. Your doctor will provide exceptional care instructions that you must follow for your recovery to go smoothly. You can expect stiffness and swelling for a few weeks until all of the incisions have healed.
In some cases, doctors can prescribe painkillers to help you relieve the pain during this period. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication, make sure that you follow all of his instructions exactly as directed since these drugs can cause unpleasant side effects when not used properly.
After a few days, you can resume your regular activities as long as you do not push yourself too hard and you follow all of the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon.
However, if any of your symptoms become worse or cause severe pain, make sure to contact your doctor immediately for additional care.
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How Long Does it Take Before I am Back at my Regular Daily Routine?
It may take 1-2 weeks before you can return to your normal daily activities.
You should always follow the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon carefully to get the best results possible and reduce the risks of complications.
Typically, these steps include:
1. Keep your head elevated for two days after surgery to speed up blood flow and prevent excessive bleeding.
2. Keep the head of your bed elevated for two days after surgery to speed up blood flow and prevent excessive bleeding.
3. Avoid strenuous activities for one week after surgery.
4. Wear sunscreen on incisions during the first few days after surgery.
5. Drink plenty of water to keep tissues hydrated.
6. Take antibiotics and pain medication as instructed.
7. Avoid smoking for a prolonged period to speed up the healing.
8. Do not use moisturizers directly on the incisions, but rather apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or emu oil onto your skin.
9. If you have more fat removed than expected, it may take several months for your final results to appear.
You should consult with your plastic surgeon on what steps are necessary to care for your incisions. Make sure to follow all of their instructions carefully. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, you can take a mild sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help improve how well you sleep during this period.
What Kind of Problems Can Occur After Buccal Fat Removal?
While the majority of patients do not experience any problems after this procedure, some can develop complications such as:
1. Swollen gums and teeth due to blood pooling in the area.
2. If you remove too much buccal fat, you may notice that your lower jaw appears to tilt downward or move forward slightly.
3. Skin, tissue, and muscle may be visible after fat removal.
4. If the incisions become infected, they will need to be treated accordingly by your doctor.
5. Scarring. This problem occurs in most cases, but the risk of scarring is minimal if you follow all instructions given to you by your surgeon (never touch or pick at the wound before it heals).
6. Infection caused by contamination of the open wound.
7. Difficulty in closing the wound back up. This usually occurs due to a lack of cleanliness before and after surgery but can also happen for no reason at all.
These risks typically increase as you undergo additional procedures or your plastic surgeon is not experienced with this kind of surgery. But, If any of these events do happen, you should contact your surgeon immediately.
The doctor may recommend corrective action or performing surgery again to fix the problem.
Do I Need Extra Care or Treatment After Buccal Fat Removal Before and After?
Subjects who underwent buccal fat removal showed that they recovered quickly with no complications. However, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for the best results.
The pressure of the pillow will likely cause swelling on your cheeks and face, which you can relieve it by placing a cold pack or ice pack on the cheeks to reduce swelling.
It would be best to avoid excessive alcohol drinking, smoking cigarettes, and consuming caffeine drinks to prevent blood circulation problems.
These three things can slow down the healing process, so you must carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. You may also require additional procedures after buccal fat removal to tighten up the area that you had fat removed from.
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What are Buccal Fat Removal Costs?
This depends on whether you have the procedure done in a private clinic or a public hospital. Private clinics offer better services but have steeper costs, whereas public hospitals are usually cheaper but provide lower quality services.
The average price of buccal fat removal is $5,000 – $7,500, depending on your location. Further, other factors like the number of procedures to be performed, additional surgery is done during the procedure, etc.
Remember that the price you pay is not as important as the results you get from your surgery. Choose a clinic or hospital based on how comfortable you feel with their procedures. Also, notes the aftercare services they will provide for you.
Before selecting a surgeon to perform your procedure, make sure you get at least three different opinions.
Different plastic surgeons may offer different services and prices. But the most important thing is to ensure that your doctor has a lot of experience with lipo procedures. This way, you will have a higher chance of getting satisfactory results from your surgery.
Will My Face Sag After Buccal Fat Removal?
There is always a possibility of this happening. But, most patients who undergo buccal fat removal experience minimal sagging in their faces. This usually occurs when the doctor removes too much buccal fat. This may cause your lower jaw to look longer or shorter than before.
Your surgeon can correct this problem by performing additional surgeries on the affected area. Also, it is viable to perform the buccal fat removal again to remove excess fat.
Some risks come with all plastic surgery procedures. But experts claim that buccal fat removal is a safe procedure when the experienced surgeon is the one performing it.
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Can You Brush Your Teeth After Buccal Fat Removal?
Yes, you can. You should brush and floss your teeth carefully to avoid injuring the wound and disrupting the healing process. When brushing your front teeth, make sure that you do it gently. Do not cause any pressure on your cheek area where the surgery was done.
If you are using any whitening product, make sure that it is compatible with your surgeon’s medication. This way, it will not interfere with the wound healing process or damage your skin.
It is also essential that you eliminate sugar from your diet after this procedure. This is because high sugar intake can cause the wound to heal slowly.
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Can a Dentist Do Buccal Fat Removal?
No, buccal fat removal is a procedure that only plastic surgeons and doctors can do. It is considered a type of facial rejuvenation procedure. So the experienced doctor with proper training and skills can perform it.
If you would like to do this procedure, make sure that your dentist is not performing it. If your dentist performs this procedure, he can face criminal charges for practicing medicine without a license.
Will I Need Buccal Fat Removal Revision Surgery?
This will depend on your surgeon and the severity of the results of your first surgery. Some people may notice that there is some sagging in their faces after the swelling has gone down.
To correct this, they may need to undergo revision surgery. They should ask their doctor if this is necessary before performing the buccal fat removal procedure.
There is no such thing as a 100% guarantee for plastic surgery procedures. Nevertheless, many doctors claim that buccal fat removal has a high chance of providing lasting results if performed correctly.
A patient’s experience with buccal fat removal also depends on their overall health condition. Besides, it also depends on how much self-care they contribute to the healing process.
For example, someone who remains inactive after surgery will have much more difficulty recovering than an active person. This is because a patient’s activity level contributes a lot to the recovery process.
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Buccal fat removal is an excellent procedure that can help improve your overall appearance. Also, it can make you look younger and more energetic.
Not only will it make your face look slimmer and reduce the signs of aging. But it will also help elevate your mood and self-confidence after surgery. This procedure has been designed to work on.
You are a good candidate for this procedure if you have protruding cheekbones. And if you want to remove the excess buccal pads from your cheeks.