Buccal Fat Removal: Procedure, Cost, and Complications

Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is a type of plastic surgery or buccal lipectomy and cheek reduction surgery. This surgery is done to get thin cheeks and to remove the buccal fat pad.

The buccal fat pad is the mass present in the centre of the cheeks, between facial muscles. The weight of the buccal fat pad changes the shape of the face.

If you have buccal fat and due to this your face looks round, full, or babyface and you are not happy with this, then remember that there is nothing wrong if you have big cheeks. But still, if you want them thin, then you can go to a plastic surgeon and get buccal fat removed.

To know about the procedure and complications of buccal fat removal, keep reading the post:

Buccal fat removal

As we already mentioned that buccal fat removal is a plastic surgery that includes the buccal lipectomy and cheek reduction surgery.

At the time of surgery, the surgeon removes the buccal fat pad present in the cheeks.

This surgery can be done by itself or with another kind of plastic surgery like:

  • Facelift
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Lip augmentation
  • Botox injection

A good candidate for buccal fat removal

To check whether you’re a right candidate for cheek reduction or buccal fat reduction/removal, consider below mentioned points:

  • Physically healthy
  • Weight maintained
  • Round or full face
  • Dislike the shape of cheeks
  • Ready for facial feminization surgery
  • Realistic expectation
  • Especially, non-smoker

However, if the concerned person has the following things, then he/she can not get cheek plastic surgery:

  • Narrow face

If the face is already thin, then the surgery may cause sunken cheeks.

  • Parry-Romberg syndrome

Due to this syndrome, one side of the face shrinks. Basically, it is a disorder that can be caused by cheeks plastic surgery.

  • Old age

When a person gets older, the face itself becomes thin, but if you take the surgery in old age, then the procedure might emphasize jaw lines and other aging of the face.

To identify if you are a good candidate for cheek plastic or not, concern yourself with a reputed plastic surgeon.

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The procedure of cheek plastic surgery

Before the surgery

Before getting the cheek plastic surgery, have an open conversation with your surgeon about the following things:

  • Expectation and goal
  • Medical condition
  • Current medication
  • Use of drug, alcohol, or tobacco
  • Allergies with certain drugs
  • If any past surgery

This information helps the surgeon to identify the best surgical method and also helps in determining the pros and cons.

The surgeon will also check the face structure of the concerned person and may take pictures of the face to prepare the plan of surgery.

During the surgery

Usually, the procedure of cheek plastic surgery involves:

  1. If the person is getting only buccal fat removal, then the surgeon will give a local anesthesia to the face. Due to this, the person will not feel any pain but will stay awake during the surgery.
  1. When a person undergoes more than one surgery, the surgeon might give general anesthesia.
  1. The surgeon makes an incision inside the cheeks to place pressure on the outside of the cheek to expose the buccal fat pad.
  1. Now, the surgeon will cut the cheek and will remove the fat. 
  1. After removing, the surgeon will close the cut by using dissolvable stitches.

After the surgery

After surgery, wash the mouth to prevent any infection. Other instructions will be given by the surgeon.

General instructions given by the surgeon are:

  • Eat liquid or soft food
  • Do not touch the stitches. 
  • Do not use any harsh product on cheeks.
  • Attend the follow-up appointment
  • Full recovery takes around three weeks

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Complications of buccal fat reduction/removal

According to the expert’s research, buccal fat surgery is considered as a safe surgery. However, same as any other surgery, there are also the risk of unwanted side effects with buccal fat removal, like:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Negative effect due to anesthesia
  • Hematoma
  • Lockjaw
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Damage of salivary gland
  • Damage of facial nerve
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Cardiac side effects
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Poor result

To come up with these side effects, you might need another surgery. So, make sure you follow the instructions given by the surgeon carefully.

Also, if you feel the following unusual symptoms, then concern yourself with your doctor:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Serve pain
  • Signs of infection

These symptoms can cause big health problems so, make sure you get the treatment as soon as possible.

Cost of procedure of buccal fat removal

The range of buccal fat surgery is between $2,000 and $5,000.

However, the cost can also vary according to the factors like:

  • Surgeon’s level of experience
  • Type of anesthesia
  • Prescription
  • Medications

Also, remember that buccal fat removal is a cosmetic surgery, so it does not get included in health insurance. You have to pay the money from your pocket.

Before getting the surgery, talk to the surgeon about the total expenses included in the surgery.

Key takeaways

If you have full or fatty cheeks, do not feel bad or conscious of it because you are beautiful or handsome just the way you are. But if you still want thin cheeks, then you can go for buccal fat surgery.

However, if you are willing to get cheek plastic surgery first, concern yourself with the surgeon whether you are a candidate for plastic surgery or not.

Generally, the surgery of buccal fat removal is considered as a safe surgery, but the recovery takes several weeks.

Also, follow the aftercare process properly; otherwise, you might have to face complications/side effects like excessive bleeding, infection, hematoma, damage of facial nerve, facial asymmetry, and many more. Or, you might have to get another surgery to recover from these complications.

If this informative post helped you to get a full insight about the buccal fat removal procedure and aftercare, then mention a thumbs up in the comment section.