What is the function of the buccal fat?
The buccal fat pad sits in your cheek and it’s considered to be a deep fat pad with multiple extensions. Its main aim is to provide a gliding plane for your mastication muscles or your chewing muscles. The buccal fat pad is what gives our cheeks a round appearance and what gives babies a very round appearance to their cheeks.
Who is a good candidate for buccal fat removal?
People who are bothered by the roundness to their cheeks are good candidates for a buccal fat removal procedure. This procedure is great at highlighting the cheekbones and ensuring that there’s a shadow in the buccal fat area and can provide the nice facial contour. It can also help highlight the jawbone directly underneath the buccal fat. This procedure can also be paired with MEC liposuction to remove fat that is under your chin and provide an overall better defined jawline.
How is buccal fat removal performed?
Buckle fight removal is performed under local fat under local anesthesia. It involves small incisions in your mouth that are not visible to the outside and the dissection over there releases the buccal fat and all the excess fat is removed from the mouth. Typically two lobes of the buccal fat pad are removed through the mouth. It is not a very painful procedure similar to going to the dentist. Most patients barely take any pain pills after the procedure. There are no external scars. This is a permanent procedure and once the fat pads are removed they cannot come back. The recovery process is simple. You will get some pain medication and mouthwash help speed up the healing process. avoid eating sharp and caustic foods for about 7 to 10 days. It can take up to three months for you to start to see the final results of the procedure.
Are there alternatives to surgery to remove the buccal fat?
Unfortunately, weight loss and dieting do very little to reducing the buccal fat secondary to the genetic makeup of the fat cells in the buccal area and the blood supply. It is an isolated location that is extent to weight loss. So while you may lose weight in other parts of your body by dieting the buccal fat pad does not respond well to diet and exercise.
Will removing my buccal fat pad make me look older?
As we age we lose volume in our faces more commonly in the cheeks and around the eyes. Very rarely will patients lose volume in their buccal fat area to an extent that would need augmentation. if the need does arise for augmentation you have the option of placing fillers there or your own fat. On the contrary excess buccal fat can also make you look older if it herniates from your cheek and can make your jowls look more pronounced than older age and often during facelifts part of the buccal fat is removed to give the face a smoother contour.
Dr. Rayess is a fellowship trained facial plastic surgeon and board certified head and neck surgeon specializing in reconstructive and aesthetic surgery of the face and neck.