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Understanding Buccal Fat and Options for Removing It

Understanding Buccal Fat and Options for Removing It

Buccal fat helps make up the shape of your face. It lies beneath your facial muscles, in the hollow area beneath your cheekbone. Everyone has buccal fat, but the size of it differs from person to person. Sometimes, it can make your face look excessively full. 

When these buccal fat pads start to sag as your tissues gradually lose elasticity during the natural aging process, you gain pronounced hollows under your eyes and nasolabial folds (smile lines) on either side of your mouth. In this case, you might benefit from a cheek lift that elevates the fat pads. 

Removing buccal fat highlights the bone structure in your face, and lifting the fat pads makes you look younger and refreshed.

Our plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Elliott H. Rose, MD, at the Aesthetic Surgery Center in New York City, has vast experience in the field of facial cosmetic surgery. He artfully removes buccal fat to lift your midface and help you achieve a contoured look. 

Here’s what Dr. Rose wants you to know about buccal fat and its removal. 

Who benefits from buccal fat removal?

If you’re bothered by facial roundness or cheek chubbiness, you might be a candidate for buccal fat removal. You may feel like you have a “baby face.”

If you’re older, you probably don’t want buccal fat removed as it can highlight wrinkles and jowls. Instead, you might benefit from a cheek lift. This procedure is less invasive than a full facelift, but it gives you longer-lasting, more dramatic results than you can get with injectable dermal fillers. It involves lifting the fat pads and anchoring them at a higher profile.

Many patients combine buccal fat removal or a cheek lift with other facial plastic surgery procedures like eyelid surgery or a brow lift. 

You should be of a healthy and stable weight and in generally good health before surgery. 

What are the options for buccal fat removal?

Dr. Rose sits down with you during your initial consultation to determine what your aesthetic goals are and if buccal fat removal is the right next step. 

Buccal fat removal is an outpatient procedure and often performed under local anesthesia. Dr. Rose makes a small incision on both sides of your face near your hairline and around your ear. 

This exposes the buccal fat pads that he then cuts and removes the fat pads. He closes the incisions with sutures. 

Alternatively, Dr. Rose may perform a cheek lift. During this procedure, he elevates the buccal fat pads and anchors them into position. He may also tighten and lift specific facial muscles before replacing your skin. This creates new contours and smooths any lines and folds. 

What is recovery like after buccal fat removal?

In the immediate days following buccal fat removal, you’ll be on a liquid diet as your incisions heal. Over time, you can add soft foods.

Expect some swelling, bruising, and numbness at the incision sites for a few days following surgery, but all of these side effects should resolve within three weeks. You can apply ice to the area to ease pain. Your body takes several months to completely heal and show your final results.

If you want to learn more about buccal fat removal and cheek lifts, call The Aesthetic Surgery Center today. Alternatively, use this website to schedule an appointment.

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