Buccal fat removal Granite Bay, CA

Slim and define your cheeks to highlight your natural bone structure

We’re all about plump curves in the right spots—but having to deal with “chubby” cheeks as an adult can easily diminish confidence. Thick genetic fat deposits in your cheeks disguise your natural adult bone structure, creating an overly-round, childlike facial appearance that will be further exacerbated by weight fluctuations. The good news is that an experienced facial plastic surgeon can contour this area with buccal fat removal, a procedure that reduces cheek fat to reveal slimmer, more defined contours.

What is buccal fat removal?

Buccal fat removal is a plastic surgery procedure (also referred to as buccal lipectomy or cheek reduction surgery) that reduces the naturally occuring fat pad in the hollow area of each cheek. The size of these fat pads varies for each patient, and some patients have different amounts of buccal fat on either side of the face, creating an asymmetrical facial appearance.

What are the benefits of cheek reduction surgery?

Buccal fat removal is a straightforward procedure with minimal downtime that requires a single incision on the inside of each cheek. Patients who choose buccal fat removal enjoy a number of cosmetic benefits, as the procedure:

  • Contours and defines the cheek area for a more striking look
  • Balances facial symmetry to create a proportional facial appearance
  • Immediate improvement with final results seen in just a few months
  • No visible scarring

What causes buccal fat?

Buccal fat is naturally produced by your body to cushion your teeth, jaw, and the muscles in your face. Buccal fat pads also store “baby fat” and, for some, make the cheeks appear overly-full. Many people naturally lose the extra plumpness once puberty sets in but for those who don’t, “chubby cheeks” (a medical condition called pseudoherniation) can greatly impact how they feel about their appearance.

The amount of facial fat cells you have may be genetic or influenced by weight gain. That said, even people who have a healthy diet and exercise routine, or a naturally low BMI, can have excess facial fat.

Is buccal fat removal performed via liposuction?

Depending on your goals and anatomy, buccal fat pads can be reduced via manual extraction or with liposuction. Whichever technique is employed, Buccal fat removal is a relatively quick procedure, taking between 30-60 minutes to complete. Dr. Bray will place a very small incision on the inside of your cheek to access the fat pad. Once Dr. Bray has created a naturally slimmer cheek contour, balanced from side-to-side, the incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures.

What is cheek reduction surgery recovery like?

How you feel immediately after surgery will depend on whether you had your procedure performed using local or general anesthesia; when local anesthesia is suitable, this can ease and speed your initial recovery. Either way, you will have to take care with healing incisions on the inside of your mouth: Dr. Bray will prescribe a special mouthwash to help prevent infection during your recovery and you should avoid touching them with your tongue. You may also be asked to stick to a liquid diet for a few days, slowly progressing to soft foods before resuming your normal diet to prevent straining the incisions during the recovery process.

Most patients experience mild swelling and bruising in the cheek area for a few weeks following surgery, but these effects should resolve quickly. Any visible bruising can be concealed with makeup. Buccal fat removal recovery takes about 2-3 weeks and your final results will be visible in about 6-8 weeks.

Is buccal fat removal safe?

Buccal fat removal has been shown to be a generally safe surgery to define the cheek area when performed by a highly-qualified facial plastic surgeon. That said, every surgical procedure carries some level of risk and possible risks of buccal fat removal may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Asymmetric results
  • Injury to saliva glands
  • Numbness, pain, or changes in sensation
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia

Am I a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery?

You are likely a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery if:

  • You wish to reduce the amount of volume in your cheeks
  • You are in general good health and a non-smoker
  • You are at a stable weight you are happy with
  • You have realistic expectations

Who should not get buccal fat removal?

Patients who have a naturally slim face may not benefit from buccal fat removal as it may result in a gaunt/hollow appearance in the midface, especially over time. Cheek reduction is also best for younger patients: older patients who are experiencing more advanced signs of aging such as jowling may see those symptoms exaggerated if facial fat pads are reduced or removed. (This is because fat pads naturally diminish or fall from their original positions as we age.)

For patients who want to enhance their cheekbones yet have a slim face, or are dealing with other signs of facial aging, cheek augmentation with dermal fillers or fat transfer surgery is usually a better option. Dr. Bray can strategically place dermal filler to create a more dramatic facial silhouette, personalizing and tuning your results to achieve your desired aesthetic, with results lasting from six months up to a few years depending on the filler employed. Facial fat grafting is a more permanent cheek augmentation option: it involves liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from another area of the body; after this fat is purified, it is then re-injected into the cheeks to restore lost volume and support lax surface skin.

Can buccal fat removal be combined with other facial procedures?

Yes! Combining other facial procedures will likely optimize your treatment plan and help you achieve more aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking results. There are several procedures we can combine with buccal fat removal including:

Looking for cheek reduction surgery in the Granite Bay or Sacramento, CA area? Fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon Dr. Haley Bray offers a unique female perspective when it comes to enhancing facial features you love and refining the features you don’t! To learn more about your facial rejuvenation options in the Granite Bay or Sacramento area, call California our practice at (916) 242-2662 or contact us online today!