Buccal fat refers to the pads of fat located in the lower part of the cheeks. If you suck in your cheeks to make a “fishy” face, you have just pinpointed your buccal fat pads. People with prominent buccal fat pads often describe themselves as having “chubby cheeks”. Some people have chubby cheeks as a result of being overweight, while others have a genetic predisposition and inherit the feature from a parent. Buccal fat removal (also called cheek reduction surgery) may be an option for people who want to permanently reduce the size of their cheeks. The result of the surgery is a slimmer, more V-shaped facial appearance with slightly more contoured cheeks. Vancouver buccal fat removal is a minimally invasive procedure performed at 8 West Clinic by Board Certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Buonassisi.
After administration of local anaesthesia, Dr. Buonassisi places a small incision on the inside of the cheek just above the upper molars. The tissues of the cheek are gently separated to expose the buccal fat. 3-4 cubic centimetres of fat are removed, depending on each patient, to decrease the fullness of the cheek. The incision is then closed with dissolvable stitches, and the process repeats for the other cheek. Some swelling and bruising is expected but are generally mild.
Vancouver buccal fat removal surgery is most commonly performed on people aged 25 years of age and older. Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Buonassisi recommends that patients wait until they reach this age to have the surgery, since the face tends to slim out in most people as we age.
Not everyone may anatomically be a candidate for buccal fat removal, however. You could benefit from buccal fat removal if you have any of the following physical features:
If you feel you are wide-looking in the lower half of the face, this could alternatively be due to hypertrophy of the masseter muscles making the jaw look wide from the front view, which can be treated non surgically with neuromodulator injections such as Botox and Dysport. If you feel that your face is simply too round due to your bone structure, this can be treated non surgically with dermal filler injections that are great for reshaping the face to create a more heart-shaped appearance and de-accentuate round cheeks. A surgical chin implant can also give a beautiful result for round-faced patients who may additionally have a weaker, recessed chin and/or neck line.
We would be happy to help assess your face for buccal fat removal candidacy and make some preliminary recommendations in a complimentary pre-consultation with our knowledgeable team of patient care managers who work closely on a daily basis with Dr. Buonassisi.
As a minimally invasive procedure, the downtime and recovery involved in a buccal fat removal procedure are very minimal. Visible results after buccal fat removal surgery are immediate, but patients should expect to be in recovery from some mild post-operative swelling for up to 7-10 days after surgery. Generally, patients are fully able to return to work or school and eating regular foods again within 2-3 days as the bulk of the discomfort from swelling quickly subsides. Post-operative care is simple and involves a regular salt water rinse for care of the internal incisions—the stitches of which will eventually dissolve on their own. Full results after buccal fat surgery will usually be seen after the 2-3 month post-op mark.
Trust your face to our team of facial surgery experts. Luckily, buccal fat removal is a fairly quick procedure with relatively low risk of complications. We suggest you begin the process by taking advantage of our complimentary pre-consultation service—let us review your photos and provide some preliminary recommendations and cost information to assess if buccal fat removal is right for you.
Request your free pre-consultation online now or by giving our friendly patient care managers a call at (604) 733-1669.