Buccal Fat removal is a simple in-office procedure that can be performed to reduce the appearance of large or “chubby” cheeks in individuals with larger fat pads.  The procedure reduces the overall volume of the cheeks resulting in a slimmer more defined appearance.

The Consultation

The initial consultation appointment with Dr. Mehta takes approximately 45 minutes. The procedure can be completed on the same day as your initial consultation, in particular if you are coming from out of town. For local patients, it is best to separate the appointment into two different days for ease of scheduling.

The most important first step in the consultation is to decide if you are a good candidate for the procedure.  Dr. Mehta will also perform a complete review of your medical and surgical history, including any existing health problems, medications, and allergies. Dr. Mehta will carefully examine the inside and outside of your cheek to analyze your unique anatomy.

Dr. Mehta will ask you to stop taking OTC medications such as aspirin, Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, or other NSAIDs at least 7 days prior to your procedure, as these thin the blood. Additionally, topical supplements such as vitamin K may be taken applied after surgery to resolve bruising more quickly.

The Procedure

The first step is to mark out the buccal fat pad locations. Dr. Mehta then injects a small amount of local anesthesia in the inside of the cheek to numb the cheek from the inside. The rest of the surgery is painless and comfortable. The entire procedure is done from the inside of the cheek, with no external incisions required.

The surgery is performed by making a small incision inside the cheek just a few millimeters in size. By carefully spreading through the buccinator muscle, the buccal fat pad is located and carefully removed.  The inside of the cheek is then closed with two or three absorbable stitches, which dissolve over the next few days. Because the surgery is done under local anesthesia, you can go home right away after the procedure is completed.

Recovery

You will likely develop some swelling for a few days following buccal fat removal. You should be able to resume your normal daily activities on the morning following surgery. You can begin eating soft foods a few hours following the surgery. Dr. Mehta will prescribe pain medication, just in case you need it, though most patients do just fine with Tylenol. Patients typically return to work or school as early as 3 days following the procedure. You will take an antibiotic for a few days as well.

Risks of Surgery

Buccal Fat Removal Surgery is an extremely safe procedure but like any surgical procedure there are a few risks, the first being bleeding. By avoiding the medications discussed previously, this risk of bleeding during or after the procedure is quite low. Infection is exceedingly rare and the risk is minimized with antibiotics prescribed after surgery. Weakness of one of the facial muscles due to nerve injury can take place but is, again, extremely uncommon and typically resolves after a few weeks. Salivary duct injury and hollowing of the cheeks are also extremely unlikely but are known risks of the procedure.

To obtain more information about buccal fat surgery, inquire about the cost, or schedule your consultation, please call our office or contact us!