What is buccal fat removal (cheek reduction surgery)?
Buccal fats are fat pads located at the lower half of the cheeks. These fat deposits are commonly referred to as “baby fats” or “chipmunk fats” as they can give the bearer a childlike appearance with rounded cheeks. Although buccal fats may make one look younger, some prefer a slimmer, V-shaped face. Buccal fat removal surgery (also known as chin reduction surgery) aims to remove these fat pads to sculpt the lower half of the face, accentuating the cheekbones and the chin.
Procedure of buccal fat removal
Buccal fat is removed from the inside surface of the cheeks, within the mouth so there will be no visible scarring. The surgeon will make an incision on the incision of the cheek to expose the facial fascia, cheek muscles and buccal fat pads. The fat pads are removed from this incision before the wounds are sealed with absorbable sutures.
The entire procedure is performed under local or general anaesthesia so there will be no pain and discomfort.
Risks and possible complications
Buccal fat removal is a relatively risk-free and minor procedure. Some of the possible complications include:
- Infection and inflammation
- Damage to facial nerves, muscles and other facial tissue
- Excessive bleeding
- Asymmetric results
These complications are rare, highly unlikely and typically only occur when poor technique is used. At Clifford Surgery, you can easily avoid these complications in the hands of our skilled and experienced plastic surgeon.
Because buccal fat removal slims the face and accentuates the chin, it is commonly performed together with chin augmentation and rhinoplasty for an overall more pleasing result.
Dimpleplasty is can also be considered as the technique used is highly similar and can be performed together from the same surgical incisions
Additionally, Botox injections around the jaw can also further enhance the final results.
Do inform our surgeon if you are interested in any of these additional procedures.
We will advise patients to consume a liquid diet or soft, easy to chew foods for a few days post-surgery as there many will experience difficulty chewing. Avoid sugary, spicy, deep fried or other irritating foods to facilitate a smooth recovery.
Your doctor will also prescribe an antiseptic mouthwash/gargle to prevent infection of the surgery wounds.
Buccal fat removal is a relatively minor procedure suitable for anyone in general good health and wish to have a slimmer face. However, we would not recommend those who already have slim faces and cheeks to go for the procedure as this can result in an unhealthy and gaunt look when older.
Additionally, those who have history of the following may not be suitable for the surgery. Please inform your surgeon if any of these applies to you:
- Have oral ulcers or cold sores, or are prone to having them.
- Are wearing braces.
- Have medical history in any oral, dental or ENT related issues.