Pudgy baby cheeks look cute — on a baby. On an adult, the effect is quite a bit different. Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure that removes extra fat in the cheek (buccal) area, and in recent years, it has grown increasingly popular.
Buccal fat removal eliminates fat permanently. While it can definitely slim down your facial contours, some people wonder if it might also make them look prematurely older. The answer: That depends on a few key factors.
Leading facelift and mid-facelift providers in Reston and Dulles, Virginia, Soheila Rostami, MD, and Joseph Davidson, MD are skilled in techniques, like buccal fat removal, to help patients at Rostami OPC get the long-term results they’re looking for.
Here, learn what’s involved in buccal fat removal, along with some important factors that could have a bearing on your results.
Buccal fat removal: The basics
Buccal fat refers to the fat pad that extends from your cheekbones to your lower jaw, providing softness and fullness to the lower part of your face. While everyone has buccal fat, the amount can vary from one person to another and even from one cheek to another.
Depending on the shape of your face, buccal fat may enhance youthful features or it may make you look heavier than you want. Sometimes called cheek reduction surgery, buccal fat removal reduces the amount of fatty tissue in your cheeks, highlighting or enhancing the underlying bone structure.
Buccal fat removal surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia to numb the area first. Incisions are made on the insides of your cheeks so they’re not visible. Once the fatty tissue is removed, the doctor closes the incisions with special sutures.
Some people choose to have buccal fat removal along with other procedures. In that case, you may need sedation or general anesthesia, and you also need someone to drive you home afterward.
Recovery and results
After your procedure, you can expect swelling and bruising, and you need to follow a liquid diet for a couple of days to allow the incisions time to heal. You may be provided medication or a mouth rinse to keep infection at bay. You can expect to see final results within several weeks, once all of the swelling has subsided.
Now, does buccal fat removal make you look older? That depends in part on your face shape, how much fat is removed, and how well you care for your skin afterward.
Generally, if your face’s shape is thin, narrow, or angular, removing facial fat might result in deeper or more pronounced hollows, increasing the risk that you may be left looking gaunt and aged as you get older.
Having said that, it’s important to understand that our doctors tailor every treatment to each patient’s goals and anatomy.
Discussing your goals and expectations in detail prior to your procedure allows them to determine how much fat to remove or if a different procedure or treatment might be a better choice for achieving those goals.
Bottom line: Dr. Rostami and Dr. Davidson work closely with each patient during a comprehensive evaluation to ensure your treatments and procedures are focused specifically on your goals and expectations.
To learn more about buccal fat removal, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online with the team at Rostami OPC today.