Everyone has fat pads known as buccal fat pads in their cheeks. It is located beneath the cheekbones and behind the buccinator muscle. Buccal fat pads fill out spaces in the cheeks to assist with gliding motions as you chew.
However, some people have unusually large buccal fat pads which cause their faces to look fuller or even chubby. Having these fat pads removed is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the aesthetics of the face by achieving a slimmer and more defined facial structure.
While there are many reasons for storing excess fat in the face, one of the most common ones being excess body weight and high body fat percentage, some people naturally store more fat in their face because of a higher amount of fat cells in the face or their bone structure might make their face appear rounder than you would like or give them a baby face.
In these cases, removing the buccal fat pads can help you achieve a slimmer facial structure that matches the rest of your body. Contact us at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery to schedule your consultation with Dr. Abtin Shahriari.
Am I A Good Candidate For This Procedure?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your face or smile because of your chubby cheeks and are at a healthy weight, then you are a great candidate for buccal fat pad removal. You should also be a non-smoker and be in good overall physical health.
While removing these fat pads can greatly improve your facial appearance, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. Each patient has a different bone structure, amount of fat, and facial composition so you should not expect the results of your surgery to look exactly like someone else who has had their fat pads removed.
We don’t recommend this surgery to older patients and those with narrow faces because this can cause sunken cheeks or a prematurely aged appearance.
Our Buccal Fat Pad Removal Process: What To Expect
First, Dr. Shahriari will meet with you for a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for this surgery based on your medical history, oral health, and facial structure. If you are a good candidate, you will be offered the option to be sedated during your procedure.
While you can be fully awake during this procedure because you will be provided with a local anesthetic and not feel any pain, some patients feel more comfortable and less anxious if they can be sedated during this minimally invasive surgery. We offer four different types of sedation.
On the day of your surgery, we will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, a small incision will be made on the inside of your cheeks. Additional pressure is provided to the outside of the cheek so we can further expose the buccal fat pads.
The fat is then cut and removed and the incisions are closed with sutures. The entire process takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
If you have received sedation, you will need someone to give you a ride home and watch you for the rest of the day. Patients who receive general anesthesia will need to be monitored for about an hour before going home.
You may be given antibiotics to prevent infection. It is normal to experience some facial swelling and bruising in the first few days of recovery. You will need to stick to a liquid and then soft food diet as you heal.
Is Fat Removal Permanent?
Yes, the results that you attain from this surgery are permanent because when we remove the buccal fat pads, they will not come back. However, gaining weight can still cause you to gain weight in the face or cause puffiness and bloating in the face, which can also carry over into your cheeks. Overall, if you maintain a healthy weight, you will enjoy a permanently contoured facial appearance.