Buccal fat “removal” (actually “reduction”) involves the removal of excessive fat from the area beneath the cheekbones to achieve a slimmer, more sculpted appearance in the lower face. Triple board-certified and fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon Dr. Laxmeesh Mike Nayak offers expert buccal fat removal at Nayak Plastic Surgery in St. Louis, MO.
Many people with round or fuller faces wish for a more contoured facial appearance. Excess fat in the lower face can cause you to look as though you are carrying more weight than you are and contribute to the appearance of shapelessness and age.
Your buccal fat pad sits just below your cheekbones, between facial muscles. The size of each person’s buccal fat pad can vary significantly and influences face shape. Buccal fat pad removal (also called cheek reduction surgery, Bichatectomy, or buccal lipectomy) involves reducing fat via small incisions inside the cheeks. Most patients interested in this procedure perceive their face as “chipmunk cheeked,” round, or overly full and hope to achieve a contoured look.
Buccal fat pad removal offers patients with excess facial fullness improved facial contours, enhanced definition in the cheekbones, and a more youthful appearance in the face. As these results take shape, you can expect an increased sense of self-confidence and improved quality of life. Buccal fat removal surgery is a minor surgical procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia.
The best candidates for buccal fat removal are generally healthy non-smokers who would like to reduce fullness in their cheeks.
You should also be at a healthy weight. A common misconception is that buccal fat removal in youth risks gauntness in middle and older age. In reality, because the buccal fat is not metabolically active, young people with overly-large buccal fat pads retain these overly-large fat pads even as the surrounding “subcutaneous” fat withers with age.
Their appearance, as they age, is a gaunt face with even more prominently visible buccal fat bulges - the buccal fat does not shrink with age. Because of this, judicious buccal fat reduction not only improves the appearance of appropriate candidates in youth, but also serves them well as their face ages naturally.
At your consultation and pre-op appointments with Dr. Nayak, you will discuss your treatment goals, medical history, current medications, and allergies. Dr. Nayak will ask you to temporarily discontinue the use of certain medications or supplements, including those which may thin the blood and hinder healing.
Dr. Nayak performs buccal fat removal surgeries in Nayak Plastic Surgery’s in-office AAAHC-accredited surgical suite. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring only local anesthesia unless it is combined with other procedures. You will be awake and comfortable for your surgery.
Once your cheeks are sufficiently numb, Dr. Nayak will make a small incision inside each of your cheeks. Then, pressing on the outside of your cheek, Dr. Nayak will remove the appropriate amount of fat from each side of your face. Your incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures, and you will be able to recover at home. From start to finish, your procedure will take about half an hour.
Full recovery from buccal fat removal takes about three weeks. However, you will likely be able to return to your regular activities earlier than that. You will be limited to a soft or liquid diet for the first few days, and you should avoid strenuous activity for one week. You will likely experience some swelling, and bruising is possible. Discomfort during recovery is generally very minimal, with ice and Tylenol being completely sufficient for comfort.
While you will notice a difference in your facial contours as soon as the swelling begins to subside (usually within two to three weeks), your full results will appear over several months.
Your cheek reduction surgery can easily be combined with other procedures to enhance or complement your results. For example, Lipotite is often an ideal combination treatment option with buccal fat removal as it slims and contours the jowls, jawline, and neck. Like buccal fat removal, Lipotite requires only local anesthesia and minimal recovery.
Nayak Plastic Surgery is a premier provider of buccal fat removal in St. Louis, MO. If you would like to discuss buccal fat removal with Dr. Nayak, we invite you to schedule your consultation with us via call, text, or contact form. Please contact us using the method most convenient for you.
While Dr. Nayak's practice is in St. Louis, his patients fly in from all over the country and beyond. Nayak Plastic Surgery offers out-of-town patients special resources, services, and accommodation rates.
While buccal fat removal is generally well-tolerated, some risks are associated with any surgery, such as infection, bleeding, asymmetry, nerve injury, or a reaction to medications administered.
The fat removed during your surgery cannot return. However, the remaining tissue will continue to change naturally with age and weight change.
Each patient’s recovery is different, but many patients can return to work the day after surgery. However, a more extended period away from work may be necessary for patients with physically active jobs.
Although buccal fat removal is a surgical procedure, the surgery and recovery are both tolerable for most patients. Local anesthesia allows for the simple and painless removal of excess fat, and the mouth’s ability to heal quickly contributes to a generally easy recovery. Many patients need no pain medication beyond Tylenol during their recovery.
Unfortunately, as described above, the buccal fat is not metabolically active, so excessive buccal fat typically remains even in conditions of extreme weight loss or advanced age. The only way to remove excess buccal fat effectively is through surgery.
Your plastic surgery story will change your life forever. At Nayak Plastic Surgery, we make sure that change is for the better. We invite you to call for a private consultation. We’ll show you how easy it is to create a more beautiful you.