Do you feel your face is too round or feel you have “chipmunk cheeks” and wish they had more definition? Some people might think cheek filler/dermal filler is the way to go. While cheek filler (either permanent or semi-permanent) can be a great option, it is not the appropriate treatment across the board for all patients. This is because the architecture of your face is different from everyone else.
If you want more noticeable cheek bones, buccal fat removal might be just what you need! Think trimming your round face into a more slim or oval face.
We are all born with buccal (think: buck-all) fat. Some of us just have more of it than others and don't outgrow this fatty deposit in the hollows of the cheeks as we mature. This is what gives some patients a fuller lower face or lower portion of the cheeks. While a naturally soft and filled-out face is considered youthful, some people feel their face looks too full or even chubby.
The treatment for excessive fullness in the lower cheeks that is caused by a large fat pad is buccal fat pad excision. This may sound intimidating, but it is actually relatively simple and one of the best ways to make a small change that makes a big difference in the shape of your face without extensive surgery and recovery time. Even more, as the face matures, this buccal fat pad can protrude down from the face and can make jowls and this can help prevent this from happening in the future.
At Troiano Facial Plastics, buccal fat removal only takes 45 minutes and is performed in the office under local anesthesia. The entire experience has always been described as “easy, not as bad as I thought” and has always been described as being better than a visit to the dentist.
Small incisions are made on the inside surface of the cheeks and a portion of the fat pad is then removed.
The area is inspected to prevent bleeding, and the incisions are closed with sutures that dissolve on their own. There is very little downtime. You will have some swelling as if you had your wisdom teeth out for a week. During that time, you can expect some mild soreness when chewing. You will be wearing a headwrap that will help keep the swelling of your cheeks down. Dr. Troiano loves to focus on healing and will give you all of the things you need to heal quickly.
Because the entire procedure is done through the inside of the mouth, there is no visible scarring. Even more good news: The removal of the buccal fat pad to reduce the size of your cheeks is permanent. Once this fat pad is removed from the cheeks, it does not come back.
The results: a slimmer face, contoured jawline, no jowls, and increased definition in the cheeks and cheekbones.
You will begin to see some differences soon after surgery, but the swelling will take some time to resolve completely. Final results can take up to four months to appear.
There are always risks and the potential for complications with any procedure, surgical or non-surgical. While it is a comparatively a simple procedure, buccal fat removal is no different. These risks can include asymmetry, bleeding, infection, as well as injury to the saliva ducts or branches of the facial nerve. That's why it is so important to see a skilled and experienced facial plastic surgeon.
Buccal fat removal also has its limitations.
While buccal fat pad excision is a permanent and very rewarding procedure that can achieve a patient's aesthetic goal of a contoured and slimming face, there are some limitations.
Buccal fat removal is not recommended for those under 18 since the facial anatomy is still maturing. It is also not typically recommended for older patients without additional surgery to lift and tighten the skin because this pocket of fat can droop and cause a heavier appearance in the jowl area. Buccal fat removal can cause a gaunt appearance as you age if your face is naturally thinner or narrow.
If you are unhappy with the roundness of your face, have a bulging lower cheek area, or if you find yourself biting the inside of your cheeks a lot, buccal fat removal might be right for you. In general, you might be an ideal candidate for buccal fat removal if you are physically healthy, at a stable weight, and a non-smoker. Males and females between the ages of 20 to 40 can benefit the most from this surgery.
Before undergoing buccal fat removal, or any facial plastic surgery procedure, it is very important to be evaluated by a facial plastic surgeon who has experience in this procedure to determine if you are a candidate, like Dr. Chelsea Troiano. Don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation to find out. Let West Palm Beach facial plastic surgeon Dr. Troiano help you find the best balance of your features so you can focus on being your best self.