Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat extraction is a procedure used in order to remove the fat pads that augment the lower cheeks. It is also known as a procedure that remedies chipmunk cheeks.

What is involved in a buccal fat removal surgery?

First, you are going to be given a choice from your surgeon. This is regarding the anaesthesia to be used. You can select Lidocaine, epinephrine, saline, or any other anaesthesia you have in mind. The surgeon will make a two to four centimetre incision between the cheek and the gums. This is at the Maxillary Vestibule. It starts right above the second molar and ends at the back of the mouth. The surgeon will use blunt dissection in order to expose the fascia and fibers of the buccinator muscle. The surgeon will pressure the buccal fat to protrude through the incision using his or her thumb. The fat will be teased out with forceps slowly. Once the fat is extracted, your surgeon will close the incisions using a non-dissolvable type of suture. There may be a difference in surgical techniques depending on your surgeon.

How long does the buccal fat removal surgery take?

It will take about one and a half hours to complete the buccal fat removal provedure.

How can I recover from the buccal fat removal procedure?

What happens during the recovery period after the buccal fat removal procedure?

Your face will swell for the first three days. This swelling will eventually subside. Bruising will also become evident. This will also eventually subside. Bruising and swelling are normal in most surgical procedures. Your sutures will be removed after a week or two.

How long does it take to recover from a buccal fat removal surgery?

For the first two weeks, you will need ample rest. You have to use all the energy in your body to heal. It will take around three weeks to fully recover although this may vary from individual to individual. You should avoid contact sports and strenuous activity for about two months also.

What are the risks involved in buccal fat removal?

Keep in mind that all surgical procedures have risks. Buccal fat removal is a very safe procedure although you should not neglect the possible risks that can occur. These risks and complications are rare but they may still happen. They are

  • excessive swelling
  • infection
  • bruising
  • negative reaction to the anaesthesia
  • complication as a result of a previous medical illness
  • the facial structure may look gaunt over time

What are the other risks involved in buccal fat removal surgery?

You may experience a temporary or even a permanent loss of sensation on the area of surgery. Another risk is ending up with an uneven or asymmetrical appearance.

What will happen if permanent damage occurs?

If you experience permanent damage then you may have to go through another surgery to correct it.

Who are the suitable candidates for a buccal fat removal?

People who have oversized jowls or chipmunk cheeks should consider buccal fat removal. You can finally have sculpted, sleek cheeks that will bring your face into proper proportions using the buccal fat removal technique. This is a procedure that can be done on both men and women. Consider having buccal fat removal if you are

  • more than eighteen years of age
  • physically fit
  • a non-smoker
  • optimistic
  • realistic with the goals of the surgery

Can I combine buccal fat removal with other cosmetic procedures?

You can combine buccal fat removal with other cosmetic procedures like the facelift, liposuction of the neck, or rhinoplasty also known as nose correction. Buccal fat removal is usually done as a stand alone procedure.

What is the first step in getting buccal fat removal?

The most important aspect of the cosmetic surgery process is to be as informed as possible. You should get as much information as possible so that you can make a fully informed decision. Make an appointment with your surgeon to discuss matters related to buccal fat removal. Set the expectations, understand the procedure, provide your medical history, and set your expectations during this initial appointment with your surgeon.

What are some things that I can do to achieve the best results?

Aside from the specific set of instructions that your surgeon will give regarding the preparation for buccal fat removal, you must also follow the general guidelines on

  • proper diet which includes eating and drinking right
  • avoiding or completely quitting smoking
  • taking or avoiding certain vitamins

What are some other things that I can do in order to prepare for this procedure?

You must prepare your body. You need to be physically fit when you go through this operation. You will recover faster if you are in shape.

What should you do when you get home after a buccal fat removal?

There will not be too much pain after the procedure. If pain worsens then you should ask for some prescription pain killers from your surgeon. You should also avoid taking vitamin E, aspirin, or aspirin derivatives for about three weeks before and after the surgery.

Will there be bruising and swelling after the surgery?

Since the incision is made inside the mouth, bruising will be at a minimum. The swelling of the cheeks will be a little more prominent for the first few days. Eventually this will subside in time. You must keep your head elevated for the first few days after the procedure so that you minimize and facial swelling. Put ice packs on your cheeks for ten minutes to reduce the swelling for the first day. If there will still be swelling after that period, continue to apply the ice pack in ten minute intervals.

Is there any risk of infection from this procedure?

Infections from a buccal fat removal procedure are extremely rare. There may be some signs of infection after two weeks so you must watch out for this. These signs of infection are

  • constant, growing, or scorching pain
  • abnormal bleeding
  • considerable redness and swelling
  • fever
  • blister-like pooling of fluids or pus drainage

When can I be up and about after the surgery?

You may be able to return to work after one to two days. However, you should not participate in strenuous activity or contact sports for two months.

Should I follow a strict diet after the surgery?

For the first two days, your diet will be limited to soft foods. You must limit your chewing also for the first two weeks. You must also avoid eating salty foods to keep the swelling down. Rinse your mouth with water after eating so that food particles do not enter the incision sites inside the mouth.

Can I wash my face after the surgery?

You can wash your face one day after the procedure.

Can I wear make up after the surgery?

You can wear make up one day after the procedure.

When will I be able to make a full recovery from the surgery?

Most people will fully recover from the surgery after three weeks. However, healing may vary from individual to individual.

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