Buccal fat reduction

What is Buccal Fat Removal?

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It’s a surgical procedure aimed at slimming the cheeks by reducing the volume of fat in the cheeks below the cheekbones. The term buccal fat removal is a bit misleading, because not all the fat is removed from the cheeks (otherwise the face would look skeletonized!). This is performed under local or general anesthesia through a small incision inside the mouth.


Am I a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal

Suitable candidates for buccal fat reduction generally include young patients with full cheeks.Patients who already have very slim cheeks can look skeletonized if too much fat is removed. As humans, we lose facial fat as we age, so removing too much fat on an already slim face can lead to pre-mature ageing and facial ptosis. For this reason, patients with hollow cheeks are poor candidates.


What are some of the risks?

Both over-correction and under-correction are “risks” of the procedure. It takes time for post-procedure swelling to settle and the results to show, so the result will become more apparent as the months pass. Over-correction is best to avoid, as it would require fat grafting to correct which has its own set of risks.

Risk of injury to the parotid duct or the facial nerves is very low, as the procedure is done in a very gentle, controlled manner. Like fat elsewhere, your cheeks will enlarge with weight gain, and shrink with weight loss. As such, you don’t want to surgically slim down your cheeks and then lose a lot of weight afterwards, otherwise, your cheeks may look too slim.


Can this procedure be combined with other procedures?

Absolutely. In fact, the removed fat can even be grafted elsewhere in the face that needs volume. There are many benefits of facial fat grafting over synthetic filler material. More comprehensive contouring can be obtained with facial slimming neuromodulator injections, fat grafting, and deep-plane face and neck lifting. Dr. McInnes even combines body procedures with cosmetic facial surgery, one of the benefits of being a board-certified plastic surgeon.


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