What Is Buccal Fat Removal?
If you’ve ever heard the phrases “baby cheeks” or “chipmunk cheeks,” you can easily visualize what a cheek fat removal procedure is designed to do: slim and contour your cheeks. This procedure is commonly called a facial cheek reduction. The medical term for the type of fat being removed from the facial cheek areas is “buccal fat.”
Often, patients may request a fat removal procedure when eating a healthy diet and pursuing a regular exercise regimen have not produced the desired slimming effect. Typically it is simple genetics that causes stubborn baby fat to persist in the facial area.
For patients who desire a slimmer and more contoured appearance to the cheek areas and haven’t been able to achieve it by other means, a cheek fat removal procedure can feel like getting a whole new face!
Why Have Buccal Facial Fat Removed?
The fat that contributes to baby fat in the cheek area is commonly located in the lower part of the facial cheeks. Because the placement of fat in the cheeks is largely hereditary in nature, it tends to be nearly impossible to achieve a slimming effect through lifestyle changes alone.
Happily, a fat removal procedure in Albany, NY, is a safe, effective means of providing patients with a leaner, more sculpted and sophisticated facial appearance. The procedure itself typically can be done on an outpatient basis as day surgery, requires minimal downtime for recovery and delivers visible results almost immediately.
Facial Fat Removal Procedure
If you’ve never had a cosmetic procedure done before (and even if you have) it is natural to have plenty of questions! Your consultation with Dr. Williams will give you the chance to explore your options in depth, discuss your goals for cosmetic enhancement and get all your questions answered.
What is a consultation like?
In many ways, your consultation is the most important part of the fat removal procedure. First, Dr. Williams will take your personal and family medical and health history. This will be followed by a basic physical exam that focuses on the facial area. The physical exam will allow Dr. Williams to learn your cheek structure in detail to plan your procedure.
Dr. Williams will also take some photographs and may make some marks relating to your goals for your facial fat removal procedure. You will also have the option of reviewing other patients’ before and after photos so you can get a good visual sense of the results of a cosmetic facial fat removal procedure.
Before you leave your consultation, you will receive a detailed overview of what a cheek fat removal procedure entails, how to prepare, what recovery is like and your payment options.
What happens during surgery?
On the day of your scheduled facial fat removal procedure, you will need to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time to check in and prepare. Once you are comfortably situated in your private appointment room, Dr. Williams will review with you the goals for your procedure and administer your anesthesia. Anesthesia can be local or general depending on your preference and medical history.
The procedure itself generally takes less than half an hour to complete. The incisions are made inside your mouth (intra-oral) for the buccal fat removal. This ensures you will recover with absolutely no visible scars.
The final steps of the procedure are to secure the incision areas with fine sutures to aid in healing.
What can you expect after surgery?
Depending on the type of anesthesia administered, you may need to ask a loved one to be on hand to drive you home from the procedure. Typically patients report very little swelling or pain following a cheek fat removal procedure, but just in case, you will be given instructions for taking pain management medications as needed.
You may experience just a bit of numbness, soreness, bruising and/or swelling in the first day or two after your procedure as your incisions heal. This is entirely normal and can often be alleviated by using cool compresses or wrapped cold packs.
Are there any risks?
As with any invasive procedure, there is always a risk of possible infection. As well, there is a minor risk of lumps, scar tissue forming inside the mouth or asymmetrical results. Because facial cosmetic surgery requires a deft, delicate touch, the surgeon you select can greatly reduce these risks.
Are You A Candidate?
The best candidate for a cosmetic fat removal procedure will be an individual who is in good health in all other respects and is near or at their ideal body weight. Buccal fat surgery should not be used as a substitute or replacement for maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen.
The best candidate will also have a family history of a more chubby appearance in the facial area that does not resolve with age. As well, ideal candidates should:
- Be non-smokers or be willing to refrain from smoking for a period of time before and after their procedure (because smoking heavily can interfere with the body’s natural healing abilities).
- Not be on any medications that can thin the blood or reduce clotting ability.
- Not be pregnant, planning to become pregnant or still breastfeeding (where use of sedatives and anesthesia can be contraindicated for the baby’s health and safety).
- Be free from serious illness or disease, especially auto-immune disorders.
- Be fully healed from any recent surgeries or facial procedures.
- Have skin that is not known to produce keloid scars or change pigmentation after incisions.
Buccal Fat Removal FAQs
These questions are frequently asked by patients considering a facial fat removal procedure. You are also welcome to contact our office at any time with more questions.
How long will the procedure last?
The procedure itself typically lasts less than one hour and most frequently less than one-half hour. From start to finish, you can generally expect to spend less than 90 minutes at the surgeon’s office.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After your cheek fat removal procedure, you can return home the same day. You may experience some mild discomfort, which can be alleviated with cool compresses and pain medication taken as per doctor’s orders. Typically you will feel fully healed within just a few days and can see the full results at that time.*
Are there risks?
Infection is always a possible risk during a surgical procedure. Other slight risks can include the formation of excessive scar tissue inside the mouth or cheeks, which may contribute to a lumpy appearance. Assymetrical results are another possible risk.
How soon can I return to work?
Typically, you can expect to be able to return to work the approximately 3 to 4 days following your facial fat removal procedure. Sometimes patients prefer to schedule their procedures on a Thursday or Friday to have maximum healing time while minimizing time away from work.
Contact The Williams Center Today
Dr. Edwin Williams, a board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and the founder of The Williams Center in Albany, NY, is known as The Face Specialist. He has assembled an expert team of cosmetic specialists who are skilled in both cosmetic enhancement and medical-based cosmetic reconstructive surgery.
Since 1994, Dr. Williams has also been a leading practitioner in the Face to Face program, which offers complimentary consultations and cosmetic reconstructive procedures to victims of domestic violence.
Dr. Williams is an expert practitioner of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. If you want to learn more or schedule your consultation, you are warmly invited to contact us at 800-742-2797 or online at www.williamsfacialsurgery.com.