What is buccal fat pad reduction?
Buccal fat pad reduction is a procedure where the fat in your cheeks is permanently and surgically removed using a small incision inside the mouth, resulting in a more chiseled appearance of the face.
Am I a good candidate for buccal fat pad reduction?
To find out if you are a good candidate for buccal fat pad reduction, consider the following factors:
1- Do you have real fat excess in your cheeks? A consultation can help you find out.
2- What do your parents’ cheeks look like? It is often normal to have fuller cheeks in your twenties, and this fat often naturally melts away with age. For patients with parents who have thinner cheeks, it is often interested to be patient in order to avoid a skeletonized appearance as you age if you undergo buccal fat reduction.
3- Have you tried losing your fat using exercise and diet change?
Have you tried reversible procedures, such as cheek augmentation with hyaluronic acid injections or cheek implants?
What are the risks of buccal fat pad reduction?
Like any surgery, buccal fat reduction presents the universal (but minimal) risks of scarring, bleeding (and bruising), infection (superficial or deep), and pain (temporary or permanent).
However, the main risk of any cosmetic surgery is to not be satisfied with the result. After a proper consultation that includes a complete examination and photo evaluation, Dr. Moubayed can generally produce the results desired by the patient. However, we do not control the healing of tissues, and some patients heal in an unpredictable way producing asymmetries or irregularities that can sometimes require touch-ups.
Buccal fat pad reduction involves the risk of producing paralysis of a facial nerve branch, and injury to the salivary duct of the parotid gland, resulting in chronic inflammation. However these risks are rare.
Dr. Moubayed is a surgeon that is exclusively trained in facial surgery. He has a conservative and individualized approach with each patient. All patients are followed closely after surgery with very precise and very clear instructions. All of this is done in order to minimize the risks listed above.
What happens during a buccal fat pad reduction consultation?
A consultation starts with a complete questionnaire and physical examination. We specifically examine skin elasticity and excess facial fat. Photos are taken and analyzed with your surgeon. This is an essential communication tool as some patients want changes that are not always possible in surgery.
We also analyze photos of your parents if you have them available. If your parents are available and willing, bring them with you to the consultation.
Then, we talk about surgery and recovery, and Dr. Moubayed answers any and all questions you may have.
Multiple consultations are sometimes necessary before deciding to proceed with surgery. Cosmetic facial surgery is an important decision to make and it is important that you are well informed before proceeding with it.
Buccal fat removal procedure
Source: Dr. Moubayed’s practice.
How do I prepare myself for a buccal fat pad reduction consultation?
It is a good idea to prepare yourself for your consultation and this is easily done.
First, prepare to list in order of importance the elements you would like to improve in your face: cheeks, jowling, submental fat, neck platysmal bands, among others. Do you find you have weak cheekbones or a weak chin ? Are there any other regions that bother you in your face such as your eyebrows, eyes, nose, or lips?
Try to find and bring with you current photos of your parents, and photos of them at your age. If your parents are available and willing, try to bring them with you to the consultation.
Finally, if you have had cosmetic soft tissue fillers to the face, try to find out which products were injected and when. If you have already had facial surgery, try to bring with you the operative report of your prior procedures if this is possible.
How long does it take to perform buccal fat pad reduction?
Buccal fat pad reduction is a quick and painless procedure when performed appropriately. When using modern techniques that enable maximum control, it generally takes around an hour.
What type of anesthesia is used for buccal fat pad reduction?
Buccal fat pad reduction is usually performed under local anesthesia with sedation. When combined with a more extensive surgery such as a rhinoplasty, it can be performed under general anesthesia.
For general anesthesia, the type of anesthesia used is total intravenous anesthesia (without using anesthetic gases). This type of anesthesia is safe and helps reduce nausea and coughing after surgery. Our patients often report how positive their anesthesia experience was.
How long is recovery after buccal fat pad reduction?
Patients leave the surgical center the same day and recover at home with very precise instructions. We often give you an antiseptic mouth rinse and put you on a soft diet for the first week.
Your first post-operative appointment will take place 5 to 7 days later, where your wound will be examined. At that point you can return to your regular activities and any bruising can be hidden with concealer.
Light physical activity can be resumed after a week, but for more vigorous activities like weightlifting, it is recommended to wait three weeks to minimize bleeding risk.
How long does swelling last after buccal fat pad reduction?
After a week, you will very presentable in society. The majority of swelling decreases over the first three months, but minimal (barely visible) swelling can persist for up to a year.
Removed buccal fat
Source: Dr. Moubayed’s practice
How do I find the best surgeon for buccal fat pad reduction in Montreal?
It is important to look at multiple factors during your buccal fat pad reduction surgeon choice:
1- Does your surgeon have specific expertise in facial surgery and anatomy to be able to minimize complications to the facial nerve and salivary glands?
2- Can your surgeon perform all types of procedures on the face and neck to be able to choose which one is most adapted to your needs?
3- Did you have a positive experience and feel comfortable during your consultation?
Are there non-surgical or minimally invasive alternatives to buccal fat pad reduction?
Carefully selected patients can benefit from hyaluronic acid injections to the face or facial implants.
Nothing replaces a consultation with a doctor that can offer all procedures (non-invasive and invasive) to determine which one is most appropriate for your facial needs.