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Buccal fat pad extraction, (also called cheek reduction) is for those with extra round cheeks who wish to have a slightly more chiseled look. Often candidates for buccal (pronounced buckle) fat pad extraction refer to themselves as having "chipmunk cheeks" or chubby or fat cheeks. It is typically a genetic predisposition and not a result of being fat or overweight.
Most people lose cheek roundness in their late 20s. Due to heredity, some people may never lose the chubby look in their cheeks. Research your hereditary facial structure by taking a good look at some of your older relatives and pictures of them when they were young. Did they look like you when they were younger and are they thinner-faced now? If so, you run the risk of looking too thin in an unhealthy way in later years if you have buccal fat pad removal. If your mother and father are still as chubby cheeked as they always were, then your face will probably not get thinner with time.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal produces a slenderizing, subtle thinning of the cheeks that draws more attention to the cheekbones and creates a more definitive contour -- it is not a drastic change.
The procedure itself is fairly simple and not overly-invasive. A small incision is made inside the mouth and the lump of fat is gently removed. There is usually some swelling for most patients afterwards -- typically 2-4 days, but every patient is different.
A buccal fat extraction normally takes about an hour to perform.
Dr. Sikorski will make an incision about
1- 2 cm long between your cheek and gums (maxillary vestibule), starting above the second upper molar towards the back of your mouth. Incisions are made inside the mouth and thus leave no scars on the face. Dr. Sikorski will then use the pressure of her thumb against the outside your cheek right under your cheek bone causing the buccal fat to protrude through the intra oral incision. She will then gently and little by little extract the fat with forceps or surgical tweezers. Sometimes a collective amount the size of a golf ball is removed, sometimes more.
The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures. You will potentially have some mild bruising and mild to moderate swelling. Post op discomfort and pain are managed easily with medication.
You will be advised to keep your head elevated on two pillows for several days when lying down or sleeping. You should be able to return to work within a few days.
You should not exercise or participate in sports for about 1 week. Final results are apparent in about 3 months when all internal swelling has gone away.
Buccal fat can be transferred to other areas of the face if desired. The upper cheeks (as in the photo above) and lips can easily be augmented with the transferred buccal fat. Learn more about Fat Transfer here.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call and chat with our patient coordinator Michelle. Call the office at (949) 448-0487 or Request a callback through this online form.