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We all have body contours and silhouettes that are different from everyone else. While some are contented with what they have, others either want to enhance or reduce the size of a specific body part. Here, let us tackle one type of liposuction for the face, the buccal fat removal surgery. Let us find out its definition, procedure, and how it affects the overall look of your face after this specialised liposuction procedure.



Buccal fat removal surgery: What is it?

Buccal fat pad removal or liposuction is the cosmetic surgery that removes prominent cheeks to reduce the size and contour the shape of your face. The buccal fat pad is the natural fat that forms your cheeks, making your face round and gives you that ‘baby face’ look. Reducing or removing these pads would redefine your cheekbones.



Buccal fat removal surgery: How is it performed?

As a standalone procedure, an expert plastic surgeon can perform this cosmetic procedure as outpatient surgery and would only last for not more than an hour. The buccal fat removal surgery involves an incision on the inside of the mouth, within the inner portion of your cheek. Manual pressure allows the buccal fat pad to be exposed, and the surgeon can then trim or remove parts of it to reshape your cheeks. Sutures to close the incisions finish the surgery.

The buccal fat removal surgery can also get associated with a patient’s facelift. If this type of liposuction is performed in conjunction with rhytidectomy, the existing incisions to perform the facelift is utilised for the buccal fat removal, and no other incision inside the mouth would be done.



Buccal fat removal surgery: Things to consider

Recovery. Buccal fat removal surgery is regarded as a minor cosmetic procedure, so the downtime for this type of liposuction can be expected to be minimal. Your surgeon can allow you to return to work in 1-2 days’ time but be informed that swelling around your face is still visible and will last for less than two weeks. You should also adjust your diet while the incisions inside your mouth are still fresh. Changing your food intake and proper oral hygiene can ensure your comfort while recovering and minimise the risk of encountering unwanted complications and infection of the surgical wound. As your cheeks gradually recover from the swelling, you can expect to appreciate the results of your cosmetic procedure at least after 3-4 weeks post-surgery

Complications. As well all know, all surgical procedures, whether cosmetic, restorative, or functional in nature, can have complications anytime, anywhere.  Since the operative site is near facial nerves and salivary ducts, buccal fat removal surgery, if not done by an expert surgeon, may potentially cause partial facial paralysis. Asymmetry of the cheeks may also happen if an inexperienced surgeon performs your procedure. Other risks that may occur include infection, hematoma or bruising, and poor healing of your surgical wounds, among others.


Cost. An estimated cost of buccal fat removal surgery ranges from $250 to $5800 and averages at $2500. Since this type of liposuction is purely cosmetic in nature, Medicare or your medical insurance would not cover the cost.


Doctors’ perspective.  Some doctors are not in favour of performing buccal fat removal surgery because they are still naturally expected to shrink as you age. Removing them while you are still young may seem like a good idea at the moment, but as time passes, not having enough buccal fat pad would make you look older than your age because your cheeks are hollow and gaunt.



Making yourself look and feel beautiful is a personal choice. Achieving your dream look and body is not a crime, as long as you are not overdoing it and are not sacrificing your personal safety.

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