The buccal fat pad is a naturally occurring pocket of fat located in the cheek on both sides of the face. They vary in size from person to person, and sometimes the pad can vary in size from cheek to cheek in the same person. Some people choose to have this removed because they feel the pad gives their face a chubby appearance (ie – “chipmunk cheeks”) or is more prominent on one side of the face.
HOW IS BUCCAL FAT REMOVED?
Buccal fat removal is an outpatient, surgical procedure that is performed by Dr. Harbison in our office in about 1 hour. Local numbing medication is used to anesthetize the area around the mouth. This technique is similar to the numbing your dentist uses! After the numbing agent has taken effect, Dr. Harbison makes a small incision on the inside of each cheek and removes the buccal fat pad. The incisions are closed with a few small sutures and dissolve within 3-4 days.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
After the procedure, you will be numb for a few hours. After the numbing wears off most patients only require acetaminophen for mild discomfort. We recommend you sleep propped up on a few pillows to help minimize swelling. Patient will be swollen for 7-10 days after the procedure but discomfort should be minimal. We suggest patients avoid spicy or hard-to-chew foods for the first week. You will check in with Dr. Harbison in 7 -10 days to track your recovery.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
After the buccal fat is removed there will be some swelling in the cheeks. The swelling will last for about 1 week. The final results of the buccal fat pad removal can take a few weeks to months as the skin tightens in that area.
CAN THIS BE PERFORMED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PROCEDURES?
Absolutely! Many patients will opt to have the buccal fat pad removed in conjunction with surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Harbison often utilizes dermal filler to create volume in the upper face and removal of the fat pad in the lower face to create facial balance. Buccal fat can also compliment jawline surgery and facelift procedures.
WHY DR HARBISON?
It is important that the surgeon you choose is well-trained in buccal fat removal. If too much fat is removed, you may appear gaunt or notice a hollowed appearance. Dr. Harbison is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon that has expertise in this procedure.