Buccal fat pad removal, also known as cheek fat removal or buccal lipectomy, is a surgery that involves the removal of excess fat pads from the cheeks to create a more contoured facial appearance. It is generally used to reduce the appearance of chubby cheeks (“chipmunk cheeks”) that appear due to genetics or weight gain.
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery most commonly performs “buccal space modification” in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures. Buccal space modification can be used to reshape and restore youthful contours in the face.
When evaluating a patient’s face, Dr. Azizzadeh keeps in mind that facial rejuvenation surgery can be used to create soft transitions between the different subunits of the face (upper face, mid-face, and lower face). This approach often involves refining the appearance of the buccal fat pads if they are excessively convex to ensure that the cheeks complement other facial features.
In addition, Dr. Azizzadeh prioritizes patient education. Dr. Azizzadeh wants his patients to understand how he removes buccal fat to enhance facial symmetry. This allows patients to assess the pros and cons of fat pad removal and decide if the surgery can help them accomplish their facial rejuvenation treatment goals.
What Is Buccal Fat?
Buccal fat is located in pads in the cheeks. The size of these pads varies. Regardless, buccal fat pads can impact the facial shape.
Large buccal fat pads can make the face look too round or full. In this instance, the cheeks can look disproportionate to the nose, eyes, and other facial features.
What Is Buccal Fat Removal?
Cheek reduction surgery helps an individual improve not only the appearance of the cheeks, but brings harmony to the overall facial shape. For patients with overly full, round or chubby cheeks, removing the buccal fat pads results in a more sculpted and symmetrical facial appearance.
The procedure is performed from inside of the mouth and does not result in visible scars on the face. Dr. Azizzadeh will strategically remove the correct amount of the buccal fat pad to enhance the patient’s youthful contours and overall facial shape.
Addressing the buccal fat pad is extremely important in Dr. Azizzadeh’s approach to facial rejuvenation to create the most attractive facial appearance.
Is Buccal Fat Pad Removal Different from Buccal Fat Pad Reduction?
Both buccal fat pad removal and reduction procedures involve the removal of excess fat pads from the cheeks. During these procedures, Dr. Azizzadeh eliminates excess fat pads from the cheeks, resulting in a balanced, youthful-looking facial appearance.
Buccal fat pad removal and reduction must be performed by a highly specialized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Azizzadeh is a top-rated facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who understands the complexities of cheek fat removal and reduction procedures. He performs a patient evaluation to determine if an individual qualifies for buccal fat pad removal or reduction surgery. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes buccal fat pad removal or reduction can help a patient achieve facial harmony, he next creates a custom treatment plan for him or her.
Benefits of Buccal Lipectomy
Cheek reduction surgery offers many benefits, including:
More defined cheeks
Improved facial contours
Rejuvenated facial shape
Enhanced facial appearance
A consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh offers a great starting point for anyone who is considering buccal lipectomy. Dr. Azizzadeh is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who will evaluate his patient’s face and listen to their plastic surgery goals. Together, Dr. Azizzadeh and his patient will come up with the best surgical plan to deliver the best facial rejuvenation results.
Are You a Candidate for Buccal Fat Pad Removal?
The ideal candidates for buccal lipectomy include individuals:
with chubby or puffy cheeks.
with a convex cheek appearance.
who have received setback mandibuloplasty surgery to reduce the size of the chin or jaw. This procedure helps shorten the jaw, but it can compress the mid-face tissues, causing chubby or puffy cheeks to form.
with prominent high cheekbones and sunken cheeks under the cheekbones.
who want to rejuvenate the overall appearance of their face.
Before buccal space modification surgery is performed, Dr. Azizzadeh will offer full details about the benefits of buccal fat pad removal surgery, the procedure itself and recovery after treatment. He will also respond to a patient’s concerns and questions to help make an informed treatment decision.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal Risks
Risks associated with buccal fat removal surgery include:
Salivary duct injury
Facial nerve injury that can lead to permanent facial paralysis or facial muscle weakness
Asymmetrical facial appearance
Salivary duct injury
Facial nerve injury that can lead to permanent facial paralysis or facial muscle weakness
Asymmetrical facial appearance
The risks of buccal fat pad removal are significant, and it is important that a patient understands these dangers before treatment. That way, a patient can evaluate the risks and benefits of buccal fat pad removal and plan accordingly.
Dr. Azizzadeh explains buccal fat pad removal risks before surgery. He also takes the necessary precautions to minimize patient risk throughout buccal fat pad removal.
Dr. Azizzadeh’s goal is to help a patient revitalize the facial appearance, and he will not put a patient’s health and safety in danger. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes the risks of buccal fat pad removal are too great, he will not perform the procedure. Instead, Dr. Azizzadeh can discuss alternative facial rejuvenation treatment options with his patient.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal Before and After
Like any plastic surgery, it helps to know what to expect before and after treatment. Fortunately, Dr. Azizzadeh provides insights to ensure his patients understand what happens before and after buccal fat removal.
For those who are considering buccal fat pad removal, Dr. Azizzadeh requests an in-person or virtual consultation. This allows Dr. Azizzadeh to evaluate a patient and determine their eligibility for buccal fat removal. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes his patient is a good candidate, he crafts a personalized treatment plan.
Also, Dr. Azizzadeh can share photos of past buccal fat pad removal patients. These photos highlight Dr. Azizzadeh’s ability to help buccal fat removal patients achieve their desired treatment results. They can help those considering buccal fat removal understand what to expect if they choose Dr. Azizzadeh for treatment, too.
Dr. Azizzadeh removes buccal fat with precision and care. He follows his surgery plan and does everything in his power to minimize risk for his patient. Following surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh requests follow-up appointments as well.
Follow-up appointments enable Dr. Azizzadeh to verify that his patient’s surgery results are on track. Dr. Azizzadeh encourages his patients to ask questions and share any concerns or questions during these sessions. As the recovery process moves forward, the patient can keep Dr. Azizzadeh up to date about their progress. Ultimately, the full results of buccal fat pad removal will become visible.
Factors to Consider Before Buccal Fat Pad Removal
Factors to consider before undergoing buccal fat pad removal surgery include:
Facial Appearance: Buccal fat pad removal contours the cheeks, but an individual’s cheek size is not always related to his or her buccal pads. In certain instances, an individual’s cheek size is the result of fat deposits or over-developed muscle in the jaw.
Recovery Time: Downtime after buccal fat pad removal is usually minimal, but it generally takes at least a few months before a patient sees the full results of treatment.
Health: There may be instances in which a patient won’t qualify for cheek fat pad removal due to a preexisting health condition. In these instances, alternative facial rejuvenation treatment options may be available.
Cost: Buccal fat removal is generally not covered by insurance. However, financing options may be available to help patients cover the cost of treatment.
Dr. Azizzadeh helps each of his patients plan ahead for all aspects of a buccal fat pad removal procedure. In addition to explaining how buccal fat pad removal is performed prior to surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh offers postoperative treatment instructions. He also requests follow-up visits after a buccal fat pad removal procedure to ensure a patient’s recovery stays on track.
What to Look for in a Buccal Fat Pad Removal Surgeon
Buccal fat pad removal is an intricate procedure that must be performed by an expert facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Meanwhile, Dr. Azizzadeh is a Harvard-trained facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and has performed many buccal fat pad removal procedures. He also works closely with each of his buccal fat pad removal patients. In doing so, Dr. Azizzadeh helps his cheek fat removal surgery patients achieve their treatment goals.
What to Expect During Cheek Fat Removal Surgery
During buccal fat removal, Dr. Azizzadeh makes a small incision inside the cheek. Next, he puts pressure on the outside of the cheek to further expose the buccal pad. Dr. Azizzadeh then cuts and removes the fat. Finally, Dr. Azizzadeh closes the wound with dissolvable stitches.
Dr. Azizzadeh performs buccal fat pad removal at an outpatient surgical facility and patients can return home the same day to start the recovery process. The procedure itself takes approximately 30 – 60 minutes to perform, but when combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, the overall surgery time is much longer. Buccal fat pad removal is performed from inside the mouth in the cheek area. Dr. Azizzadeh gently removes the buccal fat pad, resulting in a more sculpted and natural-looking facial appearance without any visible scars.
Recovery from Buccal Fat Pad Removal
A buccal lipectomy patient may experience facial swelling following surgery. However, the swelling will dissipate on its own within about two to three weeks. After the swelling stops, the cheeks will start to look thinner and more contoured.
It typically takes about seven to 10 days for the tissues inside the mouth to recover following cheek fat pad removal. As such, a patient may need to maintain a soft or semi-liquid diet in the first few days after surgery.
A special mouth rinse is sometimes recommended for use after a buccal lipectomy. The rinse can help reduce a patient’s risk of infection and should be taken as directed.
Some patients receive medication to help accelerate the healing process or lower the risk of infection after a cheek fat pad removal procedure. Any medication should be taken as prescribed. If a patient experiences any side effects when taking medication after a buccal lipectomy, this individual should notify Dr. Azizzadeh.
Dr. Azizzadeh provides instructions for a patient to follow during recovery from cheek fat pad removal. The instructions detail how a patient can care for the surgical site and describe any medications that should be taken during the recovery period. They also explain how frequently a patient should follow up with Dr. Azizzadeh, along with post-surgery issues that require immediate attention.
Dr. Azizzadeh tracks his patient’s progress throughout buccal lipectomy recovery. He performs periodic evaluations to ensure his patient fully recovers from surgery and helps him or her avoid post-treatment complications. Dr. Azizzadeh is available to respond to a patient’s questions throughout recovery from a buccal fat removal procedure. If a buccal lipectomy patient is worried about the results of surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh can quickly address his or her concerns at any time during the recovery period.
What Are the Long-Term Results of Buccal Fat Pad Removal?
The final results of buccal fat pad removal usually become visible several months after surgery once all of the swelling has subsided. However, buccal fat pad removal results vary based on a patient’s diet and other factors.
In some instances, weight gain or weight loss after buccal fat pad removal impacts treatment results. The natural aging process also causes facial wrinkles, sagging skin and other skin issues that may affect buccal fat pad removal results.
Dr. Azizzadeh wants buccal fat pad removal patients to establish realistic treatment expectations. Prior to a buccal fat pad removal procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh teaches each of his patients about the surgery and its long-term results. Dr. Azizzadeh is available to respond to a buccal fat pad removal patient’s concerns or questions following treatment, too.
Dr. Azizzadeh's Approach to Buccal Fat Removal
Dr. Azizzadeh recognizes that no two facial surgery patients are exactly alike, and as a result, takes a personalized approach to cheek fat removal. Prior to cheek reduction surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh will meet with a patient, perform an extensive evaluation and learn about an individual’s treatment goals.
As discussed before, in many cases buccal fat pad removal is performed in conjunction with several other facial rejuvenation procedures in order to improve the overall appearance of the patient’s face in a natural, youthful and appropriate manner. Some of the other procedures Dr. Azizzadeh may also recommend include:
Facelift: With a facelift, an individual can rejuvenate the facial appearance.
Blepharoplasty: To ensure an overall rejuvenated appearance, blepharoplasty will lift drooping upper eyelids or erase under eye bags.
Mid-Facelift: A mid-facelift is designed to address visible signs of aging in the lower eyelids and cheeks.
Neck Lift: The neck lift will address the lower portion of the face including the jowls and neck.
Chin Augmentation: Commonly referred to as mentoplasty, chin augmentation involves the placement of a small implant in the front of the chin bone to create a more balanced appearance.
Dr. Azizzadeh conducts a patient evaluation before he performs buccal fat pad removal or any other facial plastic and reconstructive procedure. That way, Dr. Azizzadeh can understand a patient’s underlying facial issues and determine if one or more facial plastic and reconstructive procedures can help address these problems.
How Much Does Buccal Fat Pad Removal Cost?
The cost of a buccal fat pad removal procedure varies depending on where the surgery is performed, the surgeon completing the procedure and other factors. Dr. Azizzadeh discusses the costs associated with buccal fat pad removal before treatment.
What Is the Best Age for Buccal Fat Pad Removal?
The best age for buccal fat pad removal varies based on the patient and his or her treatment goals. Buccal fat removal helps a patient enhance his or her facial shape by slimming the lower cheek region of the face. The result: the jawline and cheeks appear more defined, and a patient benefits from a harmonious facial appearance.
If Dr. Azizzadeh believes buccal fat pad removal is a good option to help a patient achieve a balanced, natural-looking facial appearance, he recommends the procedure, regardless of the patient’s age. On the other hand, if the risks of buccal fat removal outweigh the benefits, Dr. Azizzadeh offers alternative treatment options.
Can Buccal Fat Pad Removal Accelerate the Aging Process?
Buccal fat pad removal sometimes puts additional stress on the skin, leading to accelerated aging. Thus, it is important to meet with an expert facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon before buccal fat pad removal is performed. That way, a patient can determine if he or she is a good candidate for buccal fat removal, as well as learn about the short- and long-term effects of treatment.
Can Buccal Fat Pad Removal Help Me Improve My Smile?
Buccal fat pad removal sometimes helps patients enhance their smiles. Because buccal fat removal treats chubby cheeks, it enables a patient to enhance facial symmetry. In doing so, it also helps patients improve other facial features, including their smiles.
Are the Results of Buccal Fat Pad Removal Noticeable?
Buccal fat pad removal often results in a thinner, more contoured facial appearance. But it is important to note that Dr. Azizzadeh does everything possible to ensure a patient can enjoy a natural-looking facial appearance after surgery.
A natural-looking facial appearance ensures the cheek, chin, eyes and other facial features appear in perfect harmony with one another. To achieve a natural-looking facial appearance, Dr. Azizzadeh crafts a custom treatment plan for each of his buccal fat pad removal patients. This plan accounts for a patient’s facial features and treatment goals, and ultimately, allows him or her to achieve the best-possible treatment results.
Is Buccal Fat Pad Removal Right for Me?
Buccal fat pad removal delivers many benefits, but the procedure is not right for everyone. By meeting with Dr. Azizzadeh, a patient can learn about all aspects of buccal fat removal. Dr. Azizzadeh explains the buccal fat pad removal process, along with what a patient should expect following the procedure. He also responds to any buccal fat pad removal concerns and questions. This allows a patient to gain the insights he or she needs to make an informed decision about buccal fat pad removal.
Schedule a Buccal Fat Pad Removal Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh Today
Buccal fat removal can help patients enhance the appearance of the cheekbones. By partnering with Dr. Azizzadeh, patients can learn about all aspects of the procedure. They can also receive an evaluation to determine if they qualify for buccal fat removal or other facial rejuvenation treatments.
Dr. Azizzadeh offers free consultations to those who are considering buccal fat pad removal and other cosmetic procedures. To find out more about cheek fat removal or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.