Don’t like the appearance of your cheeks? Do you think they are too chubby? There is a cosmetic procedure called buccal fat removal that could help you.
How does Bichectomy Work?
There is a mass of fat in the center of your check-called the buccal fat pad. It sits between the facial muscles in the dentation beneath your cheekbone.
Everyone has this mass, but it varies in size from person to person. If you have a round face, it is probably due to your buccal fat pads being more prominent than average.
This procedure is purely cosmetic, and there are no risks associated with having larger fat pads in your cheeks. In addition, the process will reduce the width of your face, enhancing your appearance. Continue reading to learn all the interesting facts about this surgery and find out if it is an option for you.
What is Cheek Reduction Surgery?
A buccal lipectomy is a specific type of plastic surgery where the fat pads are removed from your cheeks, making your face more defined and thins your cheeks.
This surgery is usually performed when you are getting other cosmetic procedures done, such as:
- Lip implants
- Chin implants
- A nose job
However, it can be done on its own should you not require any of these procedures.
Am I a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?
There are certain factors to take into consideration before having this Bichectomy surgery; you will be a good candidate if:
- You are healthy
- You are not overweight.
- You have a round face.
- You are not happy with the puffiness of your cheeks.
- You have pseudogenization
- You are having a sex change operation.
- Are a non-smoker
What Would Make Me an Unsuitable Candidate?
To be the right candidate for this treatment, you can’t have:
- A thin face. If people with narrow faces have this surgery, there is a significant risk that your cheeks could sink inwards as you get older.
- If you have Parry-Romberg syndrome, it shrinks the skin on the one side of your face making you look lopsided.
- You are more mature; you begin to lose some of the fat in your face as you start to age.
If you are still uncertain if you qualify for this procedure, consult with a plastic surgeon to decide whether or not it will work for you.
The Buccal Fat Removal Procedure
You will need to consult with a plastic surgeon who will want to know:
- Your full medical history
- What medications you are on
- If you have any medical conditions
- Whether you abuse alcohol, drugs, or tobacco
- What your expectations are
- If you are allergic to anything
These might be personal questions, but you need to answer truthfully as your surgeon has to recommend the best possible process for your unique circumstances.
All this information is also vital to your recovery period and what risks could be involved.
Once you have been given the go-ahead, your doctor will examine your face and take some photos to get everything ready for your surgery.
Depending on your unique requirements, this procedure can be done in-office or at the hospital. If you have multiple surgeries done, you will be given a general anesthetic and dose off. (That will do this in a hospital).
If the buccal fat removal is the only surgery you are getting, you will be given local anesthesia and awake the whole time but feel no pain (That will do this in-office).
Your specialist will make a small cut on the inside of your cheek and apply pressure to the outer part to gain better access to the buccal fat pod.
An incision is made into the pod, and your surgeon will remove the fat. Then you will be stitched up with dissolvable stitches.
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What Happens Next?
Your surgeon will give you a set list of instructions to follow to ensure that you heal quickly and without any complications. You will also be given an anti-bacterial mouth wash to prevent infection.
Unfortunately, your face will swell, and there might even be some bruising. Do not panic; these symptoms will disappear within a few days, but in total, your recovery period will be around 21 days.
During Bichectomy surgery recovery, it is essential to go for your follow-up appointments so that if something is wrong, the surgeon will pick it up quickly and treat it. Although your recovery period is only three weeks, it can take a few months for your cheeks to settle into your desired shape.
What can You Eat After Buccal Fat Removal?
For the first week after your surgery, you will have to stick to a liquid diet.
This diet should include foods like:
Depending on your unique requirements, you may even be asked to stay on this diet until your first follow-up appointment. After the first week, you can start to introduce softer, more formed foods into your diet like:
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes
- Slow-cooked stews
- Softer cereals
Usually, after ten days, you can start to resume your natural diet, but ensure to stay away from crunchy or sharp foods until you are completely healed. Foods to avoid are:
- Raw vegetables or hard fruits
- Corn or maize chips
Can Buccal Fat Grow Back?
Bichectomy is a permanent procedure. Once performed, the buccal fat does not grow back, not even if you gain weight. There are other methods of removing smaller amounts of fat from the cheeks, and when you gain weight, it will return. However, buccal lipectomy is the only surgery that will guarantee a slimmer face for life.
Are There Any Risks?
It is not very common to have any complications related to buccal fat removal surgery. However, as with any surgery, there can be some complications or side effects which include:
- Allergic or adverse reactions to the anesthetic
- Facial nerve damage
- Salivary gland damage
- Cardiac side effects
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Too much fat removed
- Distorted cheeks due to facial asymmetry
These all sound like scary complications, but if you do your research correctly and find a reputable plastic surgeon, the likelihood that these will happen to you is very slim.
What is the Cost of Cheek Reduction Surgery?
The amount you have to pay will vary depending on the type of anesthetic used, what medication is prescribed, your geographical location, and your plastic surgeon’s qualifications. Generally, buccal fat removal price in the UK ranges between £3,000 to £5,000 according to www.cadoganclinic.com, While the Average Cost in the United States is $3,500, in Turkey, The Price goes Between $1500 – $1900
Unfortunately, this procedure is not covered by medical insurance as it is cosmetic surgery. If you cannot make a once-off payment, discuss the possibility of a payment plan with your doctor.
Is Buccal Fat Removal Worth It?
Buccal fat pad resection is a very effective procedure. Most patients are satisfied with their results and love their newly defined faces.
What are the Advantages of Bichectomy?
A buccal fat extraction is a great option if you look for a more defined face and highlight those cheekbones. This procedure has many advantages, which include:
- It helps to boost your confidence
- Your face will be thinner
- It is permanent
- Your face will have a lifted appearance
- Accentuates the natural curves of your face
- Reduces chubby cheeks
- It’s a quick surgery that is usually done in-office under general anesthesia, under an hour.
Although this surgery is primarily effective, some disadvantages might make you think twice:
- There is a risk that you might bruise or infection might occur, although this rarely happens.
- Your face will be swollen for 14 days after the surgery.
Does it Hurt?
Because the surgery is done on the soft tissue, there should be minimal to no discomfort. Although your plastic surgeon will prescribe you some pain medication, most people don’t even need it.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Side effects stemming from cheekbone reduction surgery have been reported, and they are as follows:
- Numbness or other changes in sensation
- Ongoing swelling
- Temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness (Due to injury to the facial nerve branches).
- Damage to a salivary duct
- Suboptimal aesthetic result
- Minimal changes
- Persistent pain
If you have shown any of these side effects, you must consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Buccal fat removal is a quick and easy procedure that will reduce the size of your cheeks and create a slimmer profile. If you qualify for this treatment and want more defined cheekbones, this could be the correct procedure for you.
The procedure is safe, and the recovery time is minimal. However, although very rare, there have been complications, and you should always ask your plastic surgeon about the risks that can occur.
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