The chubby cheeks we find so adorable in baby photos are due to the buccal fat pads in the lower region of the face. Many of us lose these fat pads as we age. Our faces naturally take on a more mature, chiseled look that defines our features for the first decades of adulthood. For others, however, the buccal fat pads remain full and the face retains a rounded, childlike appearance. This plumpness — often known as “chipmunk cheeks” or a “baby face” — detracts from an aesthetically pleasing facial silhouette and cannot be reduced with diet or exercise.
With buccal fat pad removal, men and women can achieve a facial contour that more closely adheres to ideal facial aesthetics. Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. John Freeman can reduce, reshape or remove bothersome buccal fat to produce a leaner, more sculpted appearance without any visible scarring. To find out more about buccal fat pad removal in Katy, TX, please contact us today at 281-599-9445 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Freeman.
The goal of buccal fat pad removal is to thin the face and provide more definition for the cheeks and jawline. Although a soft and full face is typically considered youthful, some people feel that their face has too much volume. They may find that they look overweight even if they are in good shape or are treated differently because they look so young. Buccal fat pad removal is an elegant procedure that helps patients with oversized cheeks achieve a more sculpted facial appearance. The result is a subtle but impactful enhancement of the cheekbones, cheek hollow and jaw, not a drastic or unnatural change in appearance.
Buccal fat pad removal naturally creates a more attractive appearance by:
Both men and women who are concerned about the fullness of their faces are suitable for this procedure. The ideal candidates for buccal fat pad removal have excessively rounded or voluminous cheeks that give their face a poorly defined, chubby or immature appearance. Buccal fat extraction can be performed at almost any age. As with any surgical procedure, a suitable candidate should be in good health overall, at a stable weight and a non-smoker. It is also important to maintain reasonable expectations about what the surgery can and cannot do.
Buccal fat pad extraction is typically not recommended for people with thin, narrow faces. Because facial fat loss is part of the aging process, a patient with a naturally slim face who has buccal fat removed may end up with a gaunt appearance as they grow older. Dr. Freeman will offer alternative treatment options if he believes buccal fat pad removal is not a good option to help a particular patient achieve a balanced, youthful and natural-looking facial appearance.
During an initial consultation, Dr. Freeman will evaluate your face and listen as you explain your surgical goals. Be prepared to be candid during this appointment. Dr. Freeman will ask a number of questions about your desires, lifestyle and health history. Your answers will determine your suitability for the procedure and will be used to craft a customized surgical plan that is tailor-made to achieve your requested results. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to voice them. It’s essential that you understand all aspects of your buccal fat extraction surgery and feel comfortable with the decision to move forward.
Dr. Freeman performs buccal fat pad removal in an outpatient setting. The procedure typically takes an hour or less to perform, but may take longer if it is combined with other facial rejuvenation techniques.
After anesthesia is administered, Dr. Freeman will make a small incision on the cheek inside the mouth to access the fat pad. He will remove the appropriate amount of fat to achieve your desired facial contour, then close the incision with dissolvable sutures. The process will be repeated on the second side when the first side is complete.
Downtime after buccal fat pad extraction is usually minimal. Following the surgery, you may be instructed to stay on a soft or liquid diet for several days and use a special mouth rinse to reduce the risk of infection. You may experience some discomfort as well as swelling and light bruising. It can take several weeks for the swelling to resolve. Serious buccal fat pad removal risks are rare and will be fully discussed prior to your consent.
Everyone heals differently, but most patients do not find that buccal fat pad removal is a considerable disruption in their daily routine. You may be able to return to work in a few days, depending on the type of work you do, and return to normal activities in about a week. Recovery time will be longer if you choose to have buccal fat pad removal performed in conjunction with another facial procedure.
The final results of your buccal fat removal surgery will be evident when all postoperative swelling has subsided. The procedure achieves a slimmer, more sculpted and natural-looking facial appearance without any visible scars. Diet and other factors will have an effect on the longevity of your results. While the fat that is removed will not grow back, future weight gain or weight loss may change the aesthetics of your face. The natural aging process may also affect the look of your results as wrinkles and sagging skin become more prominent concerns. With a healthy lifestyle and conscientious skincare routine, patients can still enjoy the benefits of buccal fat pad removal 10 years later or more.
Unwanted buccal fat affects the look of your entire face. Whether you are genetically predisposed to fuller cheeks or desire a slimmer facial profile after significant weight loss, talk to a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Katy about this facial contouring procedure. Dr. Freeman understands the complexities of facial plastic surgery and uses his extensive knowledge of aesthetics to create the most attractive, balanced appearance. Contact the office of Dr. Freeman online or at 281-599-9445 to request a consultation.