Buccal fat extraction is the procedure to remove the fat pads that augment the lower cheeks. Buccal fat removal is also a procedure that is often sought to remedy chipmunk cheeks.
What does Buccal Fat Removal Surgery Involve?
You will be given your choice or your surgeon’s preference in anesthesia. You will be injected with a solution of Lidocaine, epinephrine and saline. Your surgeon will make an incision about 2 to 4 cm long between the cheek and gums (maxillary vestibule), starting above the second upper molar towards the back of the mouth. The surgeon uses blunt dissection to expose the fascia and fibers of the buccinator muscle. Your surgeon will then use the pressure of his or thumb externally against your cheek right under your cheek bone causing the buccal fat to protrude through the incision. He or she will then “tease” the fat out with forceps a little bit at a time. Once this is extracted your surgeon then closes your incisions with a non-dissolvable type suture. Of course there may be differences in surgical technique depending upon the preference of your surgeon.
How long does Buccal Fat Removal take?
The procedure will from one hour to 1.5 hours to complete depending on the extent of the procedure.
Recovery after Buccal Fat Removal Procedure
What will happen in the recovery period?
When you wake up you will notice that your face will look quite swollen in the first 3 days. But as the days go on the swelling will get better. There may be bruising but this will also get better with time. Bruising and swelling are a normal occurrence in most surgeries. Your sutures will more than likely be taken out by your surgeon at a week to 10 days.
What is the recovery time?
You will have to take it easy for 7-14 days. Do not participate in contact sports for at least 6-8 weeks. Most people are fully recovered within 3 weeks. However this will all go on your own individual recovery rate.