The buccal fat pad is a collection of fat found in the cheeeks (also called the Fat Pad of Bichat). This fat pad can give a person a full and round face.
Buccal fat pad reduction is a common facial surgery procedure that is performed to slim the cheeks or face. Patients who usually elect to have this procedure feel that they have chubby cheeks in relation to the rest of the face. In general, it is not recommended to remove the entire fat pad as this can later lead to a gaunt and unhealthy appearance.
The fat is easily located and removed by making a small incision on the inside of the cheek. The amount of fat to be removed is determined and the fat is removed with a radiofrequency cautery such an an Ellman. After the fat is removed, the small incisions are closed with dissolving sututres.
Although the result is often immediately noticeable, the final result won't be evident for several weeks when all the swelling is gone. The recovery is generally 3-5 days and there is minimal discomfort but pain medication is prescribed as necessary. The procedure takes about 20 minutes per side and is performed under IV sedation.
The goal of the procedure is to provide a slimmer appearance to the cheeks and create a break between the cheekbone and cheek itself. Again, conservative removal of fat is recommended and this procedure has been a safe and predictable procedure in my practice.
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