If you are looking for a narrower look to your face or a reduction in the size of your cheeks, a visit to our state-of-the-art plastic surgery clinic can give you your desired look.
Buccal fat pads are rounded tissue structures of the face located in each cheek, just underneath the hollow area under the cheekbones. As we age, the fat underneath the cheekbones tends to decrease, but the buccal fat pads remain the same size, often creating a less defined or droopy facial appearance. Double Board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Somenek can perform buccal fat pad reduction in Washington DC to help reduce the size of these tissues so that you can achieve a younger, more contoured, and natural look in your cheeks.
Are You a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Reduction?
Several factors will make you the right candidate for buccal fat removal in DC. The ideal patient:
- Is in good physical health
- Has a healthy weight
- Dislike the fullness of their cheeks
- Might be self-conscious about having a round or “baby” face
- Is looking for a more feminine facial shape
Buccal fat pad removal can provide you with a natural and more contoured look to your cheeks, but it may not be for everyone. For example, it may not be recommended if your face is relatively narrow or thin because it could lead to a slimmer look. It might also not be ideal for older patients because the procedure might further emphasize the appearance of loose jowls and other signs of facial aging.
The Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Procedure
Buccal fat pad reduction is performed in our Washington DC operating room, under either local anesthesia (where you can remain awake) or under general anesthesia (where you are asleep). Most patients choose to have their cheek reduction procedure done fully awake. In this approach, Dr. Somenek injects lidocaine into your skin to numb the area, makes surgical incisions around the inside of the mouth, and removes the fat pads. The incision is then stitched closed, and you can go home immediately.
Under local anesthesia, the process takes less than an hour, and there is minimal post-op downtime. This surgery can usually also be performed simultaneously with other facial procedures, including lip augmentation, rhinoplasty, or a facelift, in order to maximize the rejuvenating potential. If you decide to combine the reduction with another procedure, the incision sites may differ. For example, when combined with a facelift operation, separate incisions are not made through the mouth. This way, the number of surgical incisions is minimized, allowing for a quicker procedure and reduced recovery time.
Dr. Somenek does not perform liposuction on the cheeks because there are many branches of the facial nerve that could become permanently damaged with aggressive manipulation of this region. Incising through the mouth eliminates the chance of this occurring.
The Risks Involved
The risks of buccal fat pad reduction are minimal. Since most incisions are placed in the mouth, visible scars are not often an issue, and there are no critical blood vessels near the incision sites. However, when a procedure is performed in the mouth, there is the risk of damaging the gums, teeth, or lips, but these risks are reduced with the careful surgical techniques that Dr. Somenek utilizes.
These results are permanent, so you do not have to worry that the fat will grow back. Swelling may last for two or three days, and final results may take a few weeks to become visible.
How Can I Prepare for My Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Procedure?
When you prepare ahead of time for your buccal fat pad reduction procedure, you increase your chances of having a complication-free procedure. Before your procedure, we recommend doing the following:
- Consult your primary doctor to determine if stopping any of your prescribed medications is needed before your procedure.
- Get the appropriate lab testing if needed.
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications and supplements.
- Quit smoking.
- Arrange transportation for someone to drive you to and from your procedure.
What Is Recovery Like After Buccal Fat Pad Reduction?
Recovery can take up to three weeks, but you’ll be able to see constant improvement in your facial shape and structure over the course of two months. During your recovery period, you may experience slight pain or discomfort in your treated areas, which will gradually fade away after about a week. Other common side effects of buccal fat pad reduction can include:
While buccal fat pad reduction is a safe procedure, it can also involve risks such as bleeding, infection, facial nerve injury, and asymmetry of the face.
How Is Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Different From Cheek Liposuction?
Despite the concept of removing fat from the cheek area, cheek liposuction and buccal fat pad reduction are different. In cheek liposuction, fat is removed through a narrow tube and suction device that works as a vacuum to achieve a more contoured look. Buccal fat pad reduction is a surgical procedure that involves the incision and removal of the pad of fat that sits under the cheekbone.
What Are the Benefits of a Buccal Fat Pad Reduction?
Buccal fat pad reduction can provide many benefits to patients looking to achieve a sharper, more contoured appearance on the face. Through buccal fat pad reduction, we eliminate the appearance of “chubby cheeks” or baby fat, which leads to an enhancement of your natural features. This procedure also helps patients achieve a more chiseled, contoured appearance to the face. It can also reinvent the shape of your face by giving round faces a V-shaped appearance. Above all, many patients report an increase in self-esteem after their buccal fat pad reduction procedure, as they are able to feel comfortable and confident about their new appearance.
Give Your Face a Slimmer Shape with Buccal Fat Pad Reduction in Washington, DC
The aging process can cause our face to drop and become less-defined, but there is a permanent solution. If you would like to learn more about how to give your cheeks a make-over, contact our practice about buccal fat pad reduction in Washington DC. We are more than happy to schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Somenek.
Check out some of our work in these before and after galleries for buccal fat pad reductions.