Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Procedure in Washington DC
Buccal fat pad reduction is a very common facial plastic surgical procedure that is performed to slim the cheeks. The buccal fat pads are located deep within the cheeks. These can range in size depending on age, facial shape, and genetics. We frequently will see large buccal fat pads in infants with large chubby cheeks. This volume is frequently associated with youth. However, due to various factors, the buccal fat pads can produce a very rounded appearance to a face, regardless of someone’s weight.
The buccal fat pad actually extends higher than the cheek into the upper jaw. Because of this, Dr. Somenek prefers to perform a reduction rather than a removal. An over-reduction or complete removal of the fat pad may look good at first. However, with progressive aging and continued facial volume loss it can create a sunken or gaunt appearance. This is frequently associated with someone that is unhealthy or looks older than they are. Dr. Somenek respects the fat pads and only removes enough to contour the cheeks while preserving the remaining fat for continued structure and support to the face.
Patients will occasionally request liposuction to this area. The reason why Dr. Somenek does not perform liposuction to the buccal fat pads is two fold. One is that there are many branches of the facial nerve that control movement to the muscles in the face. Aggressive manipulation of this region with a large instrument can cause temporary and sometimes permanent damage to the facial nerve. Secondly, precisely removing the fat pad under direct visualization through a tiny incision in the mouth is much safer and produces a more consistent result.
What Does Buccal Fat Pad Removal Involve?
Buccal fat removal is an intraoral procedure, with incisions inside the mouth and leaves no visible scarring on the face. Dr. Somenek gently removes the buccal fat pads of the cheeks. This creates a favorable contour beneath the cheek bone and creates a higher cheek bone appearance.
What Can I Expect After the Procedure?
After buccal fat pad removal, you should expect mild swelling for 3-5 days. It results in a thinner and more contoured cheek appearance, which is first noticeable immediately, and then maximally 2 to 3 weeks after the swelling has subsided. During buccal fat pad removal, discomfort is very minimal and the incisions inside the mouth heal quickly. Dr. Somenek performs this procedure while the patient is awake, without sedation, which further accelerates the recovery and healing time.
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If you have further questions regarding a buccal fat pad, please call or contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.