Buccal Fat Pad Reduction in Sandy Springs and Atlanta, GA
While volume is generally a desirable feature of a youthful and beautiful face, excessively full cheeks can be bothersome for some individuals. Some people, no matter their age, are bothered by overly full or “chipmunky” cheeks. Partial removal of the buccal fat pad (also known as the fat pad of Bichat) is a commonly performed procedure to slim the lower face and cheeks. Buccal fat pad reduction or excision—also known as bichectomy surgery—can be an effective way to sculpt overly full cheeks and highlight or accentuate the cheekbones. A relatively short procedure, buccal fat reduction involves surgically trimming a discrete collection of fat located within the cheek, typically through a small incision on the inside of the mouth. This procedure results in slimming of the lower face and cheeks and a more sculpted appearance to the cheekbones—with subtle and natural-appearing results.
Benefits of Buccal Fat Excision
- Treatment of excess, chubby cheek fat
- More slim and sculpted cheeks, and a more balanced facial appearance
- Typically improves self-confidence and self-esteem
- Brief surgery, scant to no bruising, and short recovery
- No facial scars or incisions
Candidates for Buccal Fat Pad Excision
Good candidates for buccal fat pad excision or bichectomy surgery are individuals bothered by excessively full or “chipmunk” cheeks who are motivated to sculpt and slim their facial appearance. Dr. Fishman determines a patient’s candidacy for buccal fat pad reduction surgery during an extensive personal consultation, which includes a thorough review of the patient’s medical history, physical exam, and a tailored and individualized treatment plan. As a good candidate for buccal fat pad reduction, you should be in good health, show great physical and psychological maturity, and have realistic goals and expectations of aesthetic treatments.
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Buccal Fat Reduction Surgery: Treatment Details
Dr. Fishman starts the buccal fat reduction procedure by anesthetizing the tissues of the cheeks and ensuring your comfort. Most commonly, she performs the procedure with the help of ProNox (or laughing gas) and injectable local anesthetic in the office; occasionally, buccal fat pad reduction is combined with facelift surgery. After numbing the tissues, Dr. Fishman makes a small incision on the inside of the cheek and carefully dissects and removes the unwanted fat to sculpt the cheek, then using absorbable stitches to close the cheek incision. Dr. Fishman performs this outpatient procedure in the office and under local anesthesia, or in the operating room and in combination with other procedures, such as rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty.
Contact us today to learn more about buccal fat reduction or bichectomy surgery.
- You should expect some swelling, bruising, numbness and discomfort in the cheeks.
- Cool compresses and oral pain medication should manage your discomfort.
- Cheek swelling resolves over several weeks post-treatment, as the cheeks heal.
- You are encouraged to rest at night with your head elevated for a few weeks.
- Follow these dietary guidelines: avoid all uncooked foods (risk of bacteria) and thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables. Consume liquids and soft foods only for approximately a week after surgery.
- Use Dr. Fishman’s prescribed anti-bacterial mouthwash to rinse your mouth for several days after surgery.
- Avoid touching the incisions inside your mouth with your tongue or anything else.
- Avoid strenuous activity until healing is complete.
- Sutures usually dissolve on their own within 1-2 weeks.
- Be patient with your healing, and know it may take several weeks to have all swelling resolve and see your final treatment results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Men and women of all ages may inquire with Dr. Fishman about cheek reduction (buccal fat excision) surgery. There are multiple facial contouring options today, and Dr. Fishman will discuss them with you to assure you make the right decision.
Most patients complain of mild-moderate soreness rather than significant pain after buccal fat pad reduction or bichectomy surgery. Oral medications (such as Tylenol and Motrin) and cool compresses typically manage post-surgery discomfort quite effectively, with most patients returning to work and social obligations in 1-3 days after the procedure.
With the incision is inside the mouth, bruising is minimal and not typically visible. Swelling of the cheeks may take several weeks or even months to resolve completely, but patients usually resume their daily routines in a few days after treatment.
Buccal fat pad reduction is an oral surgery, and it is very important to ensure no bacteria from foods get into the mouth and incision sites. Our post-treatment instructions aim for smooth, problem-free healing of the mouth and cheek tissues, with minimal chance for infection or irritation of the freshly healing incision. Besides infection prevention, your mouth soreness will dictate what you feel like eating for a few days after surgery.
No. Buccal fat pad reduction or bichectomy surgery is an elective cosmetic procedure, and insurance does not cover this treatment. We offer financing to cover the cost of aesthetic treatments, and can provide you with financing information in our office as part of your consultation with our team.