Written by our MD, FRCSC contributor Dr. Jack Kolenda.
If you have a round or baby face and are looking for some definition or want to accentuate your cheekbones and achieve a slimmer appearance, you may consider a buccal fat pad reduction procedure. Here are 10 things you need to know if you are contemplating this procedure.
- Buccal fat pad reduction can be performed under local anesthesia and can take 30 to 60 minutes.
- The usual recovery time is three to five days.
- Final results are seen up to three months later, once all the swelling settles down.
- Excision under direct vision—rather than liposuction—is the preferred technique, as many important structures are intertwined in the area where the buccal fat pad sits (such as branches of the facial nerve that allow for facial expression and the parotid duct, which drains saliva from the parotid salivary gland).
- The aim is to reduce the amount of fat and not completely remove it. Why? Because aging will cause more fat loss over time and complete removal of the fat pad can result in an over-hollowed look in the future.
- The procedure leaves no outside scar as the intraoral surgical incision is made on the inside of the cheeks.
- The procedure is ideal for patients who have a round or baby face, as it sharpens the transition between the upper and lower face and accentuates the cheek bones.
- A note of caution: the thinning of a patient’s face is not always desirable, so careful consultation is required or other treatments considered such as masseter injections with neurotoxin.
- Buccal fat pad reduction can be combined with a chin implant, lower face liposuction and masseter neurotoxin treatments to give a narrow, V-shaped appearance to the face.
- The cost of the procedure can range from $2,500 to $5,500.
Note: Recovery time is three to five days, and final results are seen up to three months later once all the swelling settles down.
Now you can apply this for any future decision making and be prepared going into this surgery covering the costs, risks, and step by step procedure plans!