Chubby cheeks may be adorable in small children, but in adults, they can detract, and create a less pleasing facial silhouette. Buccal fat – fat pads in the lower portion of the cheeks – can disguise the natural contours of facial bone structure and give the face a rounded, “chipmunk cheek” appearance.
Dr. James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS, premier facial plastic surgeon in Seattle, performs buccal fat removal to reduce fullness in the lower cheeks for a smoother, slimmer, more youthful appearance. Dr. Ridgway is a national award-winning, double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in restorative and reconstructive surgery of the face.
Causes of Buccal Fat
Many overweight people have chubby cheeks, but carrying extra weight is not the reason that some people have this problem. Some have a genetic predisposition to buccal fat, even while maintaining a healthy overall weight. If you have rounded lower cheeks, regardless of the cause, a buccal fat removal procedure could give your cheeks a more chiseled, hollowed appearance.
Buccal Fat Removal Procedure
Buccal fat removal is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, which takes approximately one hour to perform. In your consultation before the procedure, Dr. Ridgway will carefully analyze your anatomy and facial features and discuss the results you hope to achieve. He will then devise a surgical treatment plan to give you more contoured cheeks with natural-looking results.
At the beginning of the procedure, Dr. Ridgway will administer anesthesia to ensure a painless and comfortable procedure. He will then make a small incision between the cheek and the gums, near the second molar. Through this incision, he will carefully remove enough fatty tissue to sculpt your cheek into slender, attractive contours. After the unwanted fat has been removed, he will close the incision using dissolvable sutures.
What to Expect after Buccal Fat Removal Surgery
Buccal fat removal surgery requires very little downtime. Most patients are able to return to work within a few days after the procedure. There is no visible scarring, as the incisions are hidden within the mouth.
It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort after the procedure. You may have some difficulty chewing for a few days, up to a week, because of the healing incisions inside the mouth and swelling from the surgery. You can expect minimal swelling and bruising for approximately 3 days. Ice packs and elevating the head helps to reduce the swelling and bruising.
You may notice positive results from the procedure immediately, but your slimmer, more chiseled cheek contours will become more apparent after the swelling subsides. Maximum results can be seen after a few months, when swelling has subsided completely, and the results you see then are permanent!
Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal
Many people agree that slimmer, sculpted cheeks contribute to more aesthetically pleasing facial contours. Some people that have chubby lower cheeks are self-conscious about their appearance, whether it results from excess weight or a genetic predisposition.
Buccal fat removal is a safe, effective procedure, with minimal pain, discomfort, and downtime, that can slim down the lower cheeks and make your facial bone structure appear sculpted and defined. The benefits of this procedure include a boost to confidence and self-esteem that comes with a more appealing, attractive facial contour.
Dr. James M. Ridgway, MD, FACS is a highly trained and experienced facial plastic surgeon in Seattle who specializes in surgical and non-surgical procedures for the face. In addition to his commitment to surgical excellence, Dr. Ridgway also genuinely cares about his patients and strives to cultivate a strong relationship with each person he treats.
If you have excess fat in your lower cheeks that you believe is marring your facial silhouette, contact us to arrange for a consultation in our Bellevue, Washington office. Dr. Ridgway will carefully evaluate your anatomy and discuss a treatment plan to achieve your ideal facial appearance.