Sculpting Elegance

Dr. Maas of The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco offers buccal fat removal or cheek reduction surgery for patients with this aesthetic concern to slim down the midface and create a more attractive facial profile. He performs the procedure on an outpatient basis in our clinic, and recovery is relatively quick and comfortable. The buccal fat pad removal results are also very long-lasting for most of our patients.

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What is Buccal Fat?

The buccal fat pad is a defined area of fat inside the cheek between the nostril and the corner of the mouth. This additional fat helps in the nursing process in babies, which is why they are more pronounced during this time. However, some adults find they never completely outgrow that “baby fat,” creating the round facial shape that lingers throughout their lives. For some of these adults, buccal fat pad removal slims the midface sufficiently to produce a more attractive heart shape to the face, create natural cheek hollows, and enhance the definition of the cheekbones.

Why is Buccal Fat Removed?

Because the buccal fat pad has minimal connections to the rest of the tissue inside the cheek, it is relatively easy to remove a portion of it for aesthetic purposes. By reducing the size, we can immediately alter the contours of the face, creating a slimmer, more sculpted appearance in the cheek area. Results will be long-lasting since the buccal pad does not return. However, it is essential for your surgeon to carefully determine the amount of fat to eliminate while preserving a portion within the cheek that will prevent a gaunt, hollowed look to the face over time. Remember, not all fat is bad fat, and you will want to keep a portion of that facial volume so the aging process does not take a more significant toll on your profile.

Who Should Consider Buccal Fat Removal?

Both men and women may be good candidates for buccal fat pad removal. You might consider this procedure if you have any or all of the following:

  • Unhappiness with your “baby face”
  • A rounder facial profile than you would like
  • Chubby cheeks that belie your slender body shape
  • Cheeks that are out of proportion with the rest of your facial features
  • Facial fat that is resistant to diet and exercise

Dr. Maas performs this surgery on patients in relatively good health and with realistic expectations about the outcome. If you are a smoker, he will ask you to stop smoking for an extended period before and after surgery to avoid nicotine-related complications and ensure a healthy healing process.

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Alternatives to Buccal Fat Reduction

Men and women unhappy with their facial contour have many options at The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco.

Since the correct profile depends on bringing all the facial features into proportion, some patients might consider additional treatments or procedures in place of buccal fat pad removal to achieve their desired outcome. For example, Dr. Maas can use chin augmentation to create a more prominent jawline that may bring the cheeks and midface into better balance.

Other patients might benefit from injectable treatments like dermal fillers to add prominence and definition to the cheekbones or wrinkle relaxers to soften the jawlines for a more feminine appearance. Patients who want to add volume to the midface might consider an alternative to buccal fat pad removal, such as a surgical cheek lift or dermal fillers that can tweak the facial contours to create a more attractive look overall. With many options, Dr. Maas can carefully analyze your concerns and recommend the best treatment plan. The goal is always to keep your look natural and create a more beautiful version of yourself.

Choosing Your Surgeon for Buccal Fat Reduction

While buccal fat pad removal is a relatively straightforward procedure, it does require a significant degree of skill and experience to perform correctly. While the buccal fat pad is not attached to much tissue, it is surrounded by facial vessels and nerves that must be handled with extreme care to avoid unwanted complications like paralysis or excessive bleeding. It also requires a trained eye to know how much fat to remove to achieve the desired results while preserving sufficient volume to allow the patient to age gracefully and naturally. Dr. Maas brings extensive experience and knowledge to the operating table, giving you peace of mind in knowing your surgery will be safe and successful.

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Buccal Fat Pad Removal Overview

Patients can undergo buccal fat pad removal using local anesthetic with or without sedation or general anesthesia that allows them to sleep through the surgery. The process does not take long to complete, and all incisions are created inside the mouth to eliminate visible scarring after surgery. Dr. Maas will remove the appropriate amount of fat from the cheek tissue and then carefully suture the incision using dissolvable stitches. You will be able to go home shortly after your surgery to recover in the comfort of your own home.

After Buccal Fat Removal

You can expect to feel slightly swollen and sore for a few days after removing your buccal fat pad. Dr. Maas will recommend a soft or liquid diet during that time to avoid irritating your sutures and pain medication to keep you comfortable. Most patients are back to regular activities within a week. While you will see some evidence of your procedure immediately afterward, the full effect won’t be visible until the swelling subsides. This healing process usually takes about three weeks. At that point, the results of your surgery should be long-lasting, and you will be able to enjoy your slimmer facial profile permanently.

Buccal fat pad removal offers subtle but noticeable results in the facial profile, improving your appearance and boosting your self-confidence in many cases. If you want more information about this procedure, now is an excellent time to schedule your consultation with Dr. Maas. Contact The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco to set up your appointment. Corey S. Maas, MD, reviewed the information about buccal fat pad removal. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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