Buccal fat removal is one of Dr. Antell’s favorite operations. Buccal fat removal slims down the cheeks in the midportion, which can give the entire face a more attractive look. Often by reducing the mid cheek, the cheek bones will appear more prominent, further enhancing a chubby, undefined face. Cheek fat removal is performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation, but there is no visible incision. Buccal fat removal can also be performed along with other procedures such as facial liposuction, a face-lift, chin augmentation, or many other surgeries which Dr. Antell can discuss with you during your buccal fat consultation.
An intraoral approach allows the removal of what is typically a teaspoon of buccal fat through a small incision hidden adjacent to the area near the top 2nd molar tooth. This may not seem like much excess buccal fat, but in the face, it is sufficient enough to contour the mid cheeks. Buccal fat removal is an outpatient procedure that takes no more than an hour to perform.
Doctors who try to criticize buccal fat reduction typically are not familiar with the procedure or are not trained in how to perform buccal fat removal. They will state that as one ages “you need that fat” because “old people all have sunken faces.” By that logic, we should not be performing liposuction on people’s thighs, as old people all have saggy buttocks. In selected patients, facial fat reduction is one of the best ways to lessen the baby face look that detracts from one’s appearance. Dr. Antell’s comfort with buccal fat removal stems from the fact that he has both a dental and medical degree. This gives him familiarity with the anatomy of the mouth area like the buccal fat pad that many other doctors lack.
Risks and complications occur with all surgery. However, the complication rate with cheek fat reduction is very low. It is important to rinse your mouth after every meal following buccal fat removal for up to a week or more to prevent food from trapping on or near the incision. We also recommend that one avoids eating hard foods, such as apples or nuts to prevent disruption of the tiny incision line from your buccal fat surgery.