You've probably heard all about contouring the face, especially in regards to emphasizing your cheekbones. A sculpted looking cheek and jaw area can completely transform the appearance of your face -- but what if you're suffering from the dreaded "chipmunk cheeks?" Makeup can only do so much to conceal full cheeks, but fortunately, there's a procedure that can help. With buccal fat pad removal, you'll get a more contoured cheek and jaw area without the need for heavy and complicated makeup every day.

What are the Buccal Fat Pads?

The buccal (pronounced "buckle") fat pads are the fat pads in the bottom part of your cheeks. Although everyone has buccal fat pads, they're more pronounced on some people. If your buccal fat pads are more pronounced, you may have the very rounded "chipmunk cheek" or "baby-faced" look. Most people who have this issue have always had it, as buccal fat pads are usually determined by genetics rather than by your weight or lifestyle.

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Process

With a highly experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Nathan Patterson at Patterson Plastic Surgery, buccal fat pad removal is a simple process. Dr. Patterson numbs your mouth using a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure. After that, he creates a small incision in the inner mouth. Dr. Patterson gently spreads the buccinator muscle to identify the buccal fat pad and then isolates it from the rest of the mouth structures. The buccal fat pad is then gently removed from the cheek. It slides out quite easily, as it's not deeply connected to your other mouth structures. Your incision is closed with dissolvable sutures, and the process is repeated on your other cheek to create a uniform appearance.

Planning your Buccal Fat Pad Removal

Planning your buccal fat pad removal starts with a consultation with Dr. Patterson. Dr. Patterson can discuss your concerns with you and help you determine whether buccal fat pad removal will help you meet your appearance goals. When planning your buccal fat pad removal, arrange for a few days of recovery time. The procedure is done as an outpatient surgery, and you'll usually be able to return to work within just a day or two.

Preparing for your Buccal Fat Pad Removal

Plan to have a friend or family member bring you to the surgery appointment and then take you home afterward. The surgery typically takes less than an hour. Dr. Patterson will provide you with specific preparation guidelines before your buccal fat pad removal. This usually includes avoiding alcohol and smoking. You'll need to avoid food and drink for at least a few hours prior to the surgery based on Dr. Patterson's recommendations. You may also need to temporarily discontinue certain medications prior to the procedure, so be sure to provide us with a full list of your current medications.

After Buccal Fat Pad Removal: The Recovery

Recovery from buccal fat pad removal is generally easy. Most patients don't have significant pain and can return to work in a day or two. You may need to follow a liquid diet for 24-48 hours after buccal fat pad removal. Although you'll immediately notice an improvement after the surgery, you'll still have some degree of swelling for several weeks. Final results are seen by 4-6 weeks post surgery.

Good Candidates for Buccal Fat Pad Removal

If you're unhappy with your cheeks, feeling they're too full in the area below your cheekbones, you may be a good candidate for buccal fat pad removal. The ideal candidate is over 21 but can be anywhere up to mid or late 60s. You need to be in good enough health to undergo local anesthesia to have this procedure. Most patients who want buccal fat pad removal are able to have the surgery.

Why Patterson Plastic Surgery

Thinking about buccal fat pad removal and whether it's right for you? Patterson Plastic Surgery is proud to be a leading plastic surgeon and aesthetic services provider in Pensacola. Patients from Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Mobile, and all over the Gulf Coast area rely on Dr. Patterson for expert surgery and compassionate support. Contact Patterson Plastic Surgery anytime to arrange a buccal fat pad removal consultation with Dr. Patterson.

Buccal Fat Removal Benefits and Results