Not even the most expensive moisturizer can address the cheek fullness that distracts from dramatic cheekbones and a sculpted jawline. Plump cheeks can make our faces look full and ill-defined, often giving the impression we’re overweight despite a trim figure.
Bichectomy (buccal fat removal) is a simple and safe procedure that is done in the office under local anesthesia where the buccal fat pads (located in each cheek) are removed. This procedure is ideal for patients that have a very round face or full checks. Patients appreciate the resulting defined cheekbones and slimmer facial contours.
While this page will ground you in all aspects of buccal fat removal, you may have specific questions. Don’t hesitate to call us at 678-892-7820 to discuss your situation.
How is Bichectomy Performed?
With the aid of skilled and experienced plastic surgeons, the fat located from the inner cheeks, known as the Bichat fat pads, are gently pulled out little by little until the whole fat pad is removed. To begin the procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area of pain to allow for small incisions to be made on the insides of your cheeks and extract unwanted fat. The removal of buccal fat from inside the mouth (intraoral) also has the benefit of leaving no external scarring. Once a satisfactory amount of fat removal has been completed, incision sites are then sutured to allow the healing process to begin.
Bichectomy is a relatively quick outpatient procedure, taking only about an hour to complete. You will not have to stay overnight at the clinic. Since only local anesthetic is often utilized during Bichectomy, patients are awake for the entire procedure and experience little to no downtime immediately after as a result. Patients are even able to drive themselves home without the aid of family or friends to look after them, as is the common practice with other forms of cosmetic surgery. However, if you prefer to be put into a light sleeplike state, your doctor can make arrangements to suit your comfort level with the necessary arrangements made in advance to ensure your safety.
After the procedure, you will be sent home with a chin strap for support, as well as antibiotic medication and an antiseptic mouthwash to aid healing and prevent infection of your incision sites.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
Recovery can take up to 14 days, with sutures typically being removed after five to seven days after the procedure, if dissolvable stitches were not used. While incision sites may have healed, inflammation may persist for several weeks thereafter. This is only a temporary consequence of the surgery and will dissipate over time; however, it may take up to three to six months for final results to be achieved as the skin needs time to settle into the space hollowed out by the fat removal.
We recommend you take a week to 10 days off work to allow for rest and to promote the healing process. You may experience some mild discomfort during your recovery, for which your doctor may prescribe pain killers to ease any residual pain.
Once the inflammation has completely resolved you will be left with greater projection of your cheekbones, thinner cheeks, and a more elongated and youthful facial appearance.
Are You A Good Candidate for Bichectomy?
Much like with any type of cosmetic surgery, a personalized consolation will take place to evaluate your eligibility before proceeding with the procedure. This initial meeting will look at your previous medical history and currently prescribed medication to better assess your surgical candidacy. All of your questions and concerns will be discussed, as well as your possible results. Generally, those in good health are able to proceed with Bichectomy.
Bichectomy is a procedure for anyone who feels their face is overly round or chubby, despite all diet and exercise efforts. Both men and women with full and round faces will see the most benefit from undergoing Bichectomy, as the procedure can lead to a reduction of the middle third of the face. Ideal candidates are typically over the age of 18, physically fit, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations and goals that can be achieved by the procedure.
It is important to note that choosing to undergo any sort of surgery exposes you to some degree of risk. Excessive bleeding, possible infection, and nerve or muscle damage are all possible complications of Bichectomy, although they are rare. Your doctor will explain all of the possible risks you may be subject to, and how to minimize them.
The level of skill and experience of your chosen plastic surgeon is critical to ensure a smooth and safe surgery is performed. Board-certified plastic surgeons will mitigate much of your risk and ensure that you are happy with your results, while also evaluating your progress every step of the way with subsequent follow-up visits.
Tips to Optimize Bichectomy Recovery
- Place ice packs on your cheeks for about 10 minutes every hour for the first three days to reduce swelling.
- Drink ice water to reduce swelling located intraorally.
- Wear the prescribed chin strap at night for the first two weeks to give extra support to facial skin.
- Avoid playing with the sutures with your tongue until cleared by your surgeon.
- Maintain a soft-food diet during the first few weeks after the procedure to reduce the chance of reopening surgical incisions.
- Avoid hot or spicy foods during the first 24 hours after the procedure as it may irritate your surgical incision sites leading to discomfort.
- Do not smoke during the recovery period as this may irritate your incisions, as well as restrict blood flow slowing down the healing process.
To learn more about Bichectomy and see if the procedure is right for you, schedule your own personalized consultation today in the Johns Creek, Georgia area. Call 678-892-7820 today!
Buccal Fat Removal FAQs
How long does buccal fat removal surgery take?
Many of our patients choose to combine buccal fat removal with procedures like facial fat transfer, chin augmentation, or rhinoplasty. But it is also an effective stand-alone surgery. If performed by itself, it may take 15 to 45 minutes, depending on several factors. These may include the use of local or general anesthesia or any difficulty finding the fat pad and freeing it from its capsule.
How long are the incisions for buccal fat removal?
The incision length is approximately 1.5 centimeters.
Will buccal fat removal make me look older?
Just like other medical procedures, plastic surgery involves a correct diagnosis. The appropriate amount of fat removal depends on the patient, and when done correctly, the results are stunning. On the other hand, if a surgeon removes too much fat, you may look gaunt or old.
Assessment and a detailed consultation process are critical to successful buccal fat removal or any cosmetic treatment. Be sure you choose an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon for this procedure.
Why combine a facial fat transfer with buccal fat removal?
Beautiful faces are about balance. Therefore, the addition and subtraction of fat volume are crucial for many men and women for facial harmony.
Are there dietary restrictions after buccal fat removal?
You can eat and drink what you like following your operation, provided the incisions within your cheeks are healing well. To enhance the recovery process, we recommend eating a low-sodium diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you take supplements or eat foods containing cannabis, do not consume them two days before the procedure or during recovery.