Buccal fat excision: A general discussion


This is an infrequently requested procedure for which there is little available information.
An office visit/consultation is mandatory prior to scheduling the procedure.
The following information is based on a buccal fat extraction procedure only. A buccal fat extraction cheek depends upon the condition of the skin, fat (amount, location), muscles (loose, weak, or separated), as well as your general facial shape. For example, buccal fat extraction may be performed in combination with liposuction of the neck, eye tuck, cheek or chin augmentation and/or a facelift. During the consultation we may determine that other procedures are better suited for your optimal outcome.
Nearly anyone can have buccal fat extraction. However, there are some general concerns that prevent it from being recommended for the vast majority of patients requesting it. It is NOT the same as facial liposuction or cheek liposuction. There are few contraindications. It may be difficult or nearly impossible on individuals who have had multiple surgical procedures in the vicinity of the buccal fat pad. The real issue is determining if it is the "look" you are seeking to obtain. It may result in a gaunt or emaciated appearance. Furthermore, this may be aggravated or worsened with the passage of time.
The operation is performed using an incision inside the mouth. The amount of fat which can be removed varies among individuals and is difficult to assess pre-operatively. This is usually determined at the time of the initial consultation but may need to be adjusted intra-operatively.
Surgery is about 1 hour and it can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Of course, there are risks to any surgical procedure. These risks can occur regardless of surgeon or technique. These include but are not limited to: infection, hematoma, discomfort, wound breakdown, hypertrophic scar formation, asymmetry, unfavorable healing, partial/complete and temporary/permanent sensory and/or motor nerve injury distortion with muscular contraction, need for secondary surgical revisions and inability to guarantee a specific cosmetic result. 
We generally recommend that you avoid strenuous physical activity for three weeks. We also recommend that you remain on a soft diet for 10 days. 
The surgery can be done in several different places (hospital, office surgical suite, or surgicenter) and the prices vary accordingly with the last being the most affordable.
Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon