Swelling After Cheek Implant and Buccal Fat Removal

Hi All. I Had Cheek Implant 2 1/2 Weeks Ago and Buccal Fat Removal. I'm still so much swollen and quite nervous whether this is common or not. Everybody is asking me if I got my wisdom teeth taken out. Although everything else is pretty normal as I have no fever and no other irregularities I feel doubtful.

I have the feeling the swelling is altering. One day the left side is more swollen and the next day the right hand side. Is that possible? Is there anything I could do to speed up the healing process or to relieve the swelling quicker? Many thanks

Doctor Answers 4

Swelling after buccal fat pad removal and cheek implant surgery is usually normal.

At 2 1/2 weeks post-op, swelling is normal. Swelling that "moves" from side to side is usually indicative of changing dependency (i.e., laying on one side more than the other, allowing fluid to shift by gravity) while sleeping. This will gradually subside and eventually no longer occur. For now, sleeping with your head elevated above heart level will allow gravity to move the swelling down out of your face rather than from side to side.

I tell my facial patients (ANY surgery above the neck) to NOT lay flat for 3 weeks after surgery. Every patient says they will sleep on several pillows, but  of course, once asleep, they turn from side to side, push and "dig into" the extra pillows, and rapidly end up with their face lower than heart level--let the swelling increase! I tell my patients to put a sofa cushion under the mattress (before surgery) and use their normal pillow post-op, which will keep their head slightly elevated--pillow use or not. Or, sleeping in a recliner chair or lounger that does not lay completely flat is another less-comfortable option, but both of these will help you to absorb fluid or let it shift out of the face.

If there is any increase in pain, redness, increase in swelling, purulent drainage (pus), or fever/chills, there may be infection starting; see your surgeon promptly! Otherwise, this is not unusual, especially for the operations you have had.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Prolonged Facial Swellling Is Normal With Cheek Implants

This amount of swelling after cheek implant placement and buccal fat removal is very common. Most patients will look like they have had their wisdom teeth out for a few weeks. There is always more facial swelling than most patients anticipate and it will last longer than you will like...but this is normal. The idea that the face will look normal after 2 or 3 weeks is not realistic for this procedure. You will look more non-surgical after a month postop but it really takes up to 3 months to look like you initially thought you would after 3 weeks.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Swelling After Cheek Implant and Buccal Fat Removal

Swelling after surgery takes 6-12 months to resolve and sometimes longer for cheek implants. As long as you have no excessive pain, reddness and foul smelling discharge from the incision sites inside your month, you should be OK. Be patient and follow uo with your surgeon as directed.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swelling after implant removal

It is not unusual to have swelling.  There was an empty space that now may be filing up with fluid.  Provided there are no other problems, this will resolve on its own in all liklihood.  I would call your doctor's office as he/she may be able to give you a steroid to speed up the resolution of swelling, but if you are bothered by the swelling, definitely go back to see your doctor.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.