Updated: Aug 19, 2022
500 years ago, Heister first discovered a collection of fat tissue at midfacial area, currently referred to as the Buccal Fat, little did we know that it can be removed to reshape the face!
Currently, this area of fat is targeted for removal to achieve a chiseled look and reduce the chubby-face appearance.
Buccal Fat Removal is one of the highest demanded procedure in Plastic Surgery of 2022, similar to other procedures such as Liposuction, Abdominoplasty, Hair Transplantation, Otoplasty and Breast Implants.
WHAT ARE THE 7- KNOWN FACTS of this procedure?
Knowing these FACTS is important to ensure you avoid the unnecessary complications, and to assist in faster recovery.
1) AM I SUITABLE FOR BUCCAL FAT REMOVAL?
One of the complications of Buccal Fat Removal is the appearance of a gaunt expression. This happens when the procedure is performed without properly assessing the patient. Buccal Fat Removal is not recommended for patients with extremely thin face or extra prominent maxillary bones.
A meticulous assessment by the Plastic Surgeon is important to ensure the correct indication for the surgery.
2) CAN BUCCAL FAT REMOVAL CAN BE DONE TOGETHER WITH OTHER PROCEDURES AT THE SAME TIME?
Yes, Buccal Fat Removal can be either done alone or in combination with a Facelift procedure. When performing this procedure alone, I usually do it using the intra-oral approach, meaning the incision to reach the fat is from the oral mucosa.
On the other hand, if I performed a simultaneous Facelift procedure, then the fat can be approached via the facelift incision from the lateral cheek without requiring the intra-oral approach.
However, the extra-oral approach will carry a higher risk of nerve injury, as we need to dissect more through the facial muscles compared to the latter, hence it requires more care in doing so.
3) CAN FAT-MELTING PROCEDURES REMOVE BUCCAL FAT?
Fat melting procedure is not effective to removed the buccal fat. This is due to the deep location of the fat, behind facial muscle layers. The energy delivered by these machine will not be able to reach the targeted cells, rendering it to be ineffective.
4) WHAT TYPE OF ANALGESIA IS SUITABLE
Buccal fat removal can be done either under Local Anaesthesia or General Anaesthesia.
For the intraoral approach, the procedure is performed via an incision on the buccal mucosa posterior to the Stensen Duct's opening, close to the bite line. The buccal fat is the identified, behind the Buccinator muscle. Care is taken during the dissection as to not injure the facial nerves.
The amount of buccal fat that will be removed will be decided by the Plastic Surgeon on individual basis.
5) HOW IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS LIKE?
The post-operative pain is usually minimal, however expect some degree of facial swelling for the first 3 to 5 days. The swelling will then gradually resolve by the end of first week.
Usually I will prescribe medications such as analgesic, antibiotics and predinisolone to expedite the healing process.
6) HOW MUCH IS THIS PROCEDURE IN MALAYSIA?
The cost of this procedure is between around RM6k to RM9k, depending on the type of anaesthesia and hospital stay.
7) IS THIS RESULT LONG LASTING?
Yes, if done according to the correct indications, by a proper Specialist and at a certified centre, the result will last for a long time. This procedure is also commonly done for men. (Read here for other popular procedures for Male plastic surgery).
As, a conclusion, please consult a fully-trained Plastic Surgeon to ensure the procedure is safe and able to achieve the desired outcome.