Buccal fat reduction is a procedure that can slim the face or create a more chiseled visage by removing some of the cheek fat pad through an incision made inside the mouth.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says that buccal fat pad is a large unit of fat that extends from the temple region, the cheek, and to the back of the upper jaw.
For the vast majority of patients, Dr. Smiley says only the portion of the buccal fat pad in the lower cheek is removed, resulting in a more youthful and chiseled face that is generally described as having an inverted triangle shape. Sometimes, a small amount of fat from the upper cheek is reduced as well, a procedure that is only reserved for a few patients with blatant fullness in the area.
The celebrity plastic surgeon says buccal fat reduction requires meticulous execution because the cheek fat pad sits next to the parotid duct, which plays a critical role in saliva secretion. Furthermore, total or over-aggressive removal should to be avoided because it can result in a gaunt and unhealthy appearance.
Meanwhile, Dr. Smiley says it is a sacrosanct rule to preserve some fullness in the upper cheek to maintain the inverted triangle shape of the face. Hence, some patients even need a simultaneous fat injection or fat grafting into the upper cheek.
Facial fat grafting starts with the collection of a small amount of fat (just a few teaspoons) usually from the tummy area. The fat is then immediately processed to remove any impurity before it is inoculated into the soft tissue.
Aside from a concurrent fat grafting, Dr. Smiley says that some patients also need Botox injection to reduce the width of the jaw, further creating a more chiseled and angular face. Meanwhile, the effects of Botox typically last between four and six months.