What Is Buccal Fat Removal?
Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure also known as bichectomy. Each of your cheeks contains a buccal fat pad, known as ‘Bichat Bags’ (named after the French anatomist, Xavier Bichat).
The size of your buccal fat pads isn’t related to your levels of body fat – you can have outsized buccal fat pads that don’t change in volume, no matter how much you diet. Additional fat can still be gained in the surrounding areas, however.
During your bichectomy, a surgeon will remove your buccal fat pads to reshape your facial profile. The procedure takes place under local anaesthetic, and usually takes less than an hour. It’s an excellent option for anyone seeking a more oval or heart-shaped face.
Who Is Buccal Fat Removal Suitable For?
Buccal fat removal is suitable for people in good physical health with a naturally round face, or ‘chubby cheeks’. If this has been a long-term concern of yours, then it’s worth consulting our top surgeon, Dr Ayad Harb.
A bichectomy is also a popular procedure for those seeking facial feminisation surgery.
Is Buccal Fat Removal Permanent?
As the buccal fat pads are part of your underlying facial structure, a bichectomy will permanently alter the shape of your face. It is still possible to gain fatty tissue around the general facial area, should you experience a considerable weight increase, but the underlying shape will remain the same.
The procedure is extremely safe, and as the incisions are made inside the mouth, there is no visible scarring to worry about. We’ll provide a special medicated mouthwash to prevent infection, and to keep your (dissolvable) stitches clean. You may experience swelling, bruising, or soreness, but you should be completely recovered after three weeks.
Who Should Not Have Buccal Fat Removal?
This procedure is not recommended for anyone who already has a narrow face – this can lead to a ‘sunken’ look.
It’s also worth considering factors related to age – you will lose fat naturally from the face as you age, so a buccal fat removal procedure might draw more attention to jowls and other facial signs of ageing.
What Are The Alternatives To Buccal Fat Removal?
During our initial consultations, our expert clinicians will thoroughly assess your facial structure, discuss your hopes and expectations, and recommend the best solution to address your concerns.
It may be that your facial shape is created by enlarged masseter muscles (the jaw muscles used for chewing), in which case a course of masseter Botox may be recommended.
Another less invasive alternative to buccal fat removal is FACEtite surgery, which combines laser and RF technology to break down excess fat. Radiofrequency waves are targeted at subdermal fatty tissues, which means that nothing penetrates the skin. This procedure can be effective for up to five years.
It’s important to find the procedure that most closely aligns with both your anatomy, and your ideas of what result you’d like to achieve.