Cheek Reduction Surgery: 10 Important Questions to Ask

Cheek reduction surgery is a hot topic right now. By reducing cheek fat, patients can achieve a more defined, symmetrical and balanced facial appearance. Before any cosmetic treatments, there are so many questions you need to ask. Here’s everything you need to know about buccal fat removal surgery. 

1. What is Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

Your buccal fat pad is a round fat mass in the cheeks between your facial bones. These fat pads are entirely normal, and everyone has them. But they can differ in size from one person to another. When you have large buccal fat pads, it can make the face look rounder as the cheeks are larger. One way to target lower cheek fat is through cheek reduction surgery, also known as cheek contouring. 

Buccal fat removal is a type of plastic surgery, also known as cheek reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat from your cheeks to sculpt your face and define your cheekbones. You can find the buccal fat pad deep in the lower cheeks, under muscles. Because the procedure creates an incision inside the cheek, there is no visible facial scarring. When it comes to fat removal from the face, targeting lower cheek fat can offer effective results.  

Buccal fat removal procedure overview, The Harley Clinic, London

2. What Happens During Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

The procedure lasts for one hour. During the surgery, your plastic surgeon makes a small incision on the inside of your cheek before removing excess fat. Sutures are then applied to the small incision for the healing process to begin. Local anaesthetic and numbing cream are used during the procedure. Although you won’t feel any pain, you may experience some mild discomfort. 

3. How Long Does it Take to Recover from Buccal Fat Pad Excision?

Expect some swelling for one week after the surgery. It’s a good idea to line up some downtime while the swelling goes down. In the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery, we advise that you only eat soft foods. If you can, arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up as it’s best not to drive following surgery. 

After the swelling subsides, you can start to see the final results. This is when the cheeks will begin to look thinner and more contoured. In general, it can take about a week for the inside of the mouth to heal. 

4. When Will You Start to See Your Cheek Reduction Results?

You will start to see results immediately in 24 hours. When you initially look at your cheeks, you may feel that they are bigger than before. Swelling is completely normal after the procedure. After one week, you will notice that most of the swelling has subsided. After the swelling goes down completely, you should see the final results. This can take 1 to 2 weeks. Every person is unique. Therefore, recovery time can vary between patients. We find that our patients start to see great results 1 week after the procedure. 

Buccal Fat Removal / cheek reduction surgery at The Harley Clinic, London
Buccal Fat Pad Removal (1 week post-op)

5. Can You Combine Cheek Reduction Surgery with Other Cosmetic Procedures?

You can perform cheek fat removal as a standalone surgery or combine it with other cosmetic procedures. The benefit of combining treatments is that you have one surgery time and one recovery period. So, you only have to take time off to rest and heal once. You can combine cheek reduction surgery with several treatments like:

Before and after cheek reduction surgery at The Harley Clinic

6. Who is the Right Candidate for Cheek Reduction Surgery? 

By now you might be thinking who is the right candidate for buccal fat removal surgery? Maybe you feel your face is overly round or chubby. Some of our patients have tried to slim their face with diet and exercise, but it just hasn’t worked. Cheek reduction surgery is ideal for those who want to have a slimmer, more contoured facial appearance. Generally, patients should be a non-smoker in good health with a stable, healthy weight. The healing process is better if you can quit smoking. 

Cheek reduction surgery at The Harley Clinic, London

7. Who is Not Suitable for Lower Cheek Fat Removal Surgery?

Cheek fat reduction surgery isn’t ideal for everyone. While cheek fat removal offers permanent results, certain individuals would not be suitable for the procedure, such as: 

  • When the face is too thin, removing the buccal fat pad could make the cheeks look sunken as you get older. 
  • If you have progressive hemifacial atrophy, which is a rare disorder that causes the skin on the face to shrink. 
  • If you are over 40, you may not be suitable for the procedure as you naturally lose fat from the face as you age. 

8. What Happens During Your Consultation Before Cheek Reduction Surgery?

When you know exactly what the procedure involves and any potential risks or side effects, you can make the best decision for yourself. During your cosmetic surgery consultation, you can ask as many questions as you need. It’s important that you’re confident in the process and your results. At your consultation at The Harley Clinic, you will talk about your concerns, medical history and speak to your plastic surgeon. Useful questions to ask your surgeon are:

  • How much will cheek reduction surgery cost?
  • What is your experience with lower cheek fat removal?
  • Can you see before and after cheek reduction surgery photos?
Cheek reduction surgery at The Harley Clinic

9. What are the Side Effects of Buccal Fat Pad Removal?

Buccal fat pad removal uses a local anaesthetic, so you avoid the risks associated with general anaesthetic. The procedure is relatively straightforward, with most patients making a quick recovery. A huge benefit is that there is no visible scarring as the incisions are made inside the cheek. You can expect some swelling and bruising following the procedure. Like any surgery, there are potential risks and side effects of cheek fat reduction such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection 
  • Fluid accumulation 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Asymmetry

Overall, cheek reduction surgery is considered generally safe, but it’s essential to know that all surgery comes with risks. Whether it’s breast augmentation and a tummy tuck or buccal fat removal, all cosmetic surgeries have potential risks and side effects.  

10. Where Can You Get Cheek Reduction Surgery in London?

If your cheeks make you feel self-conscious and you want to achieve a slimmer facial shape, buccal fat removal surgery may offer several benefits. Book a consultation today to start your cheek reduction surgery journey at our Harley Street cosmetic surgery clinic. 

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