Cheek Reduction Surgery (Buccal fat pad reduction)
- Not covered by private health insurance or medicare
- Day procedure only
- Cosmetic elective procedure
The cheek reduction surgery (buccal fat pad reduction) operation is performed to correct the appearance of ‘chipmunk’ cheeks due to a prominent fat pad in the lower part of the cheek. It can give a more chiselled look to the face and provide a more pleasing appearance of more prominent cheek-bones.
If the procedure is performed in isolation the incisions are made inside the mouth so that there is no visible scar.
Some patients have a very full and round face, in part from large buccal fat pads. The buccal fat pad is a large unit with mass in the temple region, the cheek region and the pterygoid region (back of the upper jaw). There is no need to remove the entire buccal fat pad and it is the cheek region that is most frequently reduced. We always warn patients about total removal as it will slim the face, but a decade later can lead to a very gaunt and unhealthy appearance. Remember, you have to live with your face for the rest of your live and all fat is not “bad fat”.
What happens at the first consultation?
Cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and one every man and woman has their own reasons for making. In your first consultation, Dr Norris will focus on your goals, desires and what you hope to achieve from the procedure. He will also spend time asking you what you would like your face to look like. Dr Norris will evaluate your face by assessing your skin tone, condition of droop or sag in skin and amount of fatty tissue. He will photograph you for your medical records. Dr Norris will discuss how the operation is performed, and where the scar will be placed. You will then be provided with a detailed quotation which outlines your options for surgery. If you decide to proceed with surgery, Dr Norris will see you again at a second consultation.
Dr Norris insists that all patients must stop smoking 2 months before embarking on any type of cosmetic surgery.
How is the Cheek Reduction operation done?
Dr Norris performs buccal fat pad removals in fully accredited medical facilities. You will be introduced to the anaesthetist that Dr Norris works closely with, who will give you a general anaesthetic. The procedure can take up to 5hrs depending on the severity of the fat pads. The sutures in your mouth are dissolvable and therefore you will only come back to see Dr Norris to check on the swelling and bruising. Daily washing of your mouth with salt water especially after eating will ensure you are cleaning you wound correctly. You will need to eat soft foods for the first week as the incision will cause a little discomfort.
What happens after the surgery?
- Buccal Fat Pad removal takes approx. 1-2hrs to perform.
- You will be in hospital for approx. 4hrs
- A friend, or responsible adult must collect you from the hospital as you may not drive home.
- You will leave with written cheek reduction post-operative instructions and a prescription for pain-relief.
- Daily short showers are permitted and daily rinsing of your mouth with salt water after eating.
- Within the first 2 days after surgery you will experience the worst of the discomfort, managed by your prescribed pain medication.
- You might have bruising, swelling, tenderness, and sensitivity. Swelling may vary from patient to patient and should resolve by 3 weeks.
- Light exercise is permitted after 2 weeks, such as walking. Resuming normal daily exercise at 6 weeks as instructed by your Doctor.
- You can return to work after 3 days
- A follow-up appointment will be booked for you on day 3 or 7 after the operation. This is to check your wounds and swelling.
- Haematoma A collection of blood in the wound area, which is either naturally absorbed into the body or sometimes requires further surgical drainage. Symptoms include swelling, pain, bruising, hot to touch, or itchy skin.
- Infection Infections are unpredictable and normally occur in the first 3 weeks after surgery and treated immediately with antibiotics.
- Seroma Is a build up of fluid after your surgery that can sometimes require removal via a syringe in the clinic.