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Buccal fat removal and facial fat grafting are two facial plastic surgery procedures used for opposite effects. While a fat graft restores volume loss in the face with fat injection, buccal fat removal eliminates pockets of fat from the lower cheeks to create a slimmer profile. Both of these cosmetic surgery procedures can redefine and enhance your facial features.
Buccal fat removal (cheek reduction surgery) is used to remove fat from the lower cheeks. Although many people desire facial fullness, some have large fat pads that can give the face a chubby look, even if they are otherwise slim or in a relatively healthy weight range. People who already have thin faces should not receive buccal fat removal since it can make them appear gaunt and unnaturally thin.
The procedure is completed through small incisions on the inside of the mouth and both sides of your face. Once the buccal fat pads are exposed, Dr. Rau will carefully remove the fat pads and then close your incisions with dissolvable sutures.
After buccal fat removal, you should take special care to protect the inside of your mouth and the outer areas of your face. Dr. Rau may instruct you to use special mouth rinses to prevent infection and stay on a liquid diet or soft diet for a few days. Bruising and swelling are common but will gradually reduce after a few months. The initial recovery period only lasts three weeks, however, and after this time the majority of the swelling will have gone down.
Facial fat grafting is a two-step procedure that begins with a fat transfer from areas like the buttocks or love handles where you may have unwanted fat. Harvested fat cells are cleaned so that you will only receive pure, undamaged injected fat in your face. The harvested fat is transferred with a small syringe to plump areas of the face like nasolabial folds, under eye bags or hollows, the lips, forehead, and around the mouth and nose. This will improve facial volume and give you a more youthful appearance.
Recovery is fairly minimal for your face other than some swelling but the areas that have been treated with liposuction may be slightly swollen, bruised, and sore. The first few days are the most uncomfortable and pain can be managed with prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. You will have to wear compression bandages 24/7 for at least 2 weeks.