The buccal fat pads are located between the cheek and jaw bones. Large buccal fat pads can make the face look round and puffy, compromising the contours of the face and negatively affecting facial aesthetics. A buccal fat pad removal slims the face by removing part or all of the pads to produce an angled and defined midface contour. Dr. Douglas Steinbrech, one of New York’s top board-certified plastic surgeons, specializes in buccal fat pad removal.
A Buccal Fat Pad Removal with Dr. Steinbrech
A buccal fat pad removal with Dr. Steinbrech is an outpatient procedure. First, the mouth is cleaned and rinsed. Next, local anesthesia is administered via injection. The tiny needle causes little to no discomfort. After the patient is relaxed and comfortable, the following steps are performed:
- A small 1-2-cm incision is made inside the mouth, behind the upper molars
- Scissors and a surgical pick up are used to pull a part or all of the fat pad out of the cheeks
- The fat pad’s blood vessel is cauterized
Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision. The procedure is repeated in the other side of the mouth. Total procedure time is only about 30 minutes. The patient can return home shortly after the procedure. A family member or friend should be responsible for driving the patient home.
Recovery for a buccal fat pad removal is very short. Patients may notice a little swelling after the procedure. Mild discomfort may occur. Ice may be applied to the face and over-the-counter pain medications may be taken to reduce these side effects. Patients can typically return to work and normal activities within 2-3-days after their procedure.
Buccal fat pad removal results can be seen quickly—sometimes immediately after surgery. Results improve as post-operative swelling goes down. Final results are seen after swelling completely subsides. Final results include the following:
- An oval, triangular face with improved definition
- Improved midface contour
- Enhanced cheekbones
Patients typically look and feel younger and more attractive. Self-esteem and self-confidence can reach new heights after buccal fat removal.
Men and women who have puffy cheeks and/or a round face may be candidates for a buccal fat pad removal. Patients who are healthy, exercise regularly, and do not smoke receive the best results. Candidacy is determined during an initial buccal fat pad removal consultation with Dr. Steinbrech.
An Initial Buccal Fat Pad Removal Consultation
One of Dr. Steinbrech staff members will welcome you to the office and escort you to your private room. Dr. Steinbrech will introduce himself and invite you to share your concerns, aesthetic desires, and goals. He will obtain a complete medical history review that includes previous cosmetic surgeries. He will perform a thorough physical examination of your face and cheeks. Pictures will be taken for comparative purposes. A question and answer session will also be held, allowing you to ask questions and state concerns. Dr. Steinbrech will appropriately answer/address all of them. He will then create a customized buccal fat pad removal procedure to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Your procedure will be scheduled for a convenient date and time should you choose to move forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will all of my fat pad be removed?
Your desired look determines how much of your fat pad Dr. Steinbrech will remove. Patients who want moderate changes have more of their fat pad removed than patients who only want minor contouring.
Is the procedure painful?
Local anesthesia is used to prevent pain. The overwhelming majority of patients find the procedure is not at all painful.
Are there risks?
There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. The risks associated with a buccal fat pad removal are some of the lowest in cosmetic surgery. This is because only tiny incisions are made and no implants are needed. Dr. Steinbrech will tell you all of the risks associated with your procedure and explain the measures he takes to reduce them. The overwhelming majority of patients find potential results far outweigh minimal risks.
How is recovery so short?
Recovery time is short because no muscles, tendons, or ligaments are cut and the tiny incisions in the mouth heal quickly. If swelling or pain present, they can be easily controlled using ice and over-the-counter pain medications.
Can the procedure be combined with other cosmetic procedures?
Dr. Steinbrech can combine your pad removal with other cosmetic procedures. The most common of these are Botox and dermal filler injections. Dr. Steinbrech will explain all of your options during your initial consultation and make recommendations based on your goals.
How can I maximize my results?
You can maximize your results by using sunscreen and a good facial moisturizer, regularly exercising, and eating healthfully. You should also follow all of Dr. Steinbrech’s post-procedure instructions.
Will I have a noticeable scar?
The incisions to remove your fat pads will be located in the back of your mouth. There will be no noticeable scarring after your procedure.
Will people be able to tell I had a procedure?
Your results will look natural. People will notice you look much better, but they will not be able to tell why.
Can I eat and drink after my procedure?
Dr. Steinbrech will give you specific instructions and helpful tips for eating and drinking after your procedure. The risk of infection increases if you drink alcohol before your incisions heal.
Should I stop smoking?
Smoking increases the risk of surgical infection. The chances of smoking causing an infection after a buccal fat pad removal increase because incisions are made in the mouth. To ensure you get the best results and stay healthy, you should stop smoking before and after your procedure.
How do I know if the procedure is right for me?
Your initial consultation will be focused on creating a customized treatment plan to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Dr. Steinbrech will recommend a buccal fat pad removal if it is the right procedure for you. If different procedures can provide you with better results, Dr. Steinbrech will explain all of your options.
Can chubby cheeks be treated with a buccal fat pad removal?
A buccal fat pad removal is the perfect procedure for chubby cheeks. Chubby cheeks can be a cause of insecurity and low self-esteem. The issue often makes patients feel as though they have a “baby face”. Some patients have even been bullied because of chubby cheeks. After a quick procedure and easy recovery, patients look and feel better than ever.
Can I exercise after my procedure?
You can exercise after the post-procedure swelling goes down. You should modify or stop exercise if it causes swelling.
Can I return to work the day after my procedure?
You may be able to return to work the day after your procedure. Dr. Steinbrech will let you know during your initial consultation exactly what your activity restrictions will be.
Is Dr. Steinbrech board-certified?
Dr. Steinbrech is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He has been ranked as one of the top ten plastic surgeons in New York and has been selected as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumer’s Research Council of America.
What should I bring to my initial consultation?
You should bring a list of medications and herbal supplements you are currently taking to your initial consultation. If you would like to bring pictures for Dr. Steinbrech to review, you may do so.
How do I schedule my initial consultation?
When you are ready for your initial buccal fat pad removal consultation, you may contact Dr. Steinbrech’s office in New York, NY at 347-983-9560.