Combination procedures in plastic surgery are common. Often, to achieve the best result for a certain part of the body, the combination of procedures is necessary. I often perform multiple procedures when doing rhinoplasty. One of these additional complementary procedures is or can be the removal of buccal fat. Otherwise known as the cheek fat.
The medical term for cheek fat is buccal fat. If you bite down hard, and feel the firmness of your cheek (the masseter muscle). Just in front of it is the buccal fat pad compartment. This contributes to the roundness or fullness of the face and cheek area. It is a belief that removing this golf ball size glob of fat can improve the femininity of the face.
Buccal fat removal may be done under local anesthesia. However, when I perform it with rhinoplasty I prefer general anesthesia. This is to maximize and guarantee safety. It also maximizes patient comfort. I would perform the fat compartment removal following completion of the nose job procedure.
Buccal Fat Removal
The incision is in the inside of the mouth. This will give access to the round buccal fat area. The incision can be closed with absorbable sutures. This is so as not to require suture removal. The procedure in conjunction with rhinoplasty may cause additional cheek swelling. The overall recovery will be about the same. And, it will occur simultaneously with recovery from the nose procedure. As said above, the incision is hidden on the inside of the mouth. No pain is felt by the patient during the surgery. This is because you are asleep. Elevation ice compresses and mild pain medication will all help curb discomfort post operatively. As I said before, the suture is absorbable. Therefore, nothing needs to be taken out.