BICHECTOMY-Buccal Fat Removal
What is buccal fat removal?
Buccal fat removal surgery is a plastic surgery procedure designed to narrow the cheek area and improve facial contours.
Also referred to as the "Hollywood cheek," bichectomy removes buccal fat from the cheeks, resulting in more defined cheekbones, a thinner cheek, and an overall slimmer, more sculpted face.
As in all aesthetic surgeries, consultation with a plastic surgeon is essential, because it is necessary to understand whether the patient's facial structure is suitable for bichectomy. Because bichectomy is not suitable for every patient.
Bichectomy is best suited for people in their 20s and 30s with thick, square, or round faces.
It may also not be suitable for older patients, as facial fat naturally decreases with age and bichectomy will accentuate the aging process more prominently. Those outside of a healthy weight range are also not suitable for the procedure, as weight gain and weight loss can significantly alter face shape.
How is a bichectomy surgery done?
The bichectomy can be performed under local anesthesia in about 30 minutes. A small incision (approximately 1 cm) is made inside of the cheek. The buccal fat pad is exposed and carefully removed, and then the incision is closed with absorbable sutures.
It is possible to combine this surgery with other facial procedures, including rhinoplasty.
Who is a good candidate for buccal fat removal?
A good candidate for buccal fat removal, also known as bichectomy, is typically someone in their 20s or 30s with thick, square, or round faces. This procedure is designed to narrow the cheek area and improve facial contours. It may not be suitable for older patients, as facial fat naturally decreases with age and bichectomy can accentuate the aging process.
Additionally, individuals outside of a healthy weight range may not be suitable candidates, as weight gain and weight loss can significantly alter face shape. It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon to determine if buccal fat removal is suitable for your specific facial structure and goals.
What happens before a buccal fat removal surgery?
Before a buccal fat removal surgery, there are several steps that need to be taken to ensure a successful procedure. First, you will have an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon who specializes in facial procedures. During this consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations for the surgery, as well as any concerns or questions you may have.
The surgeon will then evaluate your facial structure and determine if you are a suitable candidate for buccal fat removal. They will consider factors such as your age, face shape, and overall health. If you are deemed a good candidate, the surgeon will explain the procedure in detail and discuss the potential risks and benefits.
Once you have decided to proceed with the surgery, you will be given pre-operative instructions. These instructions may include avoiding certain medications or supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding, quitting smoking if you are a smoker, and arranging for someone to drive you home after the surgery.
On the day of the surgery, you will arrive at the surgical facility and be prepared for the procedure. This may involve taking pre-operative photographs, marking the areas to be treated, and receiving anesthesia. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the surgeon's preference and your comfort level.
During the surgery, small incisions will be made inside your mouth, near the back of your cheeks. The surgeon will then carefully remove the desired amount of buccal fat pads, sculpting the cheeks to achieve the desired contour. The incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures, and you will be given post-operative instructions for your recovery.
In the weeks following the surgery, you will have follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing progress. They will assess the results and address any concerns or questions you may have. It is important to be patient during the recovery process, as it can take several weeks for the swelling to fully subside and for the final results to be visible.
Overall, buccal fat removal is a relatively straightforward procedure that can greatly enhance facial contours and create a more defined appearance. By following the pre-operative and post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
What happens during a buccal fat removal procedure?
During a buccal fat removal procedure, the surgeon will first administer anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the surgery. Once you are sedated, the surgeon will make small incisions inside your mouth, near the cheeks. These incisions are strategically placed to minimize any visible scarring.
Next, the surgeon will gently remove the buccal fat pads, which are responsible for the fullness in the lower cheeks. The amount of fat removed will depend on your desired outcome and the surgeon's professional judgment. It is important to communicate your expectations with your surgeon beforehand to ensure you are both on the same page.
After the fat removal, the surgeon will carefully close the incisions using dissolvable sutures. This eliminates the need for suture removal in the future. The entire procedure typically takes about an hour, but this can vary depending on individual circumstances.
Once the surgery is complete, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored until the anesthesia wears off. It is normal to experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the days following the procedure. Your surgeon will provide you with pain medication and detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions and manage any discomfort.
In conclusion, buccal fat removal is a relatively straightforward procedure that can greatly enhance facial contours and create a more defined appearance. By understanding what happens during the procedure and following your surgeon's instructions, you can have a smooth and successful recovery, ultimately achieving the desired outcome of a more sculpted and youthful-looking face.
When can I go back to work?
Most patients are able to return to work within 2-3 days after buccal fat removal surgery. However, it is important to note that everyone's recovery time may vary.
It is recommended to take it easy for the first few days after the procedure and gradually increase your activity level as you feel comfortable. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines based on your individual case.
Care after bichectomy
After surgery, patients are given a special mouthwash to prevent infection, as well as information about caring for the incisions in the mouth. Given the location of the incisions, patients should adhere to a liquid food diet for the first few days after bichectomy, then gradually switch from soft foods to a normal diet. Healing process last about two weeks. It is crucial to follow these instructions closely to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. This may include avoiding certain foods, maintaining good oral hygiene, and refraining from strenuous activities for a period of time.
As mentioned earlier, you will have follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure your healing progress is on track. They will assess the results and address any concerns or questions you may have. It is important to be patient during this time, as the final results may not be immediately visible due to swelling.
Your face may bruise and swell. Ice is applied to reduce swelling.
Final results are obtained in 2-3 months after surgery.
Complications of Bichectomy
Although rare, some complications may occur:
Infection or poor wound healing
Adverse reaction to anesthesia
Fluid accumulation or seroma
Damage to the salivary glands
Loss of sensation or damage to facial nerves
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Facial asymmetry or poor results
The best way to avoid side effects is to see a professional, licensed plastic surgeon and carefully follow all aftercare recommendations.
General advice is always given to take good care of your skin and avoid habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol use.
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