Preparation for the procedure is fairly light but should start up to two weeks prior to getting a buccal fat pad excision. "I generally advise my patients not to take ibuprofen or aspirin in any form for two weeks prior to this procedure as they are blood thinners," Dr. Smith says. "Alcohol should be minimized prior to the procedure as well. If done under local anesthesia, a light breakfast is OK on the day of the procedure."
Afterward, you'll experience some swelling, which should only be significant for two to three days. "A buccal lipectomy patient may experience facial swelling following surgery. However, the swelling will dissipate on its own within about two to three weeks," Dr. Douglas says. "After the swelling stops, the cheeks will start to look thinner and more contoured."
You can also expect to follow a liquid diet for a few days. "I also advise patients to brush only their front teeth for one week following the procedure, and to avoid any heavy exertion for two weeks," Dr. Smith says. "However, it is important to be up walking immediately after the procedure."
Risks of Buccal Fat Pad Surgery
Though the procedure is a viable option to get enhanced cheekbones, both experts agree that, as is the case with any surgery, there are risks associated with getting it. Dr. Smith cautioned that the "very rare but possible complications of this procedure include bleeding problems, infection, damage to the facial nerve, or damage to the salivary duct."
"Many patients who may have this done may be looking to compensate later with dermal fillers or fat transfer, neither of which can adequately replace the encapsulated fat pad," Dr. Douglas says. "Evaluating the patient for the right bone and support structures and optimal weight and age for full development of maturity will help determine if they are a candidate for this procedure."
Buccal Fat Removal Before and After