The buccal fat pads are located on both sides of the face underneath the zygomatic arches, or cheek bones, straddling the parotid ducts. The parotid duct is the channel through which saliva flows from the salivary (parotid) glands and into the mouth. The buccal fat can give the face a rounded look.
The buccal fat pad inside the cheeks is the last fat to lose by dieting. Unlike subcutaneous fat, the BFPs are not removable by liposuction. The only way to remove it without surgery is by complete starvation. Even then, it will not completely disappear.
Pronounced buccal fat is great on the one hand; people with this feature are among the last to show their aging because the area resists wrinkles. For those who are unhappy with the appearance of pronounced facial fat, buccal fat removal is an option for face slimming. Buccal fat removal is permanent and you will never get it back. As you get older, this can result in a gaunt appearance.
In most cases, the procedure takes less than half an hour per side. If you have had previous dimple surgery or other operations inside the cheeks, there may be scar tissue. This may complicate the procedure and take longer to perform. In many ways, the operation will feel like you are having your back teeth removed. After injecting a local anesthetic, the surgeon makes two incisions toward the back of the mouth. Once he locates the fat bad, he gently winkles it out using forceps. The area is rinsed with antibiotic solution and the incisions are closed with soluble stitches.
Don't expect to see results as soon as you sit up in the chair. Although recovery from the operation itself should take less than a week, it can take up to four weeks or more for the swelling to go down. You will be sent home with painkillers, special mouthwash and antibiotics. As with any surgical operation, there are risks associated with buccal fat pad reduction. Damage to the facial nerve is possible, resulting in partial facial paralysis, numbness or loss of taste. The cost of the operation varies depending on the hospital and the country where it is performed.
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