Since the rise of social media, the influence of celebrities on plastic surgery trends has grown in popularity. The public will see some of their favorite stars on TikTok or Instagram and then try and copy the look they view in videos or photos. For example, once celebrities started to get a Brazilian butt lift (BBL), lip fillers, or Botox, the public started to ask for the same treatments. One of the latest celebrity plastic surgery procedures that is growing in popularity among the general public is buccal fat pad removal. The final results of the treatment give a look that has the same appearance as a photo where a person sucks in their cheeks to gain a look that is hollow in appearance. Many people suspect Bella Hadid as being the “lead celebrity face” of this trend. Let’s explore buccal fat pad removal to see how it is performed and who is an ideal candidate for the procedure.
Buccal fat pad removal is when a surgeon removes a portion of the buccal fat pad so the patient will enjoy a reduction in the look of prominent cheeks. The actual buccal fat pad is a collection of fat that is close to the size of a grape, and it is an area of fat that is located in the posterior area of the cheeks near the location of molars in the mouth. As a person ages, the buccal fat pad can start to shrink, and this gives the person a sunken look where the fat pad has started to shrink. The removal of the buccal fat pad makes the process of thinning in the cheeks happen faster while also making the thinning look of the area occur in a more dramatic fashion.
The surgeon creates a small incision in the inside cheek lining and the incision is moved towards the gums. Then, the fibers of the main cheek muscle are exposed so external pressure can be applied below the cheekbone in order to make the buccal fat pad protrude through the incision. The designated amount of fat is removed and then the part of the fat pad that remains is put back into place so the incision can be closed using sutures.
The removal of the fat gives the patient a face that is thinner in appearance and an improved definition to the cheeks. The results of the removal of the fat can start to be seen immediately but there will be some swelling that can prevent the results from being seen until the swelling subsides. The amount of change enjoyed by the patient depends on the amount of fat that is removed by the surgeon. In general, it can take about three months for the final results to be visible and the results should be permanent unless the patient gains enough extra weight that the cheeks once again start to become chubby in size.
In general, an ideal buccal fat removal candidate is someone with a lower face that has a chubby look. In addition, a person with full cheeks that wants to gain a slimmer look to them is an ideal candidate along with someone who wants to gain a more chiseled look to the cheeks.
It is not an ideal option for a person who is thin in appearance as buccal fat is often an essential component of maintaining an appropriate amount of cheek volume and contour to a thin face.
Overall, patients who want to have the procedure need to be careful as the removal of too much buccal fat can lead to a permanent look that is overly hollow. As a person ages, there is a natural amount of volume loss in the face and this needs to be considered when planning for the removal of some of the buccal fat.
The surgeon needs to take a conservative approach to the removal of fat, so the patient does not gain an overly thin look. The patient also needs to have realistic results in mind because the removal of too much fat can make a person look older or gain an older look at a faster rate thanks to the removal of the fat and the natural thinning process as time passes.
The patient also needs to discuss any potental risks and side effects with the doctor such as bruising and swelling or a possible infection. There is also a possibility of asymmetrical results along with a less common risk of an injury to the nerves or muscles in the treated area.
Unlike treatments such as Botox or fillers, the results of a buccal fat pad removal are permanent so they cannot be reversed. This is one of the main reasons that the surgeon needs to take a conservative approach to the procedure so the final results will not be overly thin or hollow in appearance.
Patients might want to gain a thinner and contoured look to the face that is provided by buccal fat pad removal, but they might not want to have the actual procedure. In cases such as these, they can talk to their doctor about having filler injections that enhance the cheeks and jawline while still giving the lower cheeks a look that is thinner in appearance.