Risks & Complications of Buccal Fat Removal


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Buccal fat removal is a fairly risk free procedure compared to a lot of other cosmetic treatments. It’s a relatively simple procedure which means that the associated risks are rather rare. But, the fact remains that, as a surgical procedure, there are still risks and complications involved.

Minor Side Effects

Swelling and bruising are a side-effect of any surgical procedure and, depending on your health and lifestyle, can become excessive. Discomfort with some occasional mild pain is also normal, however this can become excessive too and redness and pus can occur. In this instance you should contact your surgeon immediately.

As with any wound you are also at risk of infection. There are many ways, however, that you can prevent this, and you can also monitor it by taking your temperature frequently, as a heightened temperature can indicate infection. Things you can do to prevent infection include altering your diet to avoid any food high in bacteria such as raw/ rare fish and meat, ensuring raw foods like fruit and vegetables are well cleaned, using Listerine several times a day, rinsing the mouth after all meals and avoiding any contact with the wound. Your surgeon should advise you on ways to reduce the risk of infection.

Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is also crucial as an increase in this can cause complications with the incisions and even internal bleeding. This means that for at least the first 3 weeks you’ll need to avoid any vigorous activities.

More Serious Risks

A serious risk reported by some patients is a loss of sensation around the cheeks and jaw-line. This can be long-lasting, or even in some cases permanent.

Asymmetry is also a risk, as is a gaunt appearance. The only solution to both of these problems is more cosmetic surgery, which could be expensive as well as stressful and time-consuming.

Skin-Puckering can also occur along with deep depressions, excess scar tissue and lumps. Hematoma (blood escaped from a blood vessel causing irritation and swelling) and seroma (a mass of clear fluid consisting of plasma and cells from damaged blood vessels) are also known side-effects of the surgery.

As we all grow older we naturally lose the fat around our face as it is burned off. It is for this reason that cheek reduction surgery is rarely recommended to anyone older than their forties. Due to this it is very common that, over time, buccal fat removal patients experience facial changes which can leave them looking gaunt.

Other risks include loss of eyebrows and/or eyelashes due to medication, serious allergic reactions to anaesthesia and complications due to pre-existing medical conditions. It is for these reasons that it is incredibly important that you give your surgeon any and all information on your medical background where possible, to avoid the risk of such an occurrence.


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