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The Timeline of Seeing Results After Buccal Fat Removal

Dr. Kam is a highly skilled plastic surgeon who specializes in buccal fat removal surgery.

Begin your transformative journey with buccal fat removal surgery and explore the amazing changes awaiting you at each step of your recovery. With Dr. Kam’s expert guidance, you will gain a clear understanding of the exciting journey ahead. This article will help you understand the timeline of your results, offering a clear picture of the path ahead as you move towards achieving the facial contours you’ve always desired.

What Happened During the Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

The buccal fat removal procedure or bichectomy surgery is a relatively quick, invasive procedure that typically lasts about an hour. Under the care of skilled surgeons, you’ll be placed under anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the surgery. As part of this cosmetic procedure, the surgeon makes small, discreet incisions inside the mouth. The targeted buccal fat pads are then carefully removed, sculpting the facial structure without visible scars. The aim is to enhance the aesthetics of your face by reducing the prominence of the lower cheeks. Once the buccal fat is excised, the incisions are sutured, setting the stage for recovery and the unveiling of a more contoured facial silhouette.

Immediate Post-Procedure Period (0-1 Week)

In the first week following your buccal fat removal, you’ll begin to see the initial transformation. This phase is crucial for setting the foundation for your recovery. Expect to see changes in swelling and get a glimpse of the new contours taking shape.

Day of Surgery: Recovery and Discharge

After fat pad removal surgery, recovery begins immediately. Patients wake from anesthesia under close monitoring. Surgeons ensure vital signs are stable and evaluate the initial outcome. Once alert, you receive specific instructions on care and signs to watch for. Discharge typically happens the same day, but you must have someone drive you home. Rest is critical, and ice packs help manage swelling.

The First Week: Post-Operative Care and Restrictions

The days after surgery are crucial for a successful outcome. The recovery period involves:

  • Following surgeons’ guidelines to the letter, including how to manage any dressings or drains.
  • Taking prescribed medication to control pain and prevent infection.
  • Restrictions on physical activity, avoiding strenuous exercises or heavy lifting.
  • Keep your head elevated and avoid excessive movement of facial muscles. 
  • Dietary adjustments, such as liquid foods minimize movement and stress in the treatment area.

Adhering to these instructions ensures the buccal fat pad removal heals properly. Any unusual experience should prompt immediate contact with your surgeon. By the end of the first week, you should notice reduced swelling and a clearer indication of the procedure’s success.

Short-Term Recovery Phase (1-4 Weeks)

As you enter the first month, the changes become more noticeable. This period is marked by a significant reduction in swelling, allowing the refined facial structure to emerge more clearly. It’s a time of visible transformation, where you’ll start appreciating the subtle yet impactful results of the surgery.

One Week Post-Procedure: Follow-up and Monitoring

One week into your recovery from the surgical procedure, a follow-up appointment is crucial. At this point, the focus is on monitoring your healing process, ensuring no complications arise. We expect you’ll experience some discomfort, which is normal during this stage. To support healing, carefully follow any prescribed care routines.

Two to Four Weeks: Noticeable Changes and Healing

As you progress from the second to the fourth-week post-surgery, you’ll begin to see the aesthetic outcome of the cheek reduction surgery more clearly. Healing continues, marked by:

  • Reduced swelling
  • Diminishing bruising
  • Less discomfort

Reintegration into your regular schedule and solid food often occurs within this timeframe, but always heed your surgeon’s advice regarding the pace and type of activities to resume, like your exercise regimen. Gradually engaging in light activities such as walking or gentle stretching can help with the healing process. You may still experience sensations such as tightness or numbness, but these typically subside as the weeks pass. Remember, patience is key—the healing process is just as important as the surgery itself for ensuring a successful recovery and optimal results.

Mid-Term Recovery (1-3 Months)

One week into your recovery from the surgical procedure, a follow-up appointment is crucial. At this point, the focus is on monitoring your healing process, ensuring no complications arise. We expect you’ll experience some discomfort, which is normal during this stage. To support healing, carefully follow any prescribed care routines.

One Month Post-Procedure: Diminishing Swelling

A month after buccal fat removal surgery, patients typically notice a significant reduction in swelling. During this time, the body is diligently working on healing, allowing the facial appearance to start reflecting the initial outcomes of the procedure. The tissue is still settling into its new position, and as inflammation subsides, a more accurate appearance of the results starts to emerge. 

Two to Three Months: Emergent Contours and Results

As you progress from the second to the fourth week post-surgery, you’ll begin to see the aesthetic outcome of the cheek reduction surgery more clearly. Healing continues, marked by:

  • Reduced swelling
  • Diminishing bruising
  • Less discomfort
Patients can expect to see noticeable results and a reduction in swelling within two to three months after buccal fat removal surgery.
A successful healing process is crucial for achieving optimal results after buccal fat removal surgery

Returning to your regular schedule and solid food often occurs within this timeframe, but always heed your surgeon’s advice regarding the pace and type of activities to resume, like your exercise regimen. Gradually engaging in light activities such as walking or gentle stretching can help with the healing process. You may still experience sensations such as tightness or numbness, but these typically subside as the weeks pass. Remember, patience is key—the healing process is just as important as the surgery itself for ensuring a successful recovery and optimal results after buccal fat removal.

Long-Term Results (3-6 Months)

During these months, your recovery progresses steadily. The facial contours continue to refine, and the results of the surgery become more pronounced. This phase is often where patients feel a renewed sense of confidence as the full impact of the procedure becomes evident.

Assessing the Shape and Aesthetic Outcome

Patients usually see the final buccal fat pad removal surgery results at 3-6 months. Surgeons evaluate the facial contours to ensure the desired aesthetic outcome meets the patient’s expectations. Monitoring for symmetry and a natural appearance is crucial. As swelling decreases, the cheek hollows become more pronounced, revealing the effects of the buccal fat reduction surgery. If the results are not satisfactory, alternatives can be explored and discussed.

Potential Need for Complementary Procedures or Touch-ups

Not all buccal fat removal procedures yield perfect outcomes on the first try. Recognizing this, patients must consider the potential risks and the cost of further intervention. Follow-up treatments or touch-ups may be necessary if:

  • Asymmetry becomes apparent
  • The initial removal was too conservative or excessive
  • Complications arise, necessitating correction

Open communication with the surgical team is vital to promptly address any concerns.

Long-Term Outcome and Final Results (6 Months and Beyond)

You can expect to see the final results of your buccal fat removal. The contours of your face will have settled into their new shape, showcasing the full extent of the aesthetic enhancement. This is the moment where your journey culminates.

Six Months Post-Procedure: Expected Final Results

By six months after buccal fat surgery the facial look stabilizes, presenting the finalized hollowed appearance that patients expect. Surgeons underscore that this is the timeframe when the full benefits of buccal fat removal can be appreciated. The residual swelling has subsided, and healing is typically complete, revealing a more contoured facial structure. Here, the impact of enhancing cheek hollows and refining the jawline is most evident. 

One Year Later: Assessing Long-Term Satisfaction and Stability

A year into life after the buccal fat removal procedure, patients have a good sense of the surgery’s enduring impact. The changes in facial structure tend to stabilize with a slimmer appearance, and satisfaction often remains high among those who had realistic expectations and were well-informed candidates. At this point, any concerns about the surgical site or facial asymmetries are generally resolved.

The long-term perspective allows for an understanding that while buccal fat removal is generally safe and effective, ongoing aging and lifestyle factors can still influence facial contours. Cosmetic surgery, albeit transformative, does not halt time. An efficient surgery lies not just in the initial surgical skill but also in the patient’s maintenance of their results through healthy habits.

Talk with a Facial Cosmetic Surgeon

Ready to envision your journey after buccal fat removal? Schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Joanna Kam to explore the detailed timeline of your recovery and the results you can anticipate. She is dedicated to guiding you through each step of the post-surgery process, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the transformative changes ahead. Contact her today to start a conversation about your surgery, recovery and the beautiful results you can expect.