What is a Bichectomy? Explaining the Buccal Fat Removal Procedure
With the cosmetic beauty industry becoming increasingly more sophisticated and accessible, people now have control over their outward appearance through invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Advances in modern medicine have made cosmetic procedures like a bichectomy increasingly more common.
A bichectomy, also known as the Hollywood Cheek procedure or buccal fat pad removal, is the surgical removal of buccal fat pads located in the cheeks. With the ability to surgically sculpt your features via this procedure, you can achieve more angular and defined facial contours by removing stubborn cheek fat — forever!
Whether you’re interested in undergoing a bichectomy procedure or if you just want to know more about what it is, be sure to keep on reading because we’ve got your answers.
What is a Bichectomy?
A bichectomy is a surgical procedure in which the buccal fat pads are removed from your cheeks, creating a more sculpted look for the face. Many people wonder why they’re not able to get rid of face fat with a good diet or exercise regiment – this procedure targets the stubborn fat pads in the cheeks that are unaffected by traditional weight loss techniques. By removing excess cheek volume with a bichectomy, the cheekbones feature more prominently and the appearance of facial roundness will be reduced. This surgery provides permanent results, as the fat pads will not regenerate after they are removed.
How is a Bichectomy Procedure Done?
In terms of surgical procedures, a bichectomy procedure is quick and relatively painless. The entire process takes around one hour and includes applying a local anesthetic, creating a small incision in the cheek, and removing the buccal fat pads through the open incision.
After the fat pads are removed, the cut is sutured up and the patient is released with care instructions for the coming weeks. Before surgery, you will be required to undergo a consultation in which you discuss your goals, medical history, and more with a professional. Your provider will also require at least one followup after the bichectomy to examine the healing process of the incisions as well as the cosmetic appearance of the scars.
What are the Risks of A Bichectomy Procedure?
A bichectomy is an invasive procedure, which means it requires a minor surgery as well as a recovery time of a few weeks. While the process is considered relatively safe, especially when performed by seasoned plastic surgeons, bichectomy risks can include:
• Risk of infection (rare)
• Bleeding (rare)
When performed by an experienced and reputable surgeon, a Bichectomy is a very safe procedure and will not cause any lasting side effects or damage, except for in rare cases. If you experience pain, bleeding, numbness, or suspect an infection, consult your physician.
Bichectomy Before and After the Procedure
Prepare for a bichectomy by taking care of your general health and wellbeing. Avoid smoking and drinking a few days before your appointment and be prepared for the recovery process afterward. After a bichectomy procedure, you should receive care instructions to avoid sharp foods like chips and smoking for a few weeks.
Over the counter pain medication can be used to reduce pain and inflammation after a bichectomy with the approval of your surgeon, as well as ice packs. Recovery should take only a couple of weeks, but prepare for a few days to weeks of swelling before you see the complete results of your bichectomy procedure.
Check out these Bichectomy before and after photos – and click here to see our full B&A gallery!
How Much Does a Bichectomy Cost?
The cost of a bichectomy procedure can vary dramatically depending on your geographical location and the skill/experience of your plastic surgeon. A bichectomy costs between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the skill and experience of your surgeon. Because the procedure is cosmetic in nature rather than medically necessary, these costs are not covered by most insurance companies. The location of your plastic surgeon may also play a part in the overall expense of your buccal fat pad removal surgery.
Can I Get a Bichectomy Procedure?
If you’re interested in getting a bichectomy, it’s important to know whether or not you’re a good candidate for the surgery. Like with any procedure, some people are better candidates for buccal fat pad removal than others, including those who:
• Are over the age of 18
• Have naturally rounder faces and more fat-filled cheeks
• Do not smoke or chew tobacco
While the results of your bichectomy will certainly be noticeable, it is important to maintain realistic expectations when it comes to your post-surgery appearance. Buccal fat removal as a procedure is inherently limited by the bone structure in a patient’s face. Your plastic surgeon won’t be able to make you look exactly like your favorite celebrity or drastically alter your face shape simply by removing cheek fat.
Make sure to discuss your goals and expectations for a bichectomy with your plastic surgeon before committing to the process. Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you realistic expectations for the potential outcome.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’re interested in a more sculpted cheek, and you haven’t been able to get rid of that lingering buccal fat with exercise or a healthy diet, a bichectomy may be the perfect procedure for you. Finding a reputable plastic surgeon with the necessary experience and history of patient satisfaction can be a struggle, and we understand that. As with any permanent surgical procedure, it’s important to feel secure both in your decision and in the skills of your surgeon.
Thankfully, you won’t have to look any further for a qualified and experienced surgeon than our own Dr. Nazarian here at Nazarian Plastic Surgery. Contact us today via email or over the phone, and Dr. Nazarian or one of her staff will be happy to answer your questions and set up a consultation.