Bichat fat balls are small accumulations of fatty tissue that we have in our cheeks, and which are important in childhood for suction purposes. In some patients they are more pronounced, which gives the face a rounder look, leading to less pronounced features such as the cheekbones and cheeks. In faces which are considered more attractive, the cheekbone area is usually more pronounced and the cheek itself is subtly more depressed, which generates contrast and a play of reflections and shadows on the face, making it appear beautiful.
This surgery does not change the patient’s face in a very striking way, it simply seeks to outline the features of the face.
Patients who wish to give a more defined appearance to the middle area of the face and who have a certain degree of hypertrophy of the bichat fat balls.
The surgery is normally performed under local anaesthetic. The internal area of the cheek is injected with local anaesthetic inside the mouth, and a small incision is made in the mucosa (therefore, there are no external scars since the entire procedure is internal). After performing the procedure, the fibres of the buccinator muscle are separated very carefully until the bichat fat balls are found; these are excised, but not completely as it has been shown that if they are completely removed, the face may appear empty and sunken years after the procedure.
The performance of this type of procedure must be made by a plastic surgeon with experience in facial surgery, who has a great knowledge of facial anatomy. It is not considered a complex procedure, but it is not without complications such as damage to internal structures like nerves or the parotid gland duct.
This type of procedure must be performed in a centre approved to perform outpatient surgical procedures.
Dr. Ospina is fully aware of this and this is why he performs all his surgeries in the operating rooms of Hospitales San Roque, as he provides that extra security that he wants for his patients.
After surgery, the patient must perform basic care at home, such as cleansing of the wounds and the use of mouthwash. Hot and solid foods must be avoided during the following first days after the surgery. The patient should sleep on their back with the head of their bed raised for the first week post-surgery. The application of ice on the area helps to quickly reduce inflammation.
The return and recovery to normal life is immediate, the patient must simply avoid exerting themselves for the first week.
The results can be appreciated after the minimum inflammation produced by the procedure subsides, normally after the first few months.
Although rare, complications normally arise if the procedure is performed by an unqualified person, with no knowledge of the anatomy of the area.