Is buccal fat removal done under local anesthesia?

Buccal fat removal is performed in about an hour so it's a relatively quick procedure. Does it need to be done under general anesthesia? I'd much prefer local anesthesia if possible.


F, 34, New York

Tags:woman age 25-34 cheeks local anesthesia

I considered getting buccal fat removal for a long time but was always scared of being put under IV sedation (benefits of having an anxiety disorder). I finally worked up the nerve to go in and I was able to choose between IV sedation, local anesthetic, or a combination of local anesthetic and oral sedation. I chose to use a local anesthetic and they made sure that I was completely numb before they started the procedure. The anesthetic worked very quickly and I was ready for surgery within a matter of minutes. I didn't feel any pain during the procedure and it only lasted about 45 minutes.

My buccal fat removal was done under a local instead of under general anesthesia. I have a lot of concerns about general anesthesia because there's a history of my family members having issues with it so I looked for a surgeon who was willing to work with me and hear my concerns. I know that there are a lot of doctors that would prefer to use a general but you should spend the time finding someone who wants to make you happy.

If you go to the surgeon and they are unwilling to provide you with the type of anesthesia that is best for you and your body then you should turn around and walk away. Good luck finding the right surgeon for you and your procedure!

My surgeon was really adamant that I needed to go under a general because he were not as comfortable with a local. I tried to convince them otherwise because I'm also more comfortable with local anesthesia than I am with a general but there were no good reasons for me could be arguing that much. I decided to let my surgeon use whichever option makes them feel the most comfortable. That helped me feel more comfortable about the procedure itself because I wanted my surgeon to be on top of her game.

I was willing to concede the point but if you have really strong feelings about it I'm sure you can shop around to find a surgeon that is willing to use a local anesthesia on you. I bet that you could call around to the top surgeons and ask the receptionist about their process and whether or not they're open to that idea.

There are several techniques for buccal fat pad removal - first is surgical excision the second is Agnes radio frequency.  We use the Agnes device at our clinic to decrease buccal fat pads, jowls  and to improve the jawline.  The procedure is done under local anesthesia and has upto 4 days of swelling or bruising.  Sometimes it takes 3 sessions.

Ken Oleszek, MD

La Fontaine Aesthetics

Denver, Colorado