The buccal fat pad is an anatomically complex structure that has great importance in facial contour. In properly selected individuals, judicious harvesting of buccal fat can produce dramatic changes in facial appearance by reducing the fullness of the cheek and highlighting the malar eminences. Using fresh cadaver dissection, the anatomy of the buccal fat pad is delineated and its relationship to the masticatory space, facial nerve, and parotid duct is defined. An intraoral approach for buccal fat harvesting is described based on these anatomic findings. Clinical experience manipulating the buccal fat pad for aesthetic modification of facial contour is illustrated.
©1990American Society of Plastic Surgeons