What is the Bichat bubble?
The Bichat bubble, commonly known as the “bullet”, is the fatty tissue found in our cheeks. This fat is named after the first surgeon who described it in the 1700s. This fat is pronounced in infants, tends to diminish during growth, but never disappears permanently. Bichat bubbles are not very sensitive to weight reduction and, especially in overweight or obese subjects, can also reach the size of a golf ball. In older subjects, the adipose tissue tends to sag downward making the face look older.
Functions of the Bichat bubble
The Bichat bubble has the function of lubricating the muscles used during chewing and supporting the cheek of newborns during breastfeeding. For this reason, Bichat bubbles are very pronounced in newborns.
What is Bichat bubble reduction?
Bichat bubble reduction is a simple and safe procedure, as we are talking about reduction and not removal. As we age, the face will tend to lose fat and if the Bichat bubbles are completely removed, the patient may have a face that is too hollow. The operation, which can be performed in one session, is indicated for patients between 18-50 years of age. At that age the face has already formed and will not undergo significant changes, while later it will tend to lose fat, so the procedure would be poorly indicated.
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia and lasts about 45 minutes. Full sedation is indicated only if this surgery is associated with other cosmetic surgery operations (facelift, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, etc.). During the procedure, the specialist will make a small incision of 1 or 2 cm in the internal mucosa of the cheek, so as not to leave visible scars, and will conclude the operation with a resorbable suture thread.
In the days following the operation, the patient may notice slight swelling, which can be kept under control with the local application of ice, which will disappear in 48-72 hours and a slight discomfort that can be reduced by taking painkillers.
In the first days, it is recommended to follow a semi-liquid diet in order not to strain the masticatory muscles and to start antibiotic therapy associated with antiseptic rinses.
In rare cases, Bichat bubble reduction surgery may cause:
- Injury to the salivary nerve or salivary canal
The patient will be able to resume daily activities immediately, while the final result will be seen after 15-30 days. It is recommended to wait at least two weeks before resuming sports activities.
Specialist who deals with Bichat Bubble Reduction
The specialist who deals with Bichat bubble reduction is a plastic surgeon.