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How big is the risk for complications caused by damaged nerves in the cheeks?

Your questions answered by our surgeon, Lucian Ion, FRCS(Plast)

Asked on 25 August 2011


How big is the risk for complications related to loss of feeling, symmetry caused by damaged nerves in the cheeks?

I sent an enquiry to two plastic surgeons here in Norway and none of them performs this operation. One of them said it was because of the risk of damaging facial nerves.

I assume this means that there is a substansial possibility of this to occur.

Is it possible for Norwegians to perform this operation in the UK?

What would have to be done, in order to do this, in terms of nationality issues?


I am assuming that you are referring to buccal fat reduction although it is not very clear from the question.

If that is the case, the risk of nerve injury is very low, primarily because when performing buccal fat reduction it is important as a technique to remove only the fatty tissue that comes out with gentle traction.

In terms of facial sculpting options, my preference is to evaluate in a 3-D simulation the type and extent of change that the patient would like to achieve.

Based on this assessment it is possible to set a treatment plan which may involve one operation or a combination of interventions.

More specifically, in your case it would be a discussion between buccal fat reduction, liposuction to the lower part of the cheeks, or a combination of the two.

It is of course not a problem for anyone in the world to have surgery in the UK. Naturally, you would have to do some planning regarding staying in the UK around the time of surgery, and perhaps some visits for follow-up.

If my answer has been misdirected because of assumptions about the type of surgery in your enquiry, please re-formulate your question and I would be delighted to reply.

Lucian Ion Cosmetic Surgeon Mr Lucian Ion FRCS(Plast)
129 Harley Street

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