Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal, or cheek reduction, is the surgical removal of fat pads from the cheek. A buccal fat removal removes the buccal fat pad, a naturally-occurring pad of fat in the cheek hollow area. The size of the buccal fat pad varies with each individual patient, and the buccal fat pad in each cheek may be different sizes. Buccal fat pad extraction surgery is typically not performed in people with thin, narrow faces as removal of the fat may cause the face to look more gaunt with age.

see all Cheek procedures
at-a-glance

Buccal Fat Removal

avg. recovery
2 months
permanence
Is permanent
application
Not Applicable
invasiveness
9
surgical
Yes
cost
$1500 - $5000

About the Procedure

Buccal fat removal surgery requires an incision on the inside of the mouth, on the inner portion of the cheek. A small 2-4cm long incision will be made between the cheek and gums, near the second molar on both sides of the mouth. Occasionally, the buccal fat pad may be removed during a facelift and not necessitate an incision inside the mouth. Through this incision, fat will be excised, sculpting the cheek to a slender, pleasing contour. Dissolvable sutures will then be used to close the incision.

The goal of buccal fat removal is to thin the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows. Although a face that is naturally soft and filled out is considered youthful, some people find that their face feels too full, even chubby.

Concerns

Buccal Fat Removal addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

Some swelling, bruising and discomfort are normal immediately following surgery. Showering and bathing are permitted the day after surgery. Light activity is allowed and encouraged however, no heavy lifting or strenuous activity should be attempted during the first 72 hours after surgery. Aerobic and impact cardio exercise should be avoided for one week post-operatively.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for buccal fat removal surgery is younger in age and worried about full or chubby cheeks. Buccal fat removal is especially helpful to those who have lost a significant amount of weight but see no changes in the face.

Not Recommended For

Buccal fat removal is not recommended for patients who are not of a healthy, stable weight or for patients with thin, narrow faces.

Side Effects

Side effects from buccal fat removal may include numbness or other changes in sensation, prolonged swelling, injury to branches of the facial nerve resulting in temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness, injury to a salivary duct, asymmetry, suboptimal aesthetic result and/or minimal changes, possibility of revision surgery or persistent pain.

Pros
  • permanent
  • slimmer face
Cons
  • asymmetry
  • possible revision surgery
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