What is the average cost of buccal fat removal?
The average cost of a buccal fat removal (a.k.a. cheek reduction) is $2,000 to $5,000. There are various additional expenses (more on them below!) to be considered when considering a cheek reduction.
- Average Cost of Buccal Fat Removal: $3,500
- Price Range for Buccal Fat Removal: $2,000 - $5,000
For candidates considering a buccal fat removal, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the various factors that affect the price of most any plastic surgery procedure. The table below provides a general outline of potential cost factors.
Factors to Consider in the Total Cost of a Buccal Fat Removal Procedure
|Provider||Training, experience, specialty|
|Consultation Fee||May or may not be applied towards procedure cost|
|Anesthesiologist Fee||Training, experience|
|Location||Facility fees vary by region|
|Recovery Expenses||Special equipment, follow ups, etc.|
What is buccal fat removal?
So, what exactly is a buccal fat removal anyway? There are fat pads on each side of the face in the cheek area called the buccal fat pads. Removal of these fat pads will contour and refine the cheek area for improved definition and angularity. Buccal fat removal is only appropriate for patients at healthy weight who have stubborn or undesirable fullness in the cheek area. Cheek reduction surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Small incisions are made within the mouth and there is no visible scarring — yay!
What affects the cost of buccal fat removal?
If you’ve decided a buccal fat removal might be the right procedure for you, it’s time to start reviewing the financial aspects of plastic surgery procedures. We’ve already highlighted the biggest variables with a large impact on cost. And just to be clear, the information in this article is a general guide. Consultations with plastic surgeons always provide the most accurate estimates of cheek reduction procedure costs.
The general outline below can help you to get a better idea of the questions to ask and factors to consider when preparing for a consultation.
- Provider: A more experienced board certified or specialized provider will typically have higher consultation fees and procedure rates, however, larger practices may have better financial or incentive options.
- Anesthesiologist: As with the plastic surgeon, experience and training will affect cost. As we mentioned, buccal fat removal can be performed under local or general anesthesia. General anesthesia is significantly more expensive than local anesthetics that do not require a specialized anesthesiologist to administer.
- Location: While there is not specific data on buccal fat removal in the 2019 American Society of Plastic Surgeons Report, in general, plastic surgery procedures tend to occur more frequently on the coasts leading to higher overall costs.
- Recovery: The recovery following a cheek reduction surgery will vary by individual, but may include prescriptions, follow ups, and time off from work.
What does the cost of buccal fat removal include?
Now, you may be thinking: what does the price of a buccal fat removal actually include? The hourly rate of the surgeon performing the cheek reduction is most often what gets quoted as the ‘average price’ or ‘surgeon’s fee’. While ‘hourly rate’ may sound strange for a medical provider, don’t forget that your plastic surgeon has business expenses (rent, staff payroll, professional insurance, medical supplies, etc) in addition to their personal salary.
The total cheek reduction cost begins to increase as the additional factors are added. The other medical staff (anesthesiologist if needed, nurses, and surgical assistants), medical tools/supplies (needles, sutures, gauze, gowns, gloves, etc.), medications used before, during, and after the buccal fat removal (perhaps sedatives, painkillers, antibiotics), and the fee for using the hospital or facility’s procedure or operating room.
And, one more thing, on top of these expenses you will probably encounter other personal costs during your cheek reduction cosmetic experience. We’re referring to consultation fees from potential providers, travel expenses, pre-operative care, missed time from work, and recovery supplies outside of what the surgical facility provides.
How much does buccal fat removal cost?
Perhaps now you are yelling at your screen: what are the actual numbers? We’ve got you covered. Inclusive of all of the variables we’ve discussed minus your personal expenses a buccal fat removal will cost $2,000 to $5,000. The lower cost would most likely reflect a procedure under local anesthesia in an outpatient facility. The higher cost may indicate a cheek reduction under general anesthesia in a larger practice or facility.
How much does buccal fat removal cost across the United States?
Location, location, location! Like we said, there is not specific data for a cheek reduction surgery, but the 2019 ASPS Report shows the majority of plastic surgery procedures occur on the coasts.
The table shows average buccal fat removal cost in major cities across the U.S.
Average Buccal Fat Removal Cost by City and State
|New York, NY||$3,000 to $5,000|
|Chicago, IL||$2,000 to $5,000|
|Miami, FL||$2,000 to $6,000|
|Birmingham, AL||$2,000 to $4,000|
|Austin, TX||$2,000 to $5,000|
|Los Angeles, CA||$2,000 to $6,000|
How much does buccal fat removal cost around the world?
For those considering pursuing a buccal fat removal abroad, the table below looks at average procedure costs around the globe. Don’t forget to consider the travel costs, reputation of the provider and facility, and extra expenses related to recovery when looking at the cost difference. The table below reflects costs converted to U.S. dollars.
Average Cost of Buccal Fat Removal by Country in USD
|Canada||$2,750 to $6,750|
|Mexico||$900 to $1,500|
|Colombia||$900 to $1,500|
|United Kingdom||$4,000 to $5,500|
|Australia||$3,800 to $5,500|
|Japan||$2,000 to $3,500|
|United Arab Emirates||$1,750 to $3,000|
Does insurance cover the cost of buccal fat removal?
Wondering if insurance will cover your cheek reduction procedure? The answer is maybe. To better answer this question, let’s look at these definitions from the American Medical Association (AMA):
- Cosmetic Surgery: Procedures for reshaping normal structures for improved appearance and self-esteem.
- Reconstructive Surgery: Procedures performed on abnormal body structures resulting from congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, disease, infection, or tumors.
To summarize: cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance. Reconstructive surgeries possibly are. Hybrid procedures combining aesthetic and functional benefits may not be covered despite the functional indication. To keep it simple: your cheek reduction will almost certainly be considered cosmetic and not be covered.
If you've ever been described as having chubby cheeks, chipmunk cheeks, baby face, or any of the other phrases for facial fat that people have come up with, you may be a good candidate for buccal fat pad removal with a board certified plastic surgeon. And, if you're in good health and looking to create a more slender facial aesthetic, then hopefully this article has helped you decide if buccal fat removal surgery is the right cosmetic and financial choice for you.