Buccal Fat Removal

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buccal Fat Removal

For some people, Buccal fat removal is a lifesaver.  If you have ever been teased in school, being told you looked like a “chipmunk” or perhaps had your “cute chubby” cheeks pinched by a well-meaning family member, then you have excessive Buccal fat, which is a pad of fat that sits just above the jaw line and out by the corner of the mouth.  While it may not be a big deal as a child, often adults become self-conscious of puffy cheeks, prompting them to have surgery for Buccal fat removal.


This kind of cosmetic surgery is also referred to as a cheek reduction but regardless, the procedure involves the fat pads being extracted.  The outcome when performed by a reputable and skilled surgeon is a thinner and more defined face.  Typically, Buccal fat removal involves incisions being made inside the mouth through which the fat pads are pulled out.  With this, there is no outward scarring and healing occurs quickly.

The process of removing fat from the cheeks is usually done on an outpatient basis.  Most people choose to have the surgery performed by a plastic or cosmetic surgeon but some dentists also specialize in the procedure.  Of course, the two most important things when considering this or any type of cosmetic surgery is to choose a board certified surgeon and to always provide an accurate medical history.


The structure of the face is hereditary, meaning we end up with a look that is a combination of both parents.  For this reason, some people will have very little cheek fat while others have a lot.  It is also important to understand during the 20s and into the early 30s, a person’s cheeks are fuller.  Therefore, if you fall within this age group and are thinking about having Buccal fat removal done, you might consider waiting a few years to see if the fullness decreases.

If you decide to go ahead with the Buccal fat removal, you would first meet with the surgeon to talk about your full medical history and any concerns.  Additionally, anesthesia would be discussed and you would be provided information on how the surgery is performed.  Once everything is understood, a date would be set for surgery.

One the day of the procedure for Buccal fat removal, you would be given anesthesia, as well as have some type of local anesthetic injected inside the mouth.  Next, the surgeon would make a small incision inside the mouth that goes between the gums and cheek.  The buccinators muscle is cut through and with pressure applied to the outside of the cheek, the fat would be pushed out through the incision.  The amount of fat extracted varies but typically, it is about the size of a golf ball.

When finished, the incision would be sutured and gauze soaked with an antibiotic placed inside the mouth.  You would remain in the hospital or clinic for two to three hours, allowing time for the anesthesia to wear off and for the surgeon to ensure you are doing well enough to go home.  Being swollen and sore during the first week is normal but this will soon subside and your new look revealed!