Buccal Fat Removal

What is buccal fat?

Buccal (pronounced buh-kl, like “buckle”) fat is a pad of normal fat that sits within your lower cheeks. It helps to cushion the chewing muscles and is part of a larger collection of fat that extends all the way up to your temple. In some people, the buccal fat can be overgrown and lead to excessive fullness in the lower face.

What is buccal fat removal or reduction?

Buccal fat removal, or more appropriately reduction, is a simple, in-office surgical procedure performed to decrease fullness in the lower cheeks.The procedure is generally performed through a tiny incision on the inside of your cheek and takes only minutes to complete. Discomfort is minimal and recovery is straightforward.

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We’re as thrilled with our patients’ results as they are. Check out our before-and-after photo gallery and see for yourself the kind of work our talented surgeons do.

What are the benefits of buccal fat reduction?

Overgrown buccal fat will cause excessive fullness in the lower cheeks which leads to a “rounder” facial appearance. It also decreases the amount of cheek “highlight” present over your cheekbones. By reducing the amount of buccal fat, we can slim your lower face to create more definition and contour, which is often desirable.

What are the risks of buccal fat reduction?

The most concerning risk of buccal fat reduction is removing too much. As we age, the buccal fat pad can atrophy and shrink over time. If you are relatively young, it is critical that the procedure be conservative to allow for a natural appearance when you’re older. Otherwise, your cheeks will appear deflated. Patient selection is key to ensure that the procedure is only performed on good candidates who have naturally large amounts of buccal fat.

Is anesthesia required?

If buccal fat reduction is the only procedure you are having performed then it can easily be done under just local anesthesia, much like a dental operation.  However, if the buccal fat reduction is being combined with additional procedures that require deeper anesthesia, then it would simply be included in the overall plan.

What is the buccal fat reduction procedure like?

The procedure begins with skin markings on your lower cheeks based on the surgical plan you design with your surgeon. Next, numbing medicine is injected into the inside of your cheeksmuch like a dental procedure.  Once ready, a small incision is made on the inside of your cheek near your upper molar teeth.  The buccal fat pad is gently teased out and trimmed using a cautery device. The incision is closed with sutures that dissolve on their own over 1-2 weeks.

How long does buccal fat reduction last?

The results of buccal fat reduction are permanent; however, your overall face will continue to mature and may change with weight fluctuations.

What is recovery like after buccal fat reduction?

Your cheeks may be sore, and your diet will consist of soft foods for several days following the procedure. Bruising is unusual and typically mild. Swelling is variable but is generally tolerable. However, swelling often takes a while to leave the cheeks which means best results will appear after weeks to months, improving with time.

Am I a good candidate for buccal fat reduction?

If you feel your lower face is too round or full, compared to the rest of your face or body, then you might be a good candidate for buccal fat reduction. It can also help to provide greater contour in your cheekbones. Patients who do well with this procedure often say they grew up with “chipmunk cheeks” that never seemed to go away. If you are curious to see if this is right for you, we would be delighted to see you for a consultation!

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