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Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is one of the most wanted facial cosmetic procedures over the past couple of years. It all started with “celebrity rumors” or famous people admitting they went through the surgery themselves. Although we all doubted there’s something more than perfect contouring in sky-high cheekbones, we couldn’t be sure the cosmetic procedure is behind it. Once the news came out that many celebrities have undergone buccal fat removal, the procedure gained enormous popularity. Why wouldn’t it? The perfectly shaped and narrow jawline of Bella Hadid certainly makes a lot of people sign up for buccal fat removal without much thinking. 

But what is buccal fat removal, and what does it entail? The procedure includes removing the pads of fat in the mid-cheek area to get a more contoured line. It’s quite simple, but like any other cosmetic surgery, buccal fat removal has its own pros and cons. If you’re interested in the procedure and want to find out more about it, stay with us. We are about to reveal all the important facts about buccal fat removal

What is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal surgery is also known as a buccal lipectomy and includes removing fat pads from under the cheeks. The procedure is meant to sculpt the face and highlight the cheekbones, giving the jawline and the entire face a sharper and narrower look. 

Buccal fat pads are located deep in the lower cheeks. Contrary to the popular belief, these pads are not a result of excess weight, and their size varies from one person to another. Most commonly, large buccal fat pads are inherited and can’t be affected by diet and exercise. That’s why buccal fat removal is a highly beneficial procedure for people who are not satisfied with their full cheeks yet can’t find a proper solution to the situation. 

Procedure and Recovery

The buccal fat removal surgery is quite simple. It starts with a topical anesthetic or oral sedation, depending on your personal preferences. Then, the surgeon makes small incisions on the insides of the cheeks and uses a small tool to tease out the pad of fat. After the fat is out, the surgeon will stitch the incisions, and that’s about it. Patients get a chin strap for support, antibiotics, and a medicated mouthwash, and they are all set to go home. 

The surgery is not demanding at all and is very similar to regular dental procedures. Although it does cause significant swelling, the pain goes away quickly, and patients can return to their normal activities almost immediately after the surgery. In general, the buccal fat removal recovery doesn’t last for more than a few weeks. It only requires regular treatment with ice to reduce the swelling and chin strap for extra support and faster healing. 

When it comes to the buccal fat removal results, patients see them as soon as the initial swelling surpasses. Most people noticed the first improvements are visible within three weeks after the surgery but keep in mind that you might have to wait for full results for up to six months. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is recommended for people who are worried about full or chubby cheeks and can’t find the solution to their problem. When diet and exercises don’t help, the next step is buccal fat removal. Still, it’s important to talk with the surgeon and determine whether the large fat pads are causing the problem in the first place. 

Ideal candidates for buccal fat removal are those who are physically healthy and at a stable weight. Although weight doesn’t always influence chubby cheeks, it’s essential to eliminate this factor, which is why patients have to be at least within 20 pounds of their goal weight. Doctors will also check whether a patient has overdeveloped jaw muscles because the buccal fat removal is unuseful in this case. They will also discourage people with too thin faces to go through the surgery because it can be counterproductive in their situation. 

Pros and Cons of Buccal Fat Removal

No matter what surgical procedure a patient wants, we recommend people to think things through and make an informed decision. Only when you balance the good and the bad of each procedure you can be sure about having it. We stand behind our words when it comes to buccal fat removal, which is why you’ll find a useful little list below. 


  • Buccal fat removal can give a total face makeover and make people more satisfied with their overall appearance. 
  • Results from the procedure are permanent and won’t be affected by changes in weight. 
  • The procedure is simple and quick, just like the recovery process. 
  • Patients usually get back to their daily routines after three days or a week. 
  • There’s no visible scarring from the surgery because the procedure is done from the inside of the mouth. 


  • Buccal fat pads tend to shrink as people age, so those who went through the surgery might find their cheekbones becoming too hollow with time. 
  • It can happen for surgeons to remove too much fat or do it inadequately, which results in face asymmetry and unsatisfying aesthetic results. 
  • The face swelling from the surgery sometimes extends for up to several weeks. Also, the final results might be visible only after a couple of months in some cases. 

Buccal Fat Removal FAQ

Now, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about buccal fat removal. That might resolve your doubts and help you get a better grasp of the entire subject. 

What are the risks of buccal fat removal?

There are some buccal fat removal side effects and risks that shouldn’t be overlooked. Although the procedure is relatively straightforward, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, scarring, and tissue injury. Some studies even warn about facial-nerve damage, hemorrhaging, and other complications. 

Now, to the bright side, most patients go through the procedure without any complications. When you choose a qualified and reliable surgeon, you have nothing to worry about. An experienced professional will remove the fat pads carefully, without damaging the surrounding tissues and causing other complications. 

How much does buccal fat removal cost?

The buccal fat removal surgery cost depends on several factors, including the surgeon’s experience, the type of anesthesia, and prescribed medications. In most cases, the buccal fat removal price ranges between $2,000 and $5,000. 

What are the alternatives to buccal fat removal?

There are a few non-invasive treatments you can try as an alternative to buccal fat removal. These include injectable fillers or botox, but their efficiency mostly depends on each particular problem. Non-invasive treatments are often temporary and can’t solve the problem in all situations. 

Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Finkel 

For any further information about buccal fat removal, contact Dr. Finkel and schedule a consultation. With the help of a double-board certified and experienced surgeon, you can make a better-informed decision based on your own needs and preferences. Dr. Finkel and her team of experts are there to provide all the necessary information about buccal fat removal and perform the procedure flawlessly if you decide for it.