Buccal Fat Pad Removal: What It Is & Should You Do It?

Buccal Fat Pad Removal: What It Is & Should You Do It? banner

Think about some of the hottest celebrities and models in entertainment right now. What are some things that you notice about their appearance? Some of the first things you may notice is their facial features, maintained physique, maybe even their hair. But one thing that seems to stand out is their perfectly chiseled jawlines. 

Having a narrow jawline is a defining physical characteristic that looks extremely attractive. Some people are born with this feature because they don’t have much  buccal fat. 

Buccal spaces are fat-containing areas on each side of the face. Most people just call them cheeks. It helps cushion the chewing muscles when you eat, and it’s entirely normal (and expected) to have some buccal fat in that area.

In some people, however, buccal fat can be overgrown, leading to fullness in the lower face. There’s nothing wrong with having a full jaw, but if you want to enhance your jawline to improve your confidence and live inside your best body, you can have the buccal fat pads removed.

Here’s everything you need to know about buccal fat pad removal.

How Does Buccal Fat Pad Removal Work?

Buccal fat pad removal, or reduction, is quickly becoming one of the most requested body contouring techniques because of its ability to enhance your face shape subtly, yet effectively.

The procedure itself is actually pretty straightforward. Firstly, your surgeon will make markings on your lower cheeks based on the design that you both came up with together. 

Second, you’ll be anesthetized or numbed in the area inside your cheeks and mouth, much like a dental procedure. If you’re only getting a buccal fat pad removal, you may be able to get by with just a local anesthetic in your buccal area. 

Once numbed, a small incision is made on the inside of your cheeks where the buccal fat pads are located. The surgeon will remove them from the incision with forceps. These are just small globs of fat that are not necessary, so there’s no harm in getting them taken out.

The best part about this procedure is that it takes less than 30 minutes, so you’ll be on your way to your best body in no time.

What’s the Recovery Process Like?

The recovery period for buccal fat removal is pretty short and not too invasive. You’ll be put on a soft foods diet for several days after the procedure, and your cheeks might feel sore. With that said, bruising is rare and swelling is usually pretty tolerable.

Swelling may take a few weeks or months to fully subside, but after that, you’ll really be able to see the results. There’s also almost minimal visible scarring, and even if there was, the incisions are on the inside of your mouth anyway.

Is Buccal Fat Removal Right for You?

Buccal fat removal is a popular procedure, and you may be a great candidate. If you’ve grown up feeling like you have chubby cheeks, or you just feel like your face is more round than you’d like, then this procedure may be perfect to help amplify your appearance.

This procedure can help provide amazing contour on your cheekbones, so if you’re looking to get a nice, chiseled jawline, this will also be a great avenue to turn. This is why many men decide to get their fat pads removed as well, as it can give them a more mature look overall.

With this in mind, there are some circumstances where buccal fat removal may not be appropriate. For people who are clinically overweight, it may be that facial fullness is caused by something other than the buccal area. Submental fat, for example, is fat underneath the chin that may give your face a more full appearance. This requires a separate procedure.

Additionally, it’s possible that your face looks rounder because of larger-than-normal jaw muscles from teeth grinding. Those muscles cannot be removed, so buccal fat may not be the best option in this scenario.

Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal

Cosmetic surgery can give you a brand new outlook on life, letting you take control over your physical appearance in unimaginable ways. If you decide to get your buccal fat removed or reduced, there are some great benefits in store.

One of the best things to come out of any plastic surgery is the increased confidence and self-esteem that goes along with it. You can feel confident that your cheekbones look how you wish.

Also, the procedure can help physically contour your face and slim the appearance of the jaw to create more definition. This is often desirable, and it can even save you from needing to contour your face with make-up in the future.

Plus, it’s a minimally invasive procedure that heals quickly and doesn’t take much time to complete, so you don’t need to worry about too much of a time commitment if you decide to go through with it.

Risks of Buccal Fat Removal

As with any cosmetic procedure, buccal fat removal comes with some risks that you will want to consider ahead of time. While this is a permanent procedure in that your buccal fat will not return, keep in mind that your face shape will continue to change as you age or fluctuate weight.

With this in mind, there are hesitations surrounding conducting this procedure on patients who are too young, as facial volume and structure can change over time. For younger patients, it’s critical that you are cautious in the amount of buccal fat being removed. Otherwise, your jawline  and cheekbones can look flat and deflated as you age.

A surgeon can always go back and remove more buccal fat later on if need be, but they can’t add more. 

Another risk of this procedure, as well as any plastic surgery in general, is that you don’t know exactly how it will look on your face as you continue to age and grow. This is why it’s essential for good candidates to be chosen based on the amount of buccal fat in their cheeks.

What to Expect at a Buccal Fat Removal Consultation

Before you can get a buccal fat removal procedure done, you’ll need to consult with a plastic surgeon ahead of time. 

During your consultation, be prepared to discuss things like:

  • Your goals and motivations for getting this procedure

  • Any medical conditions or drug allergies 

  • Previous surgeries 

  • Current medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements

  • Recent alcohol or drug use


Your safety is a top priority, so being honest and upfront is important to make for a successful surgery that you’re happy with.

After you answer those questions, your plastic surgeon will also do a couple of things before you come back to actually have the procedure performed.

  • Examine your face and take photographs.

  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment.

  • Talk to you about realistic outcomes and possible complications.

  • Screen you for your general health status to determine if you’re a good candidate.


Your consultation is also the time to ask your surgeon any and all questions you may have about the procedure. It’s important you understand every aspect, and your plastic surgeon will be happy to help guide you.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

Perhaps the most important step in getting your buccal fat removed is finding a trusted surgeon. Ideally, you want someone who has completed a surgical residency at an accredited university and has continued practicing after their graduation.

Additionally, you want to make sure they have specific certifications, such as being members of the American Medical Association and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery. 

Dr. Zachary Iyore Okhah at PH-1 Miami meets all of these standards and more. He attended Princeton University and Brown Medical School–having scored in the 99th percentile on all three USMLE exams. Let us help you achieve your ideal body by filling out an inquiry here.

Wrap Up

Buccal fat refers to the area around your cheekbones. It’s a natural occurring fat that helps protect your chewing muscles. Having less buccal fat can lead to a thinner and more defined jawline.

The procedure itself is short, taking around thirty minutes to complete. After your initial consultation, your surgeon will make small incisions on the insides of your cheeks where the fat pads are reduced.

An ideal candidate for this procedure is someone with chubbier cheeks who is in good health. Younger patients should take caution, as removing too much of the buccal fat can have undesired effects as the skin and face begins to age.

However, getting your buccal fat removed is a simple cosmetic surgery that can have a lifetime of positive results. If you’re ready to take a step towards more confidence and higher self-esteem, click here.

 

Sources:

Local Anesthesia: Definition & Effects | Made for This Moment

Buccal space | Radiopaedia

Buccal Fat Removal Candidates | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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