Can Buccal Fat Removal Improve the Appearance of your Cheeks?
Buccal Fat Pad Removal surgery removes excess fat from the cheeks to produce a more contoured and refined appearance.
A face with some fullness looks healthy and youthful. Excessive fullness, however, disrupts the harmony of the features and produces a “chipmunk cheek” effect that makes many people self-conscious.
Buccal Fat Pad Removal addresses this problem by removing excess fat from the cheeks to produce a more delicate, chiselled appearance. Effective as this procedure is, however, it should not be undertaken without some thought for the future.
- Most people’s faces begin to thin as they reach their 30s, so the fullness that concerns you may disappear on its own.
- If you choose to have Buccal Fat Pad Removal performed before this natural slimming of the face occurs, you may find your face becoming too thin as you begin to age.
It is best to take a careful look at your genetics. Did your parents have overly plump faces when they were young? Did this plumpness persist once they reached their 30s and 40s? If so, you may have inherited their more rounded facial appearance. If not, having Buccal Fat Removal surgery while you are still young may leave you looking gaunt as you get older. This can be corrected but would require additional surgery.
Are you an Ideal Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?
In general, you are an ideal candidate for the procedure if you:
- Find the appearance of your chubby cheeks is affecting your self-esteem
- Are willing to adhere to postoperative instructions
- Do not have bleeding or clotting disorder
- Do not smoke
- Have a stable weight
- Have a fuller or rounder face
- Are realistic in your expectations of what the procedure can do
- Are physically healthy
- Do not have a face that is narrow or naturally thin
- Don’t have progressive hemifacial atrophy (shrinking of one side of the face)
- Are not too old
It is important to keep in mind that buccal fat removal is a highly individualized procedure and the clinical outcome may vary from patient to patient.
If you are considering this procedure, consult with your surgeon to determine if it will fit your body type, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals
What are the Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal?
This surgical procedure can offer the following benefits:
- Improved facial contour
- Increased self-confidence
- More balanced facial shape
- Rejuvenated facial appearance
- Well-defined cheeks
Your Buccal Fat Removal Consultation
During your Buccal Fat Pad Reduction consultation, Dr Briggs will take a complete medical history and inquire about any medications you are currently taking and whether you smoke. He will ask about your goals for the procedure, explain what you can expect and describe how the procedure will be performed.
You and your surgeon will also discuss the types of anaesthesia that can be used for the procedure and decide which is right for you.
Download a free guide
Get our free eBook guides that include resources for plastic surgery patients. They’ll assist with your journey from thinking about having plastic surgery to aftercare and recovery.
If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on 1300 264 811 between 9 am – 5 pm weekdays.
Your Buccal Fat Removal Operation
What to Expect
Buccal Fat Removal is most often performed as a day case using local anaesthesia coupled with sedation or a general anaesthetic. After injecting a solution of Lidocaine, epinephrine and saline to numb the area and limit bleeding, your surgeon will make a small (2-4 cm long) incision between your cheek and gums near your second molar from the back. He will then press on the outside of your cheek to make the buccal fat protrude through the incision so he can tease it out a little at a time with surgical forceps. Once an adequate amount has been removed he will close the incision, most often with dissolvable sutures.
How much does Buccal Fat Removal Surgery Cost? Price of Surgery
Please note Dr Briggs offers Buccal Fat Removal as part of a surgical package performed in an accredited hospital.
This package price is all-inclusive, meaning it includes the Surgeon, Anaesthetist, Hospital and Garment Fees (if applicable) as well as 6 weeks of post-operative care.
Recovery After Your Buccal Fat Removal Surgery
What are the Risks and Complications associated with Buccal Fat Removal?
In general, buccal fat removal is considered safe. However, like all surgical procedures, it comes with risks. Possible complications associated with this procedure include the following:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots (hematoma)
- Damage to the facial nerve
- Damage to the salivary glands
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Excess removal of fat resulting in sunken cheeks
- Excessive bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Facial asymmetry
- Heart or lung problems
- Infection at the incision site
- Poor cosmetic results
- Possibility of another surgery to correct unwanted side effects
- Seroma (fluid accumulation)
Urgent Care – Contacting your Surgeon after your Buccal Fat Removal
Before discharge, your surgeon will provide instructions regarding when to return for follow-up. However, if you experience any fever, changes in skin sensation, increasing facial pain, pus at the incision site, difficulty opening your jaw, and other unwanted side effects of the procedure, you should immediately consult with your surgeon for further evaluation and medical management.
What Factors can affect the Final Results of Buccal Fat Removal?
Several factors can significantly affect the results of your procedure. These may include;
- The skill of your surgeon
- Your adherence to postoperative instructions
- Your body’s healing ability
- Aging with time
- Your diet – weight gain or weight loss
- Your lifestyle
If you are planning to undergo buccal fat removal to improve your facial contour and increase your self-confidence, schedule a consultation with Dr Briggs.
Is Buccal Fat Removal Effective for Facial Fat?
Several lines of evidence support the safety and efficacy of buccal fat removal for facial fat.
In patients with cheek fullness, buccal fat removal improved the facial silhouette and volume of the midface.  This result was achieved by excising 0.69 mL of facial fat tissue.
A 2019 study also reported that surgical reduction of the buccal fat pad in a patient with fullness in the contour of the lower cheek significantly reduced the amount of facial fat. 
Further Reading – Medical References
Sezgin B, Tatar S, Boge M, Ozmen S, Yavuzer R. The Excision of the Buccal Fat Pad for Cheek Refinement: Volumetric Considerations. Aesthet Surg J. 2019 May 16;39(6):585-592. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjy188. PMID: 30084868. From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30084868/ .
Weniger FG, Weidman AA. The Buccal Fat Pad: A Case Report and Retrospective Case Series. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2019;7(7):e2328. Published 2019 Jul 5. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000002328. From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952128/.
Dr Patrick Briggs
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Dr Patrick Briggs offers not only high quality but also natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.