An Introduction to Buccal Fat Removal

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Some people feel like their cheeks are too big or too round. Some of the reasons why certain individuals have such prominent cheeks are due to genetics, weight gain, or poor lifestyle choices. Buccal fat pad removal can address this issue of having big cheeks.

Buccal fat pad removal or buccal lipectomy is a type of cosmetic procedure designed to reduce the size and fullness of a person’s cheeks by removing the buccal fat pads. The result gives your face a slimmer and more contoured shape.

Before undergoing the procedure, it is essential to understand what the buccal fat pad is for and where it is located. Knowing what to expect and what the benefits are of buccal fat removal also provide you with a clearer picture of what you can attain after the procedure.

What is the Buccal Fat Pad and Where is it Located?

The buccal fat pad is part of several enclosed fat masses in the cheek. Each of these masses can be found below the cheekbones and behind face muscles, making them unique compared to the other fat sitting below the skin. If your buccal fat pads are big, they can make your face look puffy or round in spite of not having lots of fat on your body.

One of the primary functions of buccal fat pads is to fill deep tissue spaces. They work as gliding pads during contractions of masticatory and mimetic muscles. Some have proposed this theory as factually based on the loss of volume the intermediate lobe due to chewing and suckling from infancy to adulthood. Furthermore, these pads support in cushioning main structures from the extrusion of muscle contraction or impulsion of external forces.

The Benefits of Buccal Fat Pad Removal

Patients who seek to undergo this procedure mainly want to address their chubby cheeks which can be due to genetics. Understand that not everyone, especially children, is bothered by their prominent cheeks. However, some may find chubby cheeks unappealing once they get older.

Gaining weight may also cause you to have rounded, chubby cheeks and may make you want to have a buccal fat removal procedure. People who are trying to lose weight may also wish to undergo this procedure. However, it is advisable to undergo this procedure when you are about to reach your ideal weight since the surgery may make your face appear too thin or gaunt and find out after that your cheeks were only chubby due to gaining weight.

Whatever the reason may be, undergoing a buccal fat pad removal procedure can yield to desirable results such as:

  • Improved definition of cheeks
  • Enhanced contours of the face
  • Revitalized facial shape
  • Improved self-esteem

Buccal fat pad removal is a simple procedure that dramatically benefits those who undergo it. It is vital to note that when too little fat pads are removed, you may not see any noticeable outcome. On the other hand, removing too much may produce a hollowed, unattractive appearance. These reasons are why buccal fat pad removal still require surgical precision of a skilled surgeon to yield desirable results.

What to Expect When Undergoing Buccal Fat Removal

Undergoing buccal fat removal is typically performed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. The surgeon then creates incisions along the insides of the cheeks. After this, some or all of the fat pads are removed which depends on what your goals are and what your surgeon thinks is the best outcome for you.

The surgeon is going to make another incision through the buccinator muscle to create an opening to access the buccal fat pads. Manual pressure will then be applied by your surgeon under the cheekbone so that the buccal fat pad can protrude through the incision. After all of these, your surgeon will then use forceps or surgical tweezers to extract the buccal fat.

If a seasoned plastic surgeon performs the procedure, the buccal fat pads can be fully extracted in an outpatient surgery in less than an hour. Buccal fat extraction may take longer when the surgeon decides that it is necessary to perform other facial slimming procedures.

When Do I See The Results?

Your face may experience swelling for approximately a week after the surgery. Numerous patients normally feel moderate pain and discomfort in the treated area. The first few days will also make your cheeks appear puffier than before. Expect them to look normal by the fourth or fifth-day post-op.

The swelling will begin to fade by the seventh day, and the results will slowly become more prominent. By the end of the first month, the outcome is going to become more apparent giving you a good idea of how you will look once you have fully recovered. The skin will take time to settle into the slimmer and more hollowed space which is why it may also take up to three months to see the outcome of the surgery.

Visiting the Right Surgeon

Buccal fat removal requires skill and precision to attain the best results. It is also vital to take the prescribed medications by your doctor and religiously adhere to the post-op instructions. By doing so, you can be assured to heal faster and decrease any chances of complications that may stunt your recovery and intended results.

To make sure that you can achieve this, seek out an experienced surgeon who is certified and understands a wide range of cosmetic procedures. If you are interested in undergoing buccal fat removal, Dr. Jacob Sedgh is a double board certified surgeon who has extensive experience in cosmetic surgery. His approach is personalized based on the patient’s needs and pays close attention to detail in order for the patient to achieve the best results while maintaining the symmetry and harmony of their face.

Posted on behalf of Sedgh Plastic Surgery


When under our care, Dr. Sedgh always ensures you feel comfortable, cared for, well-informed about every aspect of your upcoming treatment, whether surgical or non-surgical. With an approach which focuses on achieving refreshed, natural-looking results, Dr. Sedgh prides himself on always acting with transparency, honesty, and the highest level of ethical treatment, from start to finish.