Buccal Fat Removal - Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between!

Buccal fat removal

Getting rid of the fat around your mouth is hard. The buccal fat pad can be very frustrating to get rid of, and it's nearly impossible to see results overnight. 

Buccal fat removal is a treatment that removes excess fat from the cheek area.

This procedure, which has been known for years by plastic surgeons and aesthetic experts, is becoming more and more common due to its success in reducing the size of cheeks. 

The buccal fat removal technique removes excess fat through incisions or suction methods.

It can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on each patient's needs.

If you want to learn everything about this procedure, keep reading!

Table of Contents

What are buccal fat pads?

In a word, you can describe them as fat. Buccal fat pads are layers of fatty tissue that lie just under the skin, in the cheek area, and serve to give you a nice, healthy face-full.

You have two sets of buccal fat pads – one you've been born with and the other you develop as you go through puberty (yes, you do have them even if you've never been pregnant).

Over time, you may notice that you start to lose volume in your face. One of the reasons for this is called "buccal fat pad atrophy," – and it happens when you lose the fat in this area.

What you might also notice with age is that you're starting to look a little chubbier, especially when you pull your cheeks in and smile wide. It's just gravity — you know how it works: seriousness! — pulling down on the buccal areas (the cheeks), and you're starting to see jowls develop.

In some cases, you might have heard this called "cheek sagging" the more appropriate term for this is jowling.

That doesn't always happen, but it can take a toll on you as you get older.

What is buccal fat removal?

buccal fat romoval procedure

A buccal fat removal is a form of plastic surgery called "buccal fat reduction procedure." It involves removing portions of the facial tissue containing fatty cells, making you look younger and enhancing your facial form.

It's also referred to as cheek reduction surgery, and you may consider undergoing this procedure if you want to enhance your features or get rid of what you believe to be too much facial weight.

The buccal fat pad removal is a relatively simple procedure that you can undergo to enhance your facial contour.

It's done with the aid of general or local anesthesia, and you'll need to take some time off from work or school to recuperate.

Buccal fat removal surgery leads to improved cheekbones, decreased facial tissue, more defined facial features, and you may be able to see an improvement in your facial profile after you've recovered from the treatment.

Buccal fat removal is a quick way to enhance your facial features, and you can expect an enhanced forehead, jawline, cheekbones, and you may find yourself with improved posture.

Who performs this procedure?

The buccal fat removal procedure is typically performed by plastic surgeons who use the results of tests done before you receive the treatment, which means you must speak with your physician beforehand.

These may include an examination of your head and neck region, as well as x-rays. Your doctor will also ask you about your medical history and schedule a physical exam.

How is it done?

You may choose to receive local or general anesthesia during the procedure, depending on how you feel about undergoing surgery and having other concurrent methods.

  • At first, your doctor will make an incision between your mouth and ear.
  • Then remove a portion of the excess fat from your buccal region.
  • Next, you'll be stitched closed, and you can go home as soon as you feel well enough after you receive anesthesia.

What you need to know about the buccal fat removal procedure

While you may undergo this cosmetic procedure to enhance your facial features, you should also consider that buccal fat removal is not entirely risk-free.

The most common side effects include swelling of the cheek, bruising around the face and neck region, numbness or pain at the site of the incision as well as a possible infection.

You should also know you may not be happy with the results, and you'll need to wait several months before you can see an improvement in your appearance.

Anyone who wants to undergo buccal fat removal should be aware of the longer-term consequences of the surgery. While defined cheek hollows and less fat may appear appealing to younger patients now, it's worth thinking about how it will look as time goes on.

You may be interested in "15 Tips on how to lose face fat that actually work!"

How long does it take?

This procedure usually takes around two hours, and you'll also need several weeks to recover after you've had buccal fat removal.

What you can expect after you've had it done.

buccal fat removal, before and after

When you come home, you may experience redness, discomfort and you'll need to apply ice packs to the surface of your face to relieve some of the pain you're feeling.

You should feel better within a few days, but you'll need to keep the treated area clean, and you'll also need to avoid strenuous activity for up to 10 days. You can speak with your doctor about caring for yourself during the recovery process.

What can you eat after the buccal fat removal?

You'll need to avoid certain foods you may have been eating, such as high-fat or high-sugar edibles. Instead, it would be best to focus on things you can eat during the recovery process, including soups and nutritious treats you can consume without feeling too much discomfort.

A liquid diet can also be an excellent way to continue eating nutritious foods you should include in your daily routine after having buccal fat removal.

How long is the recovery time?

After you have completed the procedure, you will have to wait several weeks before you'll see the final results. This time varies from person to person.

Is it permanent?

The results you may see after you've had this procedure done aren't permanent, and you can expect some of the fat to come back.

However, you can continue to have the treatment done over a while if you want your face to look more defined or if you're not satisfied with your current facial features.

Who can have this surgery?

The buccal fat removal candidates include people who want to enhance their facial features.

It would be best if you were someone who has enough fat within the buccal region to have this cosmetic surgery performed safely.

However, you should always speak with your doctor before undergoing plastic surgery.

You'll need to follow their advice as well as the directives you're given after you've had the procedure done.

Does it hurt?

You'll feel some discomfort for several days following you have buccal fat removal performed. Still, it would be best if you didn't have to worry about severe pain or any other complications aside from the bruising you'll see around your cheek region.

You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the pain you may be feeling.

Once you have had buccal fat removal, you can expect to see results within a few weeks.

But you should still wear sunscreen, and you shouldn't expose your skin or the treated area to direct sunlight for at least six months.

Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays could result in some skin discoloration.

Buccal Fat Removal (face, treatment) side effects

The most common side effects include swelling of the cheek, bruising around the face and neck region, numbness or pain at the site of the incision as well as a possible infection. So it is not entirely risk-free.

It would be best to speak with your doctor for more information about buccal fat removal.

You can also consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you make the right decision for you and your face shape‌ .

The bottom line

If you're unhappy with your appearance and want to explore your options for buccal fat removal, we hope this article has been helpful.

We have tons of other content on our website that can help you make the best decision about your body.

Be sure to read our articles on beauty, fitness, nutrition, health, and more to get all the information you need before making a final decision.

And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We love hearing from our readers! Trusted sources (1*, 2*, 3*)

DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.