Pros and Cons of Buccal Fat Removal

If you have round, plump or chubby cheeks, you may be overly self-conscious about your facial appearance. Some people are happy with the layer of fat above the cheekbones, but if the fat extends to the lower part of the cheeks and the jawline, it can take its toll on your self-esteem. 

Fortunately, there are several options available to slim down your facial features and create a more defined, sculpted look. Buccal fat removal procedures help to reduce the size of your cheeks by getting rid of excess fatty tissue. This creates a more defined face and may even give your self-esteem a boost.
Here’s a close look at the benefits and drawbacks of buccal fat removal procedures:

How Buccal Fat Removal Works

Buccal fat removal procedures are typically performed in a cosmetic surgeon’s office or outpatient center, and can be completed in under an hour. You will receive local anesthesia to reduce the sensation of pain because the surgeon will be creating a long incision between the cheek and gums. The surgeon removes the fat by gently applying pressure under the cheekbone; the fat protrudes through the incision, and he or she can then remove it with forceps. If there is an excessive amount of fat around the jawline, the surgeon may also used mini-liposuction to extract the fat from the tissue.
After the appropriate amount of fat is removed, the surgeon closes up the incisions and wraps the face in bandages. You will have a scar at the incision site, but this will heal within a few weeks and months and become less noticeable.

Key Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal can be a valuable alternative to facial liposuction, and in some cases, offers dramatic results. While some people can reduce the size of their cheeks by losing weight, others do not see a noticeable change in their facial appearance after weight loss because the fatty tissue has become a stubborn deposit that is trapped under the skin. Buccal fat removal offers benefits for:
  • Individuals who are of average weight and want a more contoured appearance
  • Enhancing the appearance without extensive surgery
  • Creating a more sculpted and defined appearance
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Creating a more mature look

Drawbacks of Buccal Fat Removal

While buccal fat removal procedures offer several benefits, there are some risks and side effects involved with the surgery. These include:

  • Risk of excessive scarring
  • Risk of infection (common with any type of surgery)
  • Unbalanced appearance – if the surgeon removes too much or too little fat, the face can appear unbalanced
  • Risk of damage to surrounding tissues – this risk is increased if the surgeon uses facial liposuction as part of the procedure
  • Slow healing time – depending on the type of incision created, you may be left with a noticeable scar for several weeks and months after surgery

Learn more about fat removal procedures in our information guide about facial cosmetic surgery, or consult with a cosmetic surgeon in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a facial sculpting procedure.