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Buccal Fat Pad Removal

Buccal fat reduction or cheek reduction is a cosmetic procedure with the goal of thinning the buccal fat of the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows.

Buccal Fat Pad Removal (Cheek Reduction)

The youthful face is naturally soft and filled out, however some people feel that their face is too full, and may even be described as chubby. The buccal fat pad is a naturally-occurring pad of fat in the cheek hollow area. The size of the buccal fat pad varies with each individual patient, and each cheek can also have a different size fat pad in the same patient. This procedure is typically not performed in people with thin, narrow faces. Extraction of the buccal fat pad may cause the face to look aged. It’s important to understand what buccal fat pad reduction surgery entails, including possible risks and complications as well as set realistic expectations.

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Before & After Photos


6 weeks post op
submental and neck liposuction, buccal fat pad removal, .45ml chin filler and 40 units massetter neurotoxin.

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Results 1

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Results 2

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Results 3

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Results 4

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Results 5

How do I know when I’m ready for a buccal fat pad reduction surgery?

Buccal fat reduction surgery is a highly individualized procedure and may be the right option for you if:

  • You are bothered by the appearance of your chubby cheeks
  • You are a nonsmoker
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight

Reasons to Undergo Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Surgery

Restore Your Confidence

Buccal fat pad reduction surgery can provide a significantly more thinned out face, define your jawline and cheeks. Patients may have diminished self-confidence from round, chubby, and unflattering cheeks. This procedure allows patients to feel better about themselves and boosts their confidence and self-esteem.

Cheek Reduction Options

Buccal Fat Pad Reduction

A buccal fat pad reduction addresses excess fat in the midface. Your surgeon reduces cheek volume and allows a distinct transition between the parotid gland and cheek hollow. Ideally for patients in need of midface rejuvenation and thinning. Approaches to the buccal fat pad for reduction are performed intra orally with a small incision in the inner cheek.

A buccal fat pad reduction provides the following benefits:

  • Ability to thin the cheeks
  • Provides a contoured natural appearance

Masseter Muscle Neurotoxin Injection

Masseteric hypertrophy can mimic buccal lipodystrophy and is mainly characterized by fullness that posteriorly along the mandible. This is a muscle of mastication and may be larger in people for many reasons such as bruxism or teeth grinding. Injecting neurotoxin into the muscle can decrease the size of the muscle and in turn thin the posterior portion of the cheek.

A masseter muscle injection provides the following benefits:

  • Ability to thin the cheeks
  • Provides a contoured natural appearance

The Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Process


Once you fill out the online questionnaire, you will be contacted to confirm an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with the surgeon. You may also provide photos through our HIPAA compliant system.

This appointment also includes an analysis of your health history, any medications you are taking, and what you desire to achieve with the procedure. Please have all of this information with you when you come to your appointment. All of which can be submitted electronically through our HIPAA compliant patient portal.

The surgeon will discuss the techniques that will best provide you with the results you desire and answer any questions you may have.

Preoperative Instructions

Your surgeon will review in detail all of the information you need to know prior to surgery.

Generally, patients should avoid nicotine products eight weeks before surgery and stop taking anti-inflammatory medication (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen) for at least two weeks before surgery. Some vitamins and supplements may also cause problems during or after surgery, so it is best to avoid them or to talk to your surgeon about potential side effects.

The procedure may be performed in the office setting with local anesthetic only or under general anesthesia. If general anesthesia then all instructions and precautions are described below.

Eating and drinking restrictions include:

  • 8 hours before the procedure – stop eating heavy meals or foods, such as meat, fried foods, or fatty foods.
  • 6 hours before the procedure – stop eating light meals or foods, such as toast or cereal.
  • 6 hours before the procedure – stop drinking milk or drinks that contain milk.
  • 2 hours before the procedure – stop drinking clear liquids.

The eating restrictions do not apply if under local anesthetic only. But you may still need someone to drive you home after the procedure if given an anxiety reducing medication or narcotic.

During the Procedure

Buccal fat pad reduction surgery is performed under local anesthesia only in the office or general anesthesia in a surgery center. It takes 30 min to an hour to complete. If under general an IV will be inserted into one of your veins. Incisions are made in the mouth in the inner cheek and closed with absorbable sutures.


If under general anesthesia after surgery, your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the surgical center. You may continue to receive fluids and pain medicines through an IV.

Expect discomfort, bruising, and tenderness for which you will be provided pain medications as needed.

Your surgeon will give you more detailed information about what you can expect during your recovery.

Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Surgery FAQs

Q. Who is an ideal candidate for a buccal fat pad reduction?

A. Ideal candidates have excess buccal fat and desire slimming of the midface, improving transition and contour of the cheeks. The best candidates have never smoked, normal blood pressure or precisely controlled high blood pressure and have realistic expectations of what the procedures can do.

Q. Where are the incisions for a buccal fat pad reduction located?

A. The incisions are placed in the inner cheek where the upper and lower molars touch. These incisions vary in size and are sutured closed with absorbable material.

Q. What is recovery like?

A. Swelling is common and usually peaks at day 3. It is not uncommon for some minor swelling to last 2-5 weeks after surgery. Each patient is different in their healing process. After every meal patients rinse their mouth with mouthwash for 10 days.

Q. When will I see the final results of my buccal fat pad reduction?

A. Initially the final result may be obscured by swelling after your buccal fat reduction surgery. It may take several months for you to see the final results, as your cheeks gradually contour to their new appearance. The cheeks should appear less full or chubby in postop results. The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.