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Buccal Fat Removal

Thanks to the rise in popularity of facial sculpting, buccal fat removal has gone from one of the cosmetic surgery industry’s least known procedures to one of its most requested. The procedure has gained attention for its ability to reduce the unwanted volume in the cheeks, balance the lower face, and streamline the facial silhouette – timeless requests in the world of beauty.

Also known as cheek reduction surgery, buccal fat removal creates subtle contours in the mid to lower face by removing a small amount of fat from the inside of the cheek. Even though buccal fat removal is minimally invasive, it can produce beautifully defining results that achieve a slimmer, chiseled look that enhances the cheeks and jawline. With an approval rating of 91% on RealSelf, it’s safe to say that buccal fat removal’s newfound status is here to stay.

What Is Buccal Fat Removal?

The buccal fat pad is a deep pocket in the middle of the cheek that determines the shape of the mid to lower face. As the size of the buccal fat pad is genetic and is often hereditary, it’s not an area that is always dictated by a patient’s weight. Even the slimmest people can still be described as having a rounded or ‘baby face’ appearance and this is usually thanks to their natural buccal fat pad.

Reducing the buccal fat is an effective way to slim and define the face, revealing shapely contours that enhance the cheekbones and jawline. Unlike other areas that benefit from fat reduction, the buccal fat pad cannot be addressed with liposuction. As the pocket naturally sits underneath the facial muscles and nerves, it is accessed through a different method to avoid complications and produce the most effective result.

Until recently, buccal fat removal was typically performed in combination with other procedures and has only become requested as a standalone procedure in the past few years. Buccal fat removal is most compatible with procedures that also aim to improve the structural appearance of the face. These include complimentary surgeries such as chin implants, jaw implants, neck liposuction, or facelifts.

What Happens During Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is one of the least invasive facial cosmetic surgeries and normally only takes around 30 minutes or less. Dr. Kaplan performs it as an in-office procedure with local or sedation anesthesia, meaning there’s no need for an overnight stay in the hospital.

Once you’re anesthetized and completely comfortable, Dr. Kaplan gently accesses the buccal fat pad from the inside of the mouth. Through a small incision on the inner part of the cheek, Dr. Kaplan can identify and tease out the amount of fat required for the desired result. In most cases, the buccal fat isn’t removed fully. The incisions are then sutured closed.

As buccal fat removal is performed through the inside of the mouth, the procedure benefits from no visible scarring and most patients appreciate the discretion of the surgery.

Am I A Good Candidate For Buccal Fat Removal?

The ideal candidate for buccal fat removal has naturally excessive volume in the cheek area that isn’t attributed to their body weight. This can be younger patients who are looking for a more sculpted appearance or mature patients where buccal fat is naturally starting to fall through the effects of gravity, creating jowls and impacting aging overall.

Buccal fat removal isn’t for everyone. As we age, the face naturally becomes thinner. When buccal fat removal is performed on people who already have hollow cheeks, it can lead to a gaunt appearance in later life. Dr. Kaplan carefully analyses the anatomy of the face and identifies the patients best suited to buccal fat removal, advising on alternative procedures for those looking to enhance their facial structure who may not be suitable.

In general, we class the ideal buccal fat removal patient as someone who:

  • Is within 20 pounds of their goal weight
  •  Has a naturally rounded, babyface or ‘chubby’ appearance to cheeks
  • Has realistic expectations for results
  • Is in overall good health
  • Is prepared to follow Dr. Kaplan’s recovery advice

What Is The Recovery Process Of Buccal Fat Removal?

Recovery Time

As buccal fat removal is minimally invasive, it requires less downtime than other facial plastic surgeries. Patients will return home the day of their procedure and after a few days can resume work. The cheek area will be swollen and tender, so most patients take around a week away from social activities. Most of the swelling will subside after three to four weeks, with gradual improvements in the months after and the final result seen at the six-month mark.

Recovery Advice

We advise patients to eat a liquid or soft foods diet in the first week following the procedure. It’s important that you don’t eat any foods that are spicy or too hot during this time, as it can irritate the incisions. A medicated mouth rinse will also be prescribed to prevent infection. Alongside advice on how to ice the area to reduce swelling, Dr. Kaplan will provide a full self-care program for you to follow while you’re recovering, which we recommend patients follow diligently to ensure healing safely and to maximize results.

Is Buccal Fat Removal Permanent?

Yes, buccal fat removal is permanent. Even if you gain weight, the buccal fat pad won’t grow back. However, it’s important to note that weight gain could naturally result in more volume in the surrounding area.

How Much Does Buccal Fat Removal Cost?

Each patient at The Kaplan Center receives an individualized treatment plan. Dr. Kaplan’s philosophy is that no two patients are the same and each requires individual assessment to provide a fully comprehensive surgery cost. That’s why we kindly invite patients into the clinic for a consultation to provide a costed treatment plan based on your desired results.

The Before and After images below highlight the slimmer, more chiseled look that can be achieved to enhance the cheeks and jawline.

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If you would like to know more about eyelid surgery at The Kaplan Center, please contact us or email or call our office at 201-710-7771 New Jersey or 212-731-4543 New York.