What is Buccal Fat Removal? Surgery Costs and Side Effects

What is buccal fat removal?
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Buccal fat refers to the fat that dwells in the hollow area below the cheekbones. The amount of buccal fat has an impact on a person’s face shape. People who are not happy with their facial appearance may choose to have buccal fat pad removal or surgery. This particular kind of plastic surgery makes the cheeks thinner and narrower. This article gives more insight into the cost of buccal fat removal surgery, its procedures, and the side effects.


Buccal fat is a different type of fat compared to other types of fat. It can also be called “brown fat.” It does not go away, even after weight loss.

Buccal fat removal is also known as buccal lipectomy or cheek reduction surgery. It is a type of surgery done to remove fat around the cheekbone area of the face. This can highlight the bone structure in your face, particularly the cheekbones and the hollow spaces between your cheeks and jawline. This surgery is done by an anesthesiologist. 

Buccal Removal Surgery Cost

The cost of buccal removal surgery may vary based on the high or low level of the surgeon’s experience. However, according to our research, the cost of buccal removal in the US ranges from $2000-$8000. This includes the facility charge and the cost of using the operation room. The only expenses excluded are those for your transportation and prescription drugs.

What Affects the Cost of Buccal Fat Removal?

These are the factors to consider when preparing for a consultation, as these factors affect the cost of buccal fat removal surgery. 

#1. The Anesthesiologist’s Level of Expertise

In most cases, the face-slimming cheek reduction operation is typically carried out under local anesthesia, which is far less expensive than general anesthesia and may also be combined with a sedative to help you relax. When choosing your surgeon, pay attention to patient reviews, confirm that they have a comprehensive before and after photo gallery, and enquire as to how frequently they conduct buccal fat removal surgery.

Although more skilled doctors will charge more as a result of their high level of experience, it’s not a smart idea to skimp on this procedure.

#2.  Location

Plastic surgeons who work in high-cost housing typically have to charge more to help pay for their own expenses.

For instance:

  • Dr. Racheal, a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, California, estimates that the average cost of buccal fat removal is $6,500.
  • This cosmetic operation costs between $2,000 and $5,000 in Miami, Florida, according to plastic surgeon Dr.John Smith.

This is to say that their practice location affects the buccal removal cost.

#3. Where Your Surgery Is Performed

A private surgery center will charge a lower facility fee for the cost of your buccal removal surgery than a hospital operating room.

#4. Recovery

This depends on the patient. Recuperation from buccal removal surgery may involve prescription medications, follow-up visits, and time off work. 

How long does buccal fat removal last?

Excluding the prep time, it takes about one hour. After the procedure, you can go home right away.

Is buccal fat surgery painful?

You won’t feel any pain if you’re assigned to local anesthesia. The treatment can only keep you awake during the procedure.

Does buccal fat removal leave scars?

No, it doesn’t because intraoral incisions are utilized in order to prevent scars.

Buccal Fat Pad Removal

The buccal fat pad is located beneath the cheekbones and in front of the masseter muscle. The fat pad is what makes the baby’s cheek appear round. Larger buccal fat pads can also give someone the impression that their face is full or too round. You can choose to do buccal fat pad removal in order to reduce it as some of us do not lose this fat even when we lose weight. Furthermore, buccal fat pad removal is done to stop oroantral communications and to reshape the face aesthetically. This is usually done by an anesthetist.

 The Steps of a Buccal Fat Pad Removal Procedure 

A buccal fat pad removal includes the following steps below:

#1. Initial Consultation

Before an individual can undergo buccal fat pad removal surgery, they must first have a consultation to discuss the surgical objectives and expectations, as well as any medical history such as present or previous medical conditions or drug allergies. Furthermore, the surgeon can also examine the face during the initial appointment and take pictures of it.

#2. Anesthesia

Anesthesiologists will typically administer general anesthesia to patients before the procedure to reduce pain, though some may choose local anesthesia in some cases. People who intend to have multiple surgeries can be given general anesthesia.

#3. The Incision

An incision is necessary for the removal of a buccal fat pad on the inside of the mouth, that is to say, the inner part of your cheek. Occasionally, a facelift procedure may involve the removal of the buccal fat pad without the need for an oral incision.

#4. Closing the Incisions

In this step, the buccal fat pads have been removed by the anesthesiologist. The incisions are closed using an absorbable suture. However, every plastic surgeon handles the procedure differently. As long as your surgeon hasn’t given the all-clear, refrain from playing with the sutures using your tongue.

#5. The Results

The buccal fat pad removal will result in a smaller, more contoured cheek, particularly in the cheek hollow region.

#6. The Healing Process

Lastly, after the entire procedure, you may experience facial edema and discoloration. These are normal and will disappear in a couple of weeks.

It could take a few months for the surgery’s genuine effects to become apparent, but over time you’ll see that your cheeks have grown more defined and slim.

Furthermore, it is very important to carefully adhere to the surgeon’s directions during the healing process. These may include:

  • Taking care of the incision site
  • Taking medicine or using mouthwash to facilitate healing and also avoid infection.
  • Going for a follow-up

Who Is a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Pad Removal?

Buccal fat pad removal is a very effective surgery, but it is only intended to remove a portion of this fat in the right candidate. Hence, it is not an effective solution for other facial problems such as parenthesis lines, the jawline, or fat deposits in different areas or compartments of the cheeks. There is a widespread misconception that it helps with the appearance of lip and jowl lines. In general, you can be a good buccal fat pad removal candidate if:

  1. You are physically healthy and your weight is steady.
  2. You have realistic expectations about the process.
  3.  You don’t smoke.
  4. You have pseudogenization (small rounded fat mass in the cheek due to a weak buccal fat pad).
  5. You want to have surgery to feminize your face.
  6. You don’t like the way your fat cheeks look.

In other words, when you visit your surgeon for a consultation with a plastic surgeon, they will assess you and let you know if you are a good candidate for the surgery. Hence, it is very important to be completely honest while describing your health and medical background. Lying or omitting crucial information might result in complications and health issues.

How much is buccal fat removal?

The cost of buccal removal in the US ranges from $2000-$8000. Although the prices vary based on the high or low level of the surgeon’s experience.

Side Effects of Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is a relatively risk-free procedure compared to many other cosmetic procedures. Consequently, it is quite a simple procedure, which means the side effects are rather rare. But the fact remains that there are still side effects because it is a surgical procedure. Here are the various side effects of buccal fat removal:

  1. Infection
  2. Facial asymmetry
  3. Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  4. Fluid accumulation ( seroma)
  5. Hematoma
  6. Excessive bleeding
  7. Injury to a salivary duct
  8. Numbness or other changes in sensation
  9. Injury to branches of the facial nerve will result in temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness.
  10. Persistent pain
  11. Possibility of revisional surgery
  12. Poor healing of incisions
  13. Prolonged swelling
  14. Suboptimal aesthetic results and/ or minimal changes
  15. Lockjaw
  16. Facial nerve damage
  17. Deep vein thrombosis
  18. Cardiac or pulmonary side effects
  19. Excess removal of fat


Buccal fat is the fat in your cheeks that may make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed. Thus, you might consider undergoing buccal fat removal surgery, a cheek reduction technique that involves removing the buccal fat pads from the inside of your cheeks.

To achieve this, a surgeon called an anesthesiologist removes the buccal fat pad, which lasts for about 30 minutes, creating a well-defined slimmer face. You have to be an ideal candidate for the surgery to avoid severe side effects.

In general, the process is quite safe, and recovery takes a couple of weeks.

Disclaimer Disclosure

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. We do not connect people with board-certified doctors, and also, we don’t provide medical consultation, advice, or diagnosis. Therefore, if you’re having any medical issues, please contact a healthcare professional.

What is Buccal fat removal FAQs

Does buccal fat go away with weight loss?

Yes, your buccal fat pads may gradually get smaller as you lose weight.

Can buccal fat be removed naturally?

There is no natural way to get rid of the buccal fat pad. You can only undergo surgery in order to remove your buccal fat.

What can I eat after buccal fat removal?

You can eat a portion of bland soft food like applesauce and broth for starters.

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