Sculpted and Defined

Buccal Fat Removal

If you’re bothered by full, round cheeks and have always wanted defined, sculpted cheekbones, buccal fat removal is a sought-after procedure. Also known as a bichectomy and cheek reduction surgery, it is a safe and effective procedure that gives you a leaner, enhanced facial shape. This plastic surgery procedure redefines your overall facial appearance since removing fat from the cheeks can provide greater symmetry and balance in proportion to your other facial features.

Enhancing Facial Aesthetics with Buccal Fat Removal

This procedure is designed to enhance facial aesthetics with a slimmer face and more defined cheekbones while reducing the fullness of the lower cheeks. It highlights your facial structure, particularly your cheekbones and the hollowed-out areas between your cheeks and jawline. If your goal is noticeable cheekbones and a thinner-looking face, this procedure can produce stunning results and increase your confidence.

What is Buccal Fat Removal, and Why Choose The Lumen Center?

Buccal Fat Removal is an innovative surgical treatment that targets the buccal fat pad, a naturally occurring pad of fat situated in the cheek hollow area. It is a popular choice for those seeking to accentuate their bone structure and achieve a slimmer facial profile.

This procedure is more than just a cosmetic procedure. It’s an opportunity to reshape your features to bring out your natural beauty. At LUMEN, our doctors are renowned for their artistry, expertise, and natural-looking results.

How Is Buccal Fat Pad Removal Done?

Buccal fat pad removal is a quick and safe procedure that involves the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia: The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, so you should not feel any pain during the process, except for a slight pinch when the anesthetic is administered.

Step 2 – Incision: The facial plastic surgeon makes a small incision on the inside of your mouth on both sides of your face to expose the buccal fat pads. This means that there is no visible scarring on your face.

Step 3 – Extraction: The surgeon then presses gently on the outside of the cheek, causing the buccal fat to protrude through the incisions. The protruding sections of the buccal fat pads are then cut and removed.

Step 4 – Closing the Incision: The incisions inside your mouth are stitched up with sutures that dissolve over time without needing to be removed.

Am I a Candidate for Bichectomy?

If you have full cheeks that lack definition, often referred to as “chipmunk cheeks,” you may be a good candidate for this procedure. Even if you have high cheekbones, buccal fat removal can enhance your chiseled look and produce a more contoured facial profile. If you’re in good overall health and feel self-conscious of full or chubby cheeks, you’ll likely benefit from buccal fat removal. Patients should also be non-smokers (or quit smoking for a period before and after the procedure), as smoking can complicate both the procedure and recovery process. When you come in for a consultation at LUMEN, we’ll provide a full evaluation and give you a realistic expectation of what you can achieve with this minimally invasive surgery.

What to Expect During and After Your Procedure

As with any procedure, we aim to provide as much information as possible so that you can weigh the benefits and risks and make the best decision for you. Below are some additional details about the procedure:

Length: The procedure takes an hour or less to perform.

Anesthesia: You’ll be kept comfortable the entire time with local anesthesia.

Side effects: Side effects include swelling, bruising, and tenderness, and usually subside within a week.

Risks: The possible risks of this surgery are rare and may include bleeding, infection, prolonged swelling and bruising, asymmetry, and adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Our facial plastic surgeon will review all the risks with you and answer any questions you have during your consultation at The Lumen Center.

Recovery: What to Expect

After undergoing buccal fat removal, you can expect minimal downtime – typically over a long weekend. Here is a general timeline and what to expect during this period:

First Few Days: For the first 2-3 days after the procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, which are normal post-surgical reactions. It’s recommended to rest and keep your head elevated to help reduce swelling. Some patients report that the swelling peaks around day three and then starts to subside. You should be able to return to work and resume most of your regular activities.

First Two Weeks: Strenuous activity and exercise should still be avoided. During this time, it’s crucial to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon, including taking any prescribed medications and maintaining oral hygiene to prevent infection.

Two to Three Weeks: Most patients can expect to make a full recovery within two to three weeks post-procedure. At this point, you can generally return to your regular schedule and eating habits. Most of the swelling will have subsided, and your cheeks will begin to look slimmer and more defined.

Four to Six Weeks: Final results of the procedure will be visible once all swelling has completely subsided, typically between four to six weeks. At this stage, you should be able to see a noticeable difference in the contour of your face.

How Much Is Buccal Fat Removal?

The price of this procedure can vary depending on the surgeon’s experience and the region where you’re having the procedure. If you’re pairing this procedure with another treatment, we’ll factor this into the pricing as well. At LUMEN, costs are all-inclusive, so there are no hidden fees. During your free consultation, we’ll review the detailed pricing and your customized treatment plan. We also offer financing and affordable monthly payments through CareCredit and other financing agencies.

Procedures that Complement Buccal Fat Removal Surgery

Buccal fat removal can be done as a standalone procedure or in combination with other facial cosmetic treatments if you want to address multiple concerns at the same time. Many patients combine their buccal fat removal with other treatments to maintain a youthful appearance, including a mid-face lift, neck lift (liposuction on the chin/jowls area), fillers, and BOTOX. Getting buccal fat removal with other procedures can streamline your recovery time and enhance your results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buccal fat removal is a fairly simple procedure that takes one hour or less. It’s also important to note that the results of the procedure are not immediate. The final outcome will be visible once the swelling has completely subsided, which typically takes between 4-6 weeks.

Recovery is fast and normal activity is typically resumed in 3-4 days.
There is no age limit on buccal fat removal surgery, however, it’s most popular with patients in their 20s and 30s who are following social media trends on TikTok or the chiseled cheekbones of supermodels such as Chrissy Teigen (who has gone public about her buccal fat removal procedure).

One of the major advantages of buccal fat removal is that it typically does not leave visible scars. The procedure is performed through intra-oral incisions, meaning the incisions are made inside the mouth (between the cheek and gums). As a result, any scarring that does occur is hidden inside the mouth and not visible from the outside, so it will be undetectable to anyone else.

The benefits of buccal fat removal are typically permanent. Once these fat pads are removed, they do not grow back.

After a buccal fat removal procedure, you should avoid eating solid foods for at least 48 hours. It’s recommended to start with a liquid diet, especially while the anesthetic is still active, to avoid irritating your incisions and causing infection. Once you feel well enough, you should try to eat soft foods to build up strength and ensure an effective recovery. Ideal options include soup, overcooked pasta, eggs, and pudding.

Is Buccal Fat Pad Removal Right for You?

If you are considering cheek reduction surgery, contact LUMEN to schedule a free consultation with our board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Spalla, and get all your questions answered. At LUMEN, we individualize every treatment plan and possess the artistry and expertise to deliver natural-looking results. We also follow up with you every step of the way to ensure your healing is smooth and you get the best results.