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Buccal Fat Removal

First impressions are important, and one’s face is where we look first when interacting with others. So if we aren’t happy with the appearance of our facial contours, we could be experiencing significant setbacks because of self-consciousness or esteem issues.

Some of the biggest offenders of facial contour issues are the cheeks. Unfortunately, this area is rarely reduced in bulkiness by dieting and exercise, so usually, only slight changes occur by natural means. However, with surgical buccal fat removal, improved facial contours are just a short, safe procedure away.

What Is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is a surgical procedure used to help highlight improved cheek shape by removing an overly prominent fat pad in the face. While the procedure is highly practiced and perfected, every patient has a slightly different type of buccal fat pad that defines the contour of their face, so the degree of change that occurs varies from individual to individual.

Buccal fat removal can be performed as a standalone treatment or done in tandem with a procedure like a facelift, where access to the area is already necessary.

buccal fat removal results

Am I a Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?

No matter what skin type or tone you have, you are a candidate for buccal fat removal as long as you have a fat pad that is causing your face to appear chubby or creating a contour that you do not prefer. Typically, people who are very thin or have narrow faces are not good candidates for this procedure performed because it may result in an outcome that is not flattering.

Here is a list of other factors that prepare someone to be a strong candidate for Buccal Fat Removal:

  • Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Maintain a stable weight
  • Have reasonable expectations
  • Do not smoke or use unprescribed drugs
  • Do not consume excessive alcohol

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How Should I Prepare for Buccal Fat Removal?

Before any surgery, you may be asked to take the following steps:

  1. Avoid aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements
  2. Plan on a soft food diet for several days post-operatively

What Should I Expect from a Buccal Fat Removal Procedure?

There are three main steps for a buccal fat removal procedure: anesthesia, incisions and closure. Prior to the surgery, Dr. Terrasse will walk you through the steps to ensure that you are prepared for the procedure and the necessary short recovery period.


This procedure is usually performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia and a recommendation will be made and agreed upon prior to the day of surgery. Anesthesia ensures you remain safe and comfortable throughout the surgery. It will also help mitigate some of the immediate postsurgical discomforts.


Buccal fat removal requires a small incision on the inside of the mouth beneath the position of the fat pad prominence. The fat pad usually is ‘delivered’ through this incision in one piece as the fat cells are tightly joined to one another in this space. In some cases, Dr. Terrasse removes this fat pad during a facelift or other facial procedure as a combination procedure.

Wound Closure

Typically, dissolvable sutures are used inside the mouth to close the incision closed, but this can change depending on your unique circumstances and conditions. You will need to plan of taking a soft food diet for a few days post-operatively and to make sure you do not agitate the wound by avoiding ‘playing’ with the stitches in your mouth.

What Should I Expect During Buccal Fat Removal Recovery?

You will likely be placed on a liquid or very soft diet for up to two or three days. The total length of this period will depend on how your body is responding to and recovering from the treatment. A gentle mouthwash may be recommended to reduce the chance of infection, as many different bacteria and other agents entering the mouth can cause problems.

The discomfort from the procedure is mild and can usually be managed with over-the-counter medication. Mild swelling, discomfort, discoloration and mucosal irritations are typical side effects of surgery, but they typically wholly subside within a week or two.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from Buccal Fat Removal?

You can expect to experience a slimmer cheek contour that appears less full than before, but it will take a while for those results to become evident. Some minor swelling can persist for up to a few months, so your results will continue to improve through that time period. The pocket of fat that is removed does not replenish itself, which means your cheeks will remain similar to the surgical outcome as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Expert Buccal Fat Removal at Terrasse Aesthetic Surgery

If you are ready to learn more about how buccal fat removal can provide you with the facial contour of your desires, give us a call at (847) 234-2400. You can also fill out our online contact form to have one of our staff members reach out to you at a more convenient time. We know you need a trusted partner throughout this decision process, and we are happy to be that resource for you.

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