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Buccal Fat Removal

First impressions are important, and our faces are viewed first when initially meeting others or during any meaningful interaction. So if we aren’t happy with the appearance of our facial contours, we could be experiencing unsettling feelings of self-consciousness or lower self-esteem.

Some of the biggest offenders of facial contour issues are the cheeks. Unfortunately, this area is rarely affected by diet and exercise, so little can be done naturally to intervene. Facial fillers can add to one’s contour, however buccal fat removal can improve, your ideal facial angles by subtracting unwanted fullness in order to highlight nearby areas to help emphasize certain feminine or conversely, masculine profiles.

What Is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is a surgical procedure used to thin the cheeks by removing or reducing an overly prominent fat pad in the mid- face. While the procedure is highly practiced and perfected, every patient has a different type of buccal fat pad that defines the contour of their face. So an honest and critical assessment by a board certified aesthetic plastic surgeon is paramount. In order to proceed with any procedure with confidence.

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 will already be part of the procedure.

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 do not have this procedure performed because it could backfire in the future and cause them to appear sunken in and less vibrant.

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 unnecessary drugs
  • Do not consume excessive alcohol

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How Should I Prepare for Buccal Fat Removal?

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

  1. Have lab work performed or additional medical evaluations
  2. Adjust current medications or begin new ones
  3. Quit smoking immediately to improve surgical safety
  4. Avoid aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements

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 know exactly what the process entails.


This procedure is generally performed with general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on your preferences and health status. 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 near where your saliva enters your mouth from the parotid gland. The fat padding will be removed through this incision to create a slimmer contour between the corner of your mouth and your earlobe. In some cases, a surgeon may have access to this portion of the face during a facelift and can remove it at that time instead.


Typically, dissolvable sutures are used inside the mouth to hold the incision closed, but this can change depending on your unique circumstances and conditions. You will need to make sure you do not agitate the wounds by playing with the stitches in your mouth and you may be asked to modify your diet for a few days after the procedure.

What Should I Expect During Buccal Fat Removal Recovery?

You will likely be placed on a liquid 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 special mouthwash may be provided to reduce the chance of infection, as many different bacteria and other agents entering the mouth can cause problems.

Dr. Terrasse will provide you with postoperative instructions to follow. These can include guides on how to care for your wounds, information on how to use medication, specific concerns to be wary of and a date with your next follow-up appointment.

The discomfort following the procedure is mild and can be managed with over-the-counter medication, but prescription medication is available when necessary. Pain, swelling, discomfort, and temporary discoloration from bruising are typically mild or absent and 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 chubby than before, but it will take a while for those results to become fully evident. Some minor swelling can persist for up to a few months, so your results will only continue to improve up to that time. Your results are permanent — the pocket of fat cannot replenish itself, which means your cheeks will remain improved as long as you maintain an active and 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 dreams, 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 hectic, unsure process, and Dr. Terrasse is happy to become that resource for you.

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