What is Buccal Fat Removal?

Fat can accumulate in the cheeks due to weight gain, genetics, or lifestyle factors. This may result in a ‘chubby cheek,’ making you feel more self-conscious about your facial appearance. Buccal fat removal is a plastic surgery procedure to eliminate unwanted fat in the buccal pad (hollow area of the cheek), revealing more sculpted cheekbones and a balanced facial profile.

Ideal Candidates For Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal – also referred to as cheek fat reduction – is a cosmetic procedure that aims to alleviate a ‘chipmunk’ cheek appearance by removing excess fat from the cheek hollows. You may be best suited for buccal fat removal if you:

  • You are bothered by the appearance of your chubby or puffy cheeks
  • You wish to have a slimmer and better-defined face
  • You have a stable weight and overall good health
  • You have realistic expectations about the outcome of this procedure.

Cheek fat removal may be performed on both men and women at any age. Some people may choose to lose facial fat while in their 20’s while others may have this procedure in their 50’s. It all depends on the cause of your buccal fat accumulation and your personal preferences. During your consultation, Dr. Arroyo will listen to your concern and develop a treatment plan to help reach your aesthetic goals.

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Benefits of Cheek Reduction Surgery

Improved facial profile – This cosmetic procedure’s fundamental goal is to enhance your facial contour and shape. Many patients feel more comfortable and satisfied with their new-found facial appearance after undergoing this treatment. Permanent results – cheek reduction surgery is a permanent procedure. Once the fat is gone, it’s gone. Dr. Arroyo recommends that you are close to your ideal weight goal before undergoing this treatment for the best results.

Quick procedure with minimal downtime – this is a relatively short procedure that can be completed in 30 minutes at Dr. Arroyo’s in-office operating room. There is minimal downtime as well, and you will be able to resume regular activities almost right away. 
No visible scars – during surgery to remove cheek fat, incisions are placed from inside the mouth. This means there will be no visible scars from the cosmetic treatment. 

Increased self-esteem – excess cheek fat can give you a ‘chubby’ and even child-like facial appearance. Cheek reduction plastic surgery alleviates this concern to feel more confident about yourself and improve your social interactions.

Dr. Arroyo’s Procedure Approach

Buccal fat removal is performed on an outpatient basis at Dr. Arroyo’s office or accredited surgical facilities. His anesthesiologist will apply local anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety during the treatment. Dr. Arroyo will then make an incision inside your cheek and apply pressure to the outside of your cheek to expose the buccal fat pad. He will remove the entire buccal fat pads, or at least part of them, to maintain symmetry. Incisions will then be closed using dissolvable stitches. You will be monitored in Dr. Arroyo’s observation room before you are allowed to go home to continue with recovery.

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Your Recovery

Shortly after your cheek removal procedure, you will be given a special mouthwash that helps prevent infections. Dr. Arroyo will also provide post-operative care instructions and prescribe pain medication. Mild discomfort, pain, swelling, and slight bruising are common within the first few days but usually disappear with time. Cold packs may be used to improve the soreness. If you have stitches in your mouth, they typically dissolve within ten days. Most people can return to their routine schedule within seven days based on their work. It may be up to 4 months before you are fully recovered, depending on your body’s healing ability. Dr. Arroyo’s office will be available throughout the recovery process to answer your questions and provide the support you need.

Buccal Fat Removal FAQ

Is buccal fat removal right for me?

When will I see results?

Can buccal fat removal be combined with other procedures?

Are there non-surgical options available?

How much will buccal fat removal cost?

Is buccal fat removal right for me?

Cheek reduction plastic surgery may be performed on adult patients of any age. Dr. Arroyo will listen to you and let you know whether this procedure is best suited for you. The surgeon does not recommend buccal fat removal for patients with a narrow face who may be susceptible to sunken cheeks as they age. Individuals who are older or have progressive hemifacial atrophy may not be ideal candidates for this treatment.

When will I see results?

Results are typically instant following cheek fat removal surgery. However, it may take weeks for the swelling and redness to dissipate and even months for the outcome to manifest. Dr. Arroyo will ask that you take good care of your treatment site and take it easy during recovery to ensure the best procedure outcome. The results of this procedure are permanent. You do not have to worry about visible scarring after cheek reduction surgery.

Can buccal fat removal be combined with other procedures?

Cheek reduction plastic surgery may be combined with other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, blepharoplasty, midface lift, neck lift, and even chin augmentation. Following your initial consultation at Dr. Arroyo’s office, the surgeon will listen to your concerns and create a comprehensive treatment plan to yield the results you are looking for.

Are there non-surgical options available?

Some patients who need cheek reduction wish to avoid the downtime associated with surgery. While buccal fat removal non-surgical alternatives will not remove excess fat, they can help address visible aesthetic issues caused by the buccal fat.

How much will buccal fat removal cost?

Fat pad reduction and removal procedures cost between $2,000 and $4,000 based on the procedure’s extensiveness and the type of anesthesia used. Health insurers typically do not pay for cheek reduction surgery because it is considered an elective procedure. Dr. Arroyo’s staff will provide an all-inclusive quote that includes the surgeon’s fees, facility fee, anesthesia costs, and any supplies that may be needed.

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