Can Buccal Fat Pad Removal Help Correct Lines Around Lips?

Can buccal fat pad removal help correct parentheses lines around my lips or would it make it worse? I have heard that loss of fat causes these lines but when I pull at the fat on my cheeks it seems to reduce the lines. I just turned 26 and I think I am too young to have these lines. What causes them and what is the best way to correct them in my case?

Doctor Answers 16

Buccal fat pad removal for lip lines

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Removal of the buccal fat pad has no effect on lip lines.

In your case, you are indeed likely to look older. Buccal fat pad removal is reserved for patients who have overly full cheeks, often described as "chipmunk cheeks"

Cessation of smoking, limiting sun exposure, biofeedback to see if mannerisms are contributing to the lip lines are all possibilities. In the occasional patient, Botox helps in wrinkle lines as well.

You have a gorgeous face and shouldn't mess with it other than maybe a little conservative filler.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Fat in the right places

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You are right that you are too young to have these lines! This means you are living life. That is good. A few things you can do to prevent aging of the facial skin are # 1 sun protection. Everyday. Even in a city like Chicago where the sun is scarce this is the best thing you can do. # 2 a good facial moisturizer and a vitamin A product to help turn over the superficial cells.

These lines are caused by aged skin, loss of fat and absorption of bone. We can treat this with a few different techniques. In someone young like yourself my favorite is fat transfer. There are also synthetic injectables such as the HA's which I am sure you have read about on this site.

Fat is good for a few reasons. #1 it is your own tissue so the infection/rejection rate is very low. # 2 we also transfer stem cells, fibroblast, growth factors and even more we don't know about yet. This helps to rejuvenate the skin and local tissues.

Sometimes laser can help with small lines and wrinkles. This will also give the skin a global tightening. It is hard to appreciate in your photo because the quality is not the best but this may be a nice conservative option for an overall brighter look.

A facelift could help this issue, but not in someone so young. Be careful who you see about this. There are many hungry surgeons out there and we all like to operate. I would be conservative and subtle. You want a smooth and noticeable change but you do not want your face to have the "overdone" appearance.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck.


Benjamin Caughlin, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Lines around lips and buccal fat removal

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Hi Violett,

Thank you for such an intelligent question and a clear photograph showing a normal buccal fat fitting your oblong face with well defined cheeks.

After the buccal fat removal, loss of facial volume (skinny face) will happen and a deep Ogee curve will form to temper with your current facial aesthetic beauty.

I encourage you to consult an extensively experienced surgeon who will offer you the appropriate alternatives (fillers / Botox, etc.) to go about your current concern while preserving your natural beauty.

Best of wishes and luck.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 reviews

Lip lines and Buccal Fat Pad removal

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Your photograph demonstrates early, subtle signs of aging. The nasolabial lines are beginning to show. Volume loss and sagging tissue, which comes primarily from age, sun, and genetics, contribute to the gradual deepening of the nasolabial lines.

Initial treatment of these wrinkles is to (1) add volume, and/or (2) lift the cheek or mid face. Adding volume is done with a quick procedure with any of the available inject able fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, collagen, fat). Facial plastic surgery with either a cheek lift or cheek augmentation is appropriate for select patients. Based on this photograph, your cheeks are already full so a midface lift may not be appropriate at this time.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a plastic surgeon help determine the most appropriate treatment for you. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Can buccal fat pad removal help correct lines around lips?

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No. It may make them worse in the near future and horrible in further down the road.

Lines are caused by age and sun related facial descent, facial muscle movement with skin creasing and LOSS of facial volume both IN and UNDER the skin. Therefore, it can only be fixed by reversing these factors. Since skin damage is irreversible, while you can stop tanning you can stop further damage but not reverse the damage you had. Adding volume is the answer (Juvederm, Restylane, fat etc) - NOT removing fat and finally, later down the road a Facelift with a mid-Facelift component.

Removing the fat pad of BICHAT will give the mid face a gaunt, sucked in terminal AIDS look. DO NOT DO IT.

Peter A Aldea, MD, FACS

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fillers for lines around lips

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Thanks for your question. I find buccal fat pad reduction to be a great procedure in the properly selected patient. Fullness in the lower cheeks or "chipmunk cheeks" can be treated this way. Liposuction or skin tightening technologies will not be the right choice when buccal fullness is apparent. The buccal fat pad sits deeper in the lower cheek area under muscle. This is different from skin fat that can be liposuctioned. Proper diagnosis is important to understand how to treat. Also, this fat pad may get smaller when we are elderly possibly giving a hollow look in this area. Performed properly in the right patient buccal fat reduction is easily performed and gives a slimmer lower face that is difficult to achiever otherwise.

That said buccal fat pad reduction does not help the parenthesis lines or nasolabial folds.  Fillers would be the best solution for this area.

Please talk to an board certified surgeon o see if you are a candidate.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Fillers probably a better option

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I would recommend fillers like Juvederm or Restylane to correct your nasolabial folds rather than buccal fat removal. 

Buccal fat pad will not help your lips

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Buccal fat pad reduction is a procedure that is not commonly performed but can make sense in the right patient.  It is important to understand the anatomy before undergoing the surgery so that you are well informed.  Normal aging reduces the buccal fat pad volume.  It is true that some people have more volume in their cheeks than others.  However, it is also universally true that that volume will decrease and descend over time.  Removing too much buccal fat can cause premature aging.  It is also important to remember that replacing fat that has been removed is extraordinarily difficult if not impossible.  The main reason is the location of the buccal fat pad.  It usually resides underneath a large muscle that is responsible for majority of the power motions of your chewing.  Once that fat is removed that space collapses.  Once collapsed it is very difficult to find the exact space and to reinsert a substance such as a filler or better yet fat.  One potential solution is to use something like Sculptra.  While I generally do not advocate buccal fat pad removal, I understand why somewhat would want procedures such as this.  I tried to choose my patients very carefully and I also tried to be conservative in the amount of fat that is removed.  Surgeons who trivialized this procedure simply don’t understand how difficult it is to correct deformities that may occur.  The cost of the procedure can run anywhere from $3000-$7000, depending upon your geographic locale.  Please visit with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  My best advice is to always be conservative with any buccal fat pad reduction.

Dermal Fillers May Be the Better Option

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Buccal fat removal is not the optimal procedure for you based on the photo.  You may be better of increasing volume through dermal fillers.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Questions about Buccal Fat Pad Removal

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I would not recommend buccal fat removal in your case. It will not reduce the "parenthesis" lines but will result in loss of volume in your cheek area and over time may make you look more "gaunt". Most of the problems we see in the aging face later on is the result of volume loss and anything that reduces facial volume may aggravate the aging process.

Hope this helps.

Joel B. Singer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.