Am I a Good Candidate for a Buccal Fat Removal Considering my Age?

I'm seriously considering me a buccal fat reduction, I have a very round face and big cheeks, but I do not want that in a while my face may look old and fallen... I'm 19 years/female, what should I do??

Doctor Answers 9

I would not suggest Buccal Fat Removal for you

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Having a full face and round cheeks is a sign of youth. Simply do a bit of research to see what concerns women in their 30's and 40's are looking to correct...Volume Loss is at the top of the list. You will find that over the next 5-15 years your cheeks and lower face will thin and you will have the desired (more chiseled) look you are wanting. If you choose buccal fat removal in your early 20's, you may be happy with the result for the next few years- BUT you will be faced with a more aged and thin look in your face in your early to mid thirties. I have a patient in my practice that is facing this exact issue. At 35 she is attractive, youthful and vibrant...but her face looks a bit tired and "deflated". She had her buccal fat removed by another surgeon when she was 22 and now, at 35, she is seeking to volumize her face with fillers such as sculptra and radiesse which will cost her approximately $3,000-$5,000 every 5 years. Although this may not be the answer that you are looking for- you may find that a visit to a professional make up artist to learn the trick to contouring facial features with blush and bronzers will get you through the next few years. Best of luck to you, Dr. Clevens


Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Buccal Fat Removal Is Not For Everyone

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The buccal fat pad plays a minor role in facial contouring. Sitting just below the cheekbone, it adds some fullness to the submalar area. Its removal adds a slight thinning effect to the area under the cheek bones but it should not be perceived as having a major influence on thinning the face. It should be done as either part of the overall treatment approach to make one's face thinner and less full or as a complementary procedure to help highlight the cheekbones. For full round faces, its removal is likely to have any adverse long-term gaunt face effects. But in thinner faces, particularly in a younger patient, this is more of a potential long-term concern.

Buccal fat pad removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It's hard to tell from your picture because you are smiling. Although I am a fan of conservative buccal fat pad removal, you are too young and beautiful to be messing with your face at this time. XO

Buccal fat pad removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Hi.  Honestly, I'm not a fan of the buccal fat pad removal procedure.  I think the results are under-whelming.

Besides, the roundness of your face will tend to go away on its on, with the passage of time.  I would leave it alone.

Buccal Fat Removal in a 19 year old

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Buccal fat pad removal is best performed in a female patient who is at least in their early 20's.  Many patients will have fuller faces in their younger years and note that their faces will lose volume as they age.  

Patients must be selected properly for buccal fat pad removal, as chosing an inappropriate candidate can lead to a premature gaunt look in the face.

Critera to see if candidate for buccal fat pad removal:

1.  Family history of "full" faces-  Families with full faces who age with full faces are likely to benefit from buccal fat removal.  Families whose fuller faces eventually turn gaunt should avoid this procedure
2.  Buccal fat excess-  There are multiple fat pads in the face.  The key is to determine if buccal fat pad removal is beneficial

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Buccal fat pad reduction not for you

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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.

Buccal (Bichat's) fat pad removal for a 19 y.o. female

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Isabel C.


Buccal (Bichat's) fat pad removal is a delicate procedure to establish the Ogee curve, hence the ideal midface contour.


The best fitting candidates for this procedure are the ones with chubby cheeks that will not be prone to atrophy with age progression. Suffering from a hollow face later on in life is not pleasant.


I encourage you to seek consultation with a surgeon of extensive experience in this field who will guide you and discuss with you possible alternative procedures that may fit your facial features and age better hence exposing the beauty of your face according to what you desire.


Thank you for sharing your photograph.


Best of wishes to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Good candidate for buccal fat pad removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Buccal fat pad removal is done to create a slightly thinner and more chiseled appearance of the cheeks. In my practice I reserve this procedure for very full cheeked patients. In your photo you do seem to be a reasonable candidate for buccal fat pad reduction. Of course, this is difficult to say for sure with only one photo and no examination. As for the looking to thin at an older age, I find that if the procedure is done on very full cheeked patients the chances of looking too thin are quite low. This procedure only achieves a subtle change. However, every patient is different and you should consider that risk.

I hope this info helps!

Buccal fat pad reduction selection

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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.

Careful selection and counseling are key. Results evolve nicely over a period of weeks to months. You are on the young side and your fat may recede in your later twenties.  Please talk to an board certified surgeon experienced in buccal fat reduction to see if you are a candidate.

Raymond E. Lee, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

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.