Alternatives to Buccal Fat Removal, or is This the Best Option?

I'm 31 yo, 5'6"/130 lbs, but have always had big cheeks. My older siblings & parents all still have the same chubby cheeks. I had a consult & was told I'd be a good candidate for buccal fat removal. I'd love to do this but after reading so many bad things I'm worried. Can I reduce the chubby appearance of my lower/mid-face using a combo of less controversial procedures (e.g. filler for NL/marionette folds & rhino to refine my pudgy nose), or is BF-removal a good option in my particular case?

Doctor Answers 4

Buccal Fat Reduction

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Do you like your appearance when you suck in your cheeks? Buccal fat removal may be an appropriate option to reduce excess volume of the face and enhance the cheeks.

Buccal fat reduction is an uncommon procedure with certain risks, such as bleeding, infection, pain, and numbness. Another option that one could consider for facial sculpting is masseter muscle reduction. Botox injections into the masseter muscle will gradually shrink the face and create a more feminine face. Lastly, filling the nasolabial lines with a filler could potentially provide your desired results too.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a surgeon help determine appropriate options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki


Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Buccal fat pad removal or not

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In looking at your photos, I think that fillers might actually make you look fuller than you already are. I do think that your rounded face is due to some extent form the buccal fat pad, but not completely. Removing it might give you a less round lower face, and it might be what you are looking for. I will say though, that fat in the face keeps us looking younger as we age. When one loses facial fat, the aging looks more apparent. I say that because you might be trading of a short term improvement for an earlier need to have more surgery in the future due to accelerated aging.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Alternatives to Buccal Fat Pad Removal

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Dear ChubbyCheeks,


Buccal fat pad removal is a delicate procedure best fitting candidates with chubby cheeks that will not be prone to atrophy with age progression. Suffering from a hollow face later on in life is not that pleasant. This procedure is best performed by surgeons of ample experience in that field.


If you are looking for permanent results in term of slimmer "heart shaped" face, I encourage you to seek a consultation with an extensively experienced surgeon who will provide you with the best advises so you will be making a well informed decision.


It looks like facial contouring with fillers and Botox could be an option for you. Only through physical examination that a surgeon is able to provide definitive solutions.

Thank you for sharing you photographs.


Best of luck to you.
Dr. Sajjadian

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

Buccal fat pad reduction slims the lower cheek area

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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 to give a more defined lower face. 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 or laser lipo'd. 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 achieve otherwise.

I have many happy patients with this procedure. Careful selection and counseling are key. Results evolve nicely over a period of weeks to months. This is a safe procedure and can be performed under local anesthesia. Recovery is minimal. Please talk to a 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 101 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.