While so many plastic surgery patients are concerned about looking more youthful, others feel that they look too childlike due to “chubby cheeks.” Buccal fat removal is an option for patients who have excess fat in the cheeks no matter how fit they may otherwise be.

What is Buccal Fat and Why Remove it?

Buccal fat resides in your cheeks, and an excess amount of it contributes to facial fullness, more commonly called “chipmunk cheeks.” A buccal lipectomy, or cheek fat removal surgery, removes pads of buccal fat to make your cheeks more contoured.

Who is a Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?

Any generally healthy person who is unhappy with the appearance of their cheeks or jawline can consider buccal fat removal surgery. In addition, candidates should be a healthy and stable weight and have healthy skin. Dr. Howland will assess your facial structure and discuss your desired appearance in your initial consultation, as well as answer any questions you may have about the procedure or its results.

What to Expect from Buccal Fat Removal Surgery

A buccal lipectomy is an outpatient procedure that takes less than an hour. The procedure can be done with general anesthesia or even a local anesthetic. The incision is made inside the mouth, and either part or all of the buccal fat in your cheeks will be removed, depending on your anatomy or desired appearance.

Recovering from Buccal Fat Removal Surgery

After the procedure, you will be released and begin the recovery process. The incisions inside the mouth will cause some soreness, discomfort, and possible bruising. These symptoms can be treated with ice packs and pain medication. Most patients are able to return to work in a few days after the surgery, depending on the type of work. In addition, patients are typically restricted to a soft or semi-liquid diet for 10 days following surgery.

You will likely experience swelling for 2–3 weeks following surgery, after which you will begin to notice your desired results. However, it can take up to four months to fully recover.

You may or may not be prescribed a medical mouth rinse or other medication following surgery to reduce the risk of infection. Any such medication should be taken as prescribed.

Can I Combine Buccal Lipectomy with Other Procedures?

Yes, buccal fat removal is often performed in conjunction with other facial surgeries, like a facelift or neck lift, to achieve your ideal appearance. Dr. Howland knows that no two of his Salt Lake City patients are alike and that each procedure must be tailored specifically to each person who comes in the door. In your consultation with Dr. Howland, you will discuss any and all options for procedures to achieve your appearance goals.

Results of Buccal Fat Removal Surgery

Check out real patients’ before-and-after photos to have a visual idea of what you can expect from this procedure. In general, after you are fully recovered from your procedure, here are the results you can expect:

  • Natural, contoured cheeks and jawline
  • Thinner facial appearance
  • Youthful facial structure

Throughout the recovery process, Dr. Howland will consult with you with post-operative appointments to ensure you recover as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information about cheek fat removal, or to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Howland today, please contact our office.