Buccal Fat Pad Removal

Buccal Fat Pad Removal

The Natural Plastic Surgeon Blog

Chew on this. Celebrity buccal fat removal is all the rage these days as attention-grabbing screen starlets, leggy supermodels, and social media sensations are quickly popularizing this rather concerning cosmetic procedure.

Another year, another cosmetic procedure to discuss and discern.  So, what is buccal fat removal, exactly?  The latest

cosmetic trend that has garnered millions of social media video views over various video-sharing platforms with searches up over 200%, according to Google Trends, is a permanent cosmetic procedure that creates visibly “hollowed out,” contoured cheekbones by surgically removing fat from the cheeks, creating an undeniable “chiseled” appearance and a “no-filter-needed” sculpted face.  With buzzed-about beauties, such as Chrissy Teigen, Lea Michele, and Bella Hadid, rumored to have undergone the latest controversial cosmetic procedure, many are arguing whether buccal fat removal is worth the hype.  But the most sought-after, leading plastic surgeons warn the procedure is not for everyone. The best candidates are those with a natural fullness to their cheeks in the buccal area, but it’s important to consider the natural aging process that will inevitably affect every face.  As the ravages of time progress, the buccal fat will begin to diminish naturally, leaving one looking gaunt and, well, “older.”  Subsequently, many will begin to seek out treatments that re-volumize and contour the area.  Those reported to have undergone the procedure or inquire about the procedure are usually the younger, Gen Z crowd or those will overzealous “chubby cheeks.”

Is Buccal Fat Removal Worth It? Pros and Cons

Whether you’re looking into undergoing buccal fat removal or any cosmetic procedure, it’s invariably advantageous to weigh the pros and cons as they relate to you and your cosmetic concerns.  Never take anything at face value.


  • Achieve a modelesque, sculpted, slimmer face with more definition and depth in the cheekbones
  • Surgical incisions are made on the INSIDE of the mouth, hence NO visible scarring
  • Results are permanent, even if the patient gains weight in the future!
  • The entire process takes about 20 minutes to complete
  • Minimal downtime with most patients resuming normal activities within 3 days or sooner


  • Swelling resulting in “chipmunk” cheeks for a few weeks
  • Buccal fat pads, as stated earlier, naturally diminish over time, resulting in cheekbones that may look too “sunken” in
  • If too much buccal fat is removed, the patient may appear older than they really are as they begin the natural aging process
  • Asymmetry may result if too much fat is taken from one side over the other, so seeking a highly-skilled, knowledgeable surgeon with an elevated aesthetic eye is highly recommended
  • Damage to saliva glands, hemorrhaging, facial nerve damage, and facial muscle weakness may occur

Why is Buccal Fat Removal Dangerous?

If it hasn’t already been made clear, buccal fat removal has become a controversial cosmetic procedure that many experts are warning against, not to mention the following risks a patient may experience resulting from the procedure, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding/hemorrhaging
  • Scarring
  • Injury to surrounding, susceptible tissues, and structures
  • Lockjaw
  • Numbness
  • Partial face paralysis

Though some of these risks may pose only temporary, adverse conditions, some may be long lasting or even permanent.  A board-certified plastic surgeon – and NOT a dentist – can properly assess a patient’s unique facial structure to determine the best treatment plant to produce the most desired, natural-looking results.  Alternatives to buccal fat removal include noninvasive, temporary filler treatments, such as Juvéderm, Sculptra, or Restalyne, which can all be performed in-office in just a few minutes and can last up to two years in some cases.  These FDA-approved filler treatments are made of safe, gel-based hyaluronic acid designed to contour and sculpt the cheeks, jowls, and jawline areas of the face, as well as volumize the nasolabial folds.  Fillers are widely used and preferred, as they produce natural-looking results meant to enhance and accentuate a patient’s appearance.

Buccal Fat Removal – Beverly Hills

“We are in an era of the ‘snatched’ jawline and face. The exaggerated face and contoured cheek and angled jaw have become very popular,” Dr. Barrett tells U. S. Sun Magazine.  The leading, Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon doesn’t suggest undergoing the procedure at the moment since buccal fat pads naturally diminish in volume as we age, anyway, and could appear to make someone look older in the long term, defeating the point of the procedure in the first place. Plus, if a patient gains weight in the future, it’s highly unlikely they’ll gain it in the buccal region.  His suggestion?  Steer clear of social media-based beauty trends that go viral.  Instead, stick to traditional, tried-and-true procedures that have stood the test of time and that have yielded proven results.  Many beauty trends are like fashion fads – they come and go and change from season to season. “Plastic surgery trends are not a good idea and can oftentimes be regretted.”

What do you think?  Is buccal fat removal something you’ve been considering?  Do you believe you are a good candidate for the popular procedure or are you open to learning more about superior alternatives?  We invite you to fill out the form on our CONTACT page and tell us more about your cosmetic concerns.  We’d love to learn more about you and how we may be able to help you achieve your beauty goals.

Do you want to learn more about Barrett Plastic Surgery? Keep up to date by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media at TikTok, Instagram, Realself, and YouTube for updates.

Are you interested in a different procedure? Call us at (310) 398-2648 or fill out this virtual consultation form and we will reach out to you as soon as possible. We’re excited for you to take this next step!  

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