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Buccal Fat Removal

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know!

What Is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal, also known as Buccal Lipectomy, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from the cheeks through a small incision inside the mouth thus avoiding any external scar on the skin.

If you have a round ‘baby face’ or ‘chipmunk cheeks’, or if you simply prefer a more ‘chiselled’ appearance, Buccal Fat Removal will give your mid-face better definition, heighten your cheekbones and slim down your face.

The buccal fat pad sits under the muscles of the lower cheek. The size of these fat pads varies from person to person regardless of body weight. In fact, large buccal fat pads are often hereditary and they cannot be significantly reduced by diet and exercise.

Although liposuction is NOT recommended for buccal fat pad reduction (because it can damage nerves in close proximity), Buccal Fat Removal is sometimes paired with Liposuction to other facial areas to better shape and define the entire face.

Buccal Fat Removal is sometimes combined with other enhancing facial treatments such as Dermal Fillers to create higher cheekbones, or  Liposuction  to the jowls to better define the jawline, or liposuction under the chin to remove a ‘double chin’.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal is a worthwhile procedure for patients who feel that their face is overly round or chubby. It creates a slimmer, contoured and more sculpted lower third of face.

Optimal candidates are within 10kg of their ideal weight.

Even if you have chubby cheeks or an overly round face, you still need to make sure it’s the buccal fat pads causing the roundness and not fat under the skin due to weight gain. 

Many patients requesting this procedure complain that their round faces make them appear too chubby or ‘baby faced’, so they’re looking for a more contoured appearance. Some patients combine Buccal Fat Removal with their Face Lift to add finesse to their final result of the Face Lift.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you already have a thin face, removal of the Buccal Fat Removal could make you look too gaunt by removing the natural cheek ‘fill’ from the Buccal Fat Pads. 

Bear in mind that wide cheeks can also be the result of over-developed jaw muscles. If that were the cause, Muscle Relaxant Injections  to slim the Masseter Muscles and facial outline could be an alternative option. 

How Is Buccal Fat Removal Done?

Buccal Fat Removal is performed in a Licensed Hospital under General Anaesthesia administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist.

Your Surgeon will make a small incision about 2 cm long on the inside of each cheek.

Removing The Buccal Fat Pad Through The Mouth

The fat is removed and the incisions are then closed with dissolvable sutures.

After about one hour in Recovery, you can return home. However, you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

When you return home, you must resume taking the antibiotics you started the day before to prevent infection.

Recovery After Buccal Fat Removal

When you return home, you’ll need to regularly apply ice compresses to reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. Apply ice packs to your cheeks for 3 days and regularly drink iced water.

Due to the incisions being on the inside of your cheeks, you should adhere to a soft-food diet and avoid anything too hot or spicy for at least 24 hours.

Swelling is normal and you’ll likely have a fuller face during your recovery than you did before your procedure because the body usually fills the empty space with fluid. This fluid collection is a normal part of the healing process and most of this initial swelling will settle within 2 weeks.

However, it can take up to three, and sometimes up to six months, to see your final results once your skin has settled into the space left by the fat removal.

Are There Any Non-Surgical Alternatives? 

Unfortunately, NO. No amount of dieting and exercise will significantly reduce prominent buccal fat pads.

Buccal Fat Removal ‘Before & Afters’

_0003_(Image 1) Before & 6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal
_0002_(Image 1) Before & 6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal copy
6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal (Dr Adam Honeybrook)
_0001_(Image 2) Before & 6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal
_0000_(Image 2) Before & 6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal
6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal (Dr Adam Honeybrook)

‘Pros & Cons’ of Buccal Fat Removal

The Pros:

  • You’ll have no visible scars from the cheek reduction as the removal is done from the inside of your mouth. 
  • When done properly, Buccal Fat Removal gives the face a slimmer appearance.
  • The final results are permanent, even if you gain weight. 
  • It’s not a long surgical procedure: cheek fat removal typically takes just over 1 hour.
  • Downtime is relatively minimal and most patients return to work after 3 days.
  • This cheek-slimming surgery can create a more mature facial contour in adults who still have a ‘baby face’ look.

The Cons:

  • Your Buccal Fat Pads naturally shrink over time, so your cheeks could look too hollow as you age. To counteract this, your Surgeon will remove only a small pocket of fat in order to avoid hollowing out your cheeks excessively.
  • If you lose weight after the surgery, your face could look too gaunt. 
  • As most people have cheeks that are naturally slightly different, this procedure could make any pre-existing asymmetry more obvious.  
  • You’ll have temporary swelling of the cheeks for a couple of weeks.

Potential Risks & Complications of Buccal Fat Removal

Surgery and anaesthesia nowadays are considered generally safe but both have potential risks and complications which include:

Specific to Buccal Fat Removal:

  • Asymmetry between the two cheeks.
  • Post-operative bleeding or hematoma (a collection of blood in the cheek).
  • Infection requiring antibiotics.
  • Slow or poor healing of the incisions. More likely in smokers and diabetics.
  • Seroma (excess fluid accumulation in the cheek) requiring one or more aspirations with a needle & syringe.
  • Numbness, usually temporary.
  • Inadvertent injury to a salivary duct.
  • Inadvertent injury to branches of the facial nerve, resulting in temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness.

General Risks

  • Allergic reaction to medications, sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions.
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and its potential to cause life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism. To reduce the risk of DVT, Calf Massagers can be applied for the entire duration of your surgery to prevent the blood in your leg veins from pooling and clotting.
  • Adverse Reactions to Anaesthesia or Medication: The safety of anaesthesia nowadays in Australia is well established. Nevertheless, potential risks exist with all anaesthesia and unexpected reactions can occur. These may include nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions ranging from minor to severe. Respiratory failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke are rare but documented risks of any general anaesthesia.

The Cost of Buccal Fat Removal

  • Buccal Fat Removal

The total cost of Buccal Fat Removal Surgery is made up of the following individual costs:

  • Surgical Fee: $6,000
  • Hospital Fee: Hospitals differ in their hourly rates for Operating Theatres. Our Surgeon will advise you of the expected Theatre Fees once it has been determined which hospital you will be attending and how long your procedure will take.
  • Anaesthetist Fee: This will basically depend on the duration of the surgery. Anaesthetic Fees are generally around $880/hour.

Can I Claim a Medicare or Private Health Insurance Rebate?

Being purely a cosmetic procedure, there is no Medicare Rebate for Buccal Fat Removal nor can you claim your Hospital Fees through your Private Health Insurance.

Our Specialist Surgeons

Terms & Conditions

  • Consultations must be pre-paid at time of booking.
  • Once pre-paid, all consultations are non-refundable and non-transferable but can be moved to another date with at least 3 working days’ notice.
  • Cancellations with less than 3 working days’ notice and ‘no shows’ are not refundable or transferable and will incur a new consultation fee to re-book.
  • All payments by Credit Card & Debit Card attract a 0.3% surcharge and Amex a 1.5% surcharge.
  • The Medical Board of Australia’s new Regulations which came into effect on 1 July 2023 require that:
    • All patients seeking a consultation regarding cosmetic surgery must provide a referral and the referral must be from a GP or other specialist who does not perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic services themselves.
    • If a patient arrives without a referral, the Regulations recommend that the doctor should refrain from seeing the patient – in which event, any pre-paid consultation fee would be lost.

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Our Cosmetic Doctors

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Our Specialist Surgeons

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Our Liposuction Doctors

Dr Kenneth Brito, Cosmetic Doctor

Dr Sepehr Lajevardi, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

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