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Buccal Fat Removal

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know about Buccal Fat Removal in Sydney!

What Is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat from the cheeks. It is done via a small incision on the inside of the cheek, thus avoiding any external scars on the skin.

Buccal Fat Removal may be recommended if you have a round ‘baby face’, ‘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. Large buccal fat pads are often hereditary and cannot be significantly reduced by diet and exercise.

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

Buccal Fat Removal is sometimes combined with other facial procedures to enhance the overall appearance. These include cheek augmentation to create higher cheekbones, and liposuction of jowls and ‘under chin’ to remove excess fat in those areas.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal could be the solution for patients who feel that their face is overly round or chubby. It creates a slimmer, contoured and more sculpted lower face.

Optimal candidates should be within 10kg of their ideal weight.

If you have chubby cheeks or an overly round face, you still need to make sure the buccal fat pads are the cause and not fat under the skin from weight gain. 

Many patients requesting this procedure feel that their round faces make them appear too chubby or ‘baby faced’, so they’re looking for a more contoured appearance. Some patients even add Buccal Fat Removal to their Face Lift surgery for a more striking appearance.

Conversely, if you already have a thin face, Buccal Fat Removal could make you look too gaunt by removing the natural ‘fill’ of the cheeks. 

Remember too that broad lower faces cheeks can also be the result of over-developed jaw muscles. If so, Masseter Muscle relaxant treatments could be a worthwhile  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.

Buccal Fat Removal Sydney
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 will need to commence your surgeon’s medications and post-operative instructions until fully healed.

Recovery After Buccal Fat Removal

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

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

Post-operative swelling is normal. Expect that you’ll have a fuller face after the surgery than you did before it. This is because the empty space left behind fills with fluid. This fluid collection is a normal part of the healing process. Most of this initial swelling will settle within 2 weeks.

It usually takes 3-6 months to see your final results.

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 & After’

Buccal Fat Removal Sydney
Buccal Fat Removal Before and After
6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal (Dr Adam Honeybrook)
Buccal Fat Removal Sydney
Buccal Fat Removal Sydney
6 Weeks After Buccal Fat Removal (Dr Adam Honeybrook)

‘Pros & Cons’ of Buccal Fat Removal

The Pros:

  • No external skin scars. 
  • Buccal Fat Removal gives the face a slimmer appearance.
  • The final results are permanent, even if you gain weight. 
  • It’s not long surgery, usually taking around 1 hour.
  • Short downtime: most patients can return to work after 3 days.
  • This procedure can create a more mature facial contour in adults with a ‘baby face’ look.

The Cons:

  • Buccal Fat Pads shrink naturally over time. This is why your surgeon will remove only a portion of the fat pad in order to avoid your cheeks hollowing excessively as you age.
  • If you lose weight after the surgery, your face could look too gaunt. 
  • As no cheeks are perfectly symmetrical to start with, this procedure could make any pre-existing asymmetry more apparent.  

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 in Sydney

  • Buccal Fat Removal

The total cost of Buccal Fat Removal in Sydney 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 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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