Buccal fat removal is a facial contouring surgery that produces a more slender facial structure by removing excess fat from the cheeks. Buccal fat is one of the many fat pads in our facial tissue. It’s located just below our cheekbones and allows the muscles we use to chew to glide smoothly. Babies have large buccal fat pads to allow them to suckle, which is why it’s associated with a youthful facial aesthetic. Unfortunately, having an abundance of buccal fat can be undesirable later in life. Prominent buccal fat protrudes outward and creates an overly round facial shape known as “baby cheeks,” “moon face,” or “chipmunk face.”
At New York Surgical Arts, we perform buccal fat removal for patients who desire refined, well-contoured cheeks. The treatment makes an inconspicuous incision inside the mouth so that fat can be removed, and scarring is imperceptible. Dr. Carey Nease is a triple board-certified surgeon committed to helping patients achieve their ideal appearance. Schedule a personal consultation with us to see how you can attain a better facial profile. Give us a call at (212) 535-1470 (New York City) or (516) 746-0155 (Garden City) to speak with our friendly patient care coordinators.
- 1 About Buccal Fat Removal
- 2 Benefits
- 3 Ideal Candidates
- 4 Personal Consultation with Dr. Nease
- 5 Preparation
- 6 How a Buccal Fat Removal Procedure Works
- 7 Recovery and Results
- 8 Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
- 9 Cost of Buccal Fat Removal in New York City
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
About Buccal Fat Removal
The buccal fat pad (or BFP) is a rounded capsule of fat found in the middle third of the cheeks.  Along with the masseter muscles, jawbone, and more superficial facial fat, its presence determines the contours of our lower face. The buccal fat pads fill in the gaps between deep tissues, serve as a gliding pad for the facial muscles, and protect other underlying facial tissues from the force of muscle contractions.  They are largest in babies, but typically decrease in volume as we enter adulthood. But, unfortunately, some people never lose this “baby fat.” This can be caused by many factors, including genetics, and weight. As a result, the buccal fat causes the cheeks to protrude more than desired later in life.
For many patients, buccal fat removal is a gratifying treatment that restores confidence and improves the contours of the cheekbones. This quick, outpatient procedure is performed by making a discreet incision inside the mouth, on the inner cheek.  Then Dr. Neace delicately manipulates the fat out from the cheek to achieve a more defined contour.
A buccal fat removal procedure allows patients to exchange a rounded, boxy facial shape with a slimmer, V-shaped facial contour, and can be tailored to the patient’s unique bone structure. Based on your needs, this treatment can:
- Reduce unflattering bulging, rounded cheeks
- Accentuate the cheekbones and jawline
- Produce long-term results with one outpatient treatment
- Leaves no visible scarring
- Boosts self-confidence
Healthy men and women who desire a leaner facial aesthetic may stand to benefit from buccal fat removal surgery. It is an effective way to remove stubborn fat that is otherwise resistant to diet and exercise. Interested candidates will meet with us for an initial consultation to see how their unique desires can be met with this procedure.
Ideal patients for a buccal Fat removal are:
- Patients wanting to reduce the fullness of their cheeks
- At or near an ideal BMI
- Prepared to temporarily stop smoking, vaping, and the consumption of other nicotine products
- Free from certain underlying medical conditions that could interfere with surgery or recovery
- Well-informed about the procedure’s possibilities
Personal Consultation with Dr. Nease
Dr. Carey Nease is a triple board-certified facial plastic and cosmetic surgeon with over 15 years of experience. His discerning eye for aesthetics and artistic skill allows him to provide facial surgery patients with excellent results and positive long-term differences in their lives.
Patients interested in buccal fat removal will first meet us for a consultation at our offices in Manhattan or Garden City, LI. First, we’ll examine the structure of your cheeks and facial contours. During the meeting, you will have the opportunity to speak freely about your motivations for seeking treatment and learn more about other contouring options. If you’re deemed a good candidate for this surgery, then we will schedule the date of your procedure.
Schedule an Appointment with Us
Interested patients can contact us directly by calling (212) 535-1470 to reach our Madison Ave. offices, or (516) 746-0155 for our Long Island location. Or, you can have a virtual consultation in the privacy of your own home.
New York Surgical Arts recommends that patients devote some time to preparing for their surgery date. Following these directives will ensure a smoother surgical and recovery process. You will be told to:
- Stop smoking 4-6 weeks before your surgery and until fully recovered.
- Stop taking anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning medications.
- Fill prescriptions in advance.
How a Buccal Fat Removal Procedure Works
Buccal fat removal surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. It is a quick, straightforward surgery that typically takes under an hour. Once the patient is relaxed and completely numbed, Dr. Nease will make a tiny intraoral incision on the top of the inner cheek. When the fat is exposed, gentle pressure is applied to maneuver it out from the mouth.  He will then remove the necessary amount of fat to achieve the patient’s ideal contours. Dr. Nease will then carefully close the incisions with absorbable sutures. Once the patient has recovered from the effects of the anesthesia, they are free to return home.
Recovery and Results
You may need to follow a liquid diet or stick to soft foods for the first few days. The incisions inside your mouth will usually heal in about a week. During that stretch of time, you will encounter mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Taking the medications we’ve prescribed will alleviate discomfort and prevent infection. Patients are able to resume light activity as soon as they feel able, but should avoid strenuous activity for the first week. Most of the post-surgical symptoms usually subside after a week or two, but residual swelling can persist for a few months. However, once it has fully resolved, you’ll be able to enjoy your new cheek contours for the rest of your life.
Corresponding & Complementary Procedures
Dr. Nease and the rest of our staff are here to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Patients interested in further facial contouring treatment can select from several treatments, including:
A facelift provides extensive facial rejuvenation, and can be combined with buccal fat removal. This rejuvenating procedure reduces wrinkles, facial creases, and excess skin. The underlying tissues of the face are repositioned to lift sagging tissues, and the overlying skin is redraped, allowing any excess skin to be removed. After surgery, patients will see a natural-looking, rejuvenated appearance.
Patients can accomplish a stronger, more defined jawline with the help of a synthetic chin implant. Dr. Andan makes a discreet incision inside the lower lip or under the chin so a small implant can be placed.
Lips augmentation with fillers can produce smooth and voluminous lips with just a few quick injections. However, for patients who want a longer-lasting solution for thin lips, lip implants may be a better option. Patients have the luxury of choosing from a wide variety of implant sizes for a subtle enhancement or more noticeable change. Dr. Andan performs the procedure by making small incisions at the corners of the mouth. Then, the implants are gently placed under the existing tissue to provide more fullness to the lips.
Cost of Buccal Fat Removal in New York City
Buccal fat removal is tailored to the needs of each patient, and so the total cost of the procedure will vary from patient to patient, based on the details of their treatment plan. We’ll be able to provide you with an accurate estimate and a breakdown of all associated costs following your consultation. If expenses are a concern, we are happy to direct you to resources that can make funding your procedure less stressful. We also encourage patients to inquire about our occasional specials to take advantage of additional savings.
Will I have a scar after my buccal fat removal surgery?
Buccal fat is typically removed via an incision hidden inside the mouth. This makes accessing the fat much easier and eliminates the possibility of any visible scarring.
How long will I have to take off from work after my buccal fat removal?
Most patients are able to return to work in a day or two after their surgery. However, if your job involves strenuous activity, you may need to wait a few extra days to avoid interfering with the healing process.
Can buccal fat come back after it’s removed?
As with liposuction, once fat cells are removed, they are unable to regenerate. Buccal fat removal is a permanent way to achieve contoured cheekbones and a more V-shaped face.
- Moura LB, Spin JR, Spin-Neto R, Pereira-Filho VA. Buccal fat pad removal to improve facial aesthetics: an established technique? Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal. 2018;23(4):e478-e484. doi:10.4317/medoral.22449
- Zhang HM, Yan YP, Qi KM, Wang JQ, Liu ZF. Anatomical structure of the buccal fat pad and its clinical adaptations. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2002;109(7):2509-2518; discussion 2519-2520. doi:10.1097/00006534-200206000-00052