5 Things to Know About Buccal Fat Removal Surgery

Posted March 15, 2023 in Buccal Fat Removal


Buccal fat removal is quickly becoming one of the most popular facial plastic surgery procedures on the market. If you’ve heard about buccal fat removal, then your first step should be scheduling a consultation with Dr. David Gilpin, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon. In the meantime, here are some important things to know about this facial procedure and what you can expect.

It Gets Rid of a “Baby Face”

Buccal fat removal is a facial cosmetic procedure that can help chubby cheeks and get rid of a “baby face.” It does this by removing the buccal fat pads, or the pads of fat that exist between the jawline and cheekbones. When you’re young it is normal to have fuller cheeks, but as many people become adults, they become thinner , and the cheeks become more defined. For some people, these fat pads don’t go away as an adult and can cause a fuller, more rounded look to the face even when at an otherwise healthy weight.

It Uses Local Anesthesia

Buccal fat removal is actually a fairly quick and minimally invasive procedure. In fact, Dr. Gilpin performs buccal fat removal at our accredited surgical suite. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the whole area. Incisions are created inside the mouth to gain access to the tissues of the cheeks. The fat pads are removed through these incisions, and they’re then closed with sutures.

Buccal fat removal has a relatively short recovery period. You’ll be given detailed aftercare instructions like using a special antiseptic mouthwash, sticking to a liquid diet, and limiting your activity level. However, you can be fully recovered within a few weeks.


It Produces Results in a Few Months

It’s important to keep in mind that any surgery will produce noticeable swelling for the first week or so. As you recover, however, the swelling will go down and you’ll begin to see better definition in your cheeks. You’ll begin to see your final results within 2-4 months as all swelling subsides and your body adjusts.

It Produces Permanent Results

Buccal fat removal is a permanent procedure, meaning the fat does not come back once it’s removed. Although this can seem like a good thing for patients who have chubby cheeks, it can be a big factor in whether you’re a good candidate for buccal fat removal. If your face is already thin or doesn’t have much fat, removing the buccal fat pads can make you look gaunt and older  (and as you age, the buccal fat pads can be a valuable source of volume). A consultation with Dr. Gilpin can give you the best idea of whether it’s best to remove these fat pads based on your anatomy and cosmetic goals.

It’s Not the Same Thing as a Facelift

Buccal fat removal is not the same thing as a facelift. Buccal fat removal simply thins the cheeks and enhances the face’s bone structure – it does not lift the skin and underlying tissues. In some cases, removing the buccal fat pads can help reduce the appearance of drooping jowls or nasolabial folds. But, if you have specific concerns like jowls or nasolabial folds, buccal fat removal may not be enough on its own and it may be better to consider a mini facelift or neck lift.

Schedule a Consultation

Buccal fat removal can transform your face and help you feel more confident, but it’s best to consult a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, like Dr. Glipin to learn more about your best options. To meet with Dr. David Gilpin, Nashville’s foremost facelift and buccal fat removal expert, contact Gilpin Facial Plastics & Aesthetics by calling or filling out our online contact form.

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