Buccal Fat Removal

Typically, cosmetic surgery is chosen to help the patient looks younger. However, some people feel that their full, rounded cheeks make them look too childish or plump. Buccal fat removal is a procedure that Dr. Gilpin offers to his Nashville area patients to sculpt their faces, giving them a well-defined and more distinguished appearance.


Buccal fat removal involves removing excess fat from the cheeks to create a thinner, more contoured face shape. The buccal fat pads are found in the middle of each cheek. For some people, a large buccal fat pad gives them a round face shape sometimes referred to as “chipmunk cheeks” that they aren’t happy with. Buccal fat removal gets rid of this excess tissue through an incision in the inside of the mouth, allowing for cheek reduction surgery without any visible scarring on the outside of the face.

Buccal fat removal is sometimes included as part of a facelift, but can also be performed as a standalone procedure if the patient is not concerned with sagging or loose skin throughout their face.


Before choosing buccal fat removal, patients should be generally healthy and nonsmokers. The best candidates are those who are bothered by the appearance of chubby cheeks that persist regardless of their overall weight. It’s important that the candidates be at a stable, healthy weight before choosing buccal fat removal. To see if you may be a good candidate for this surgery, review before and after photos to find out if the procedure suits your expectations and goals.

A qualified facial surgeon like Dr. Gilpin will only recommend buccal fat removal if it’s the best way to achieve your goals. In other cases, there may be non-surgical fat reduction treatments or even lifestyle changes that can help you achieve the facial contour you want.


While recovering from buccal fat removal, you can expect some swelling and redness. Healing takes several weeks, during which the swelling gradually decreases.

Because the incisions are made inside the mouth, there are certain considerations you should take while healing. First, most patients need to follow a liquid diet for the first several days after their surgery. They should also take care not to touch the sutures on the inside of the mouth with their tongues. Finally, Dr. Gilpin may ask you to use mouth rinses to ensure proper healing.


To learn more about buccal fat removal surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilpin. He will be happy to answer any questions you may have in his Nashville office about a specific plastic surgery procedure or concerns you may have about your facial features.



  • Does buccal fat removal work?

    Buccal fat removal permanently removes buccal fat. Before you choose to have the procedure, make sure you are at or near a stable and healthy weight, so your surgeon can remove the correct amount of fat to achieve your ideal results.

  • Does buccal fat removal make you look older?

    Many buccal fat removal patients choose the procedure because they feel their chubby cheeks makes them look too childlike. However, removing too much buccal fat can lead to skin laxity and sagging over time. For this reason, it’s important to consult with your plastic surgeon about achieving your goal results without removing too much fat.

  • What age does buccal fat go away?

    For most people, buccal fat dramatically decreases between the ages of 10 and 20. For others, buccal fat remains into adulthood. This can be addressed through buccal fat removal surgery.

  • What is the purpose of buccal fat?

    Buccal fat serves to cushion the facial muscles and protect the facial structures. Removing a small amount of buccal fat for aesthetic purposes does not disrupt this function.

  • Is buccal fat pad removal permanent?

    Once removed, fat cells do not regenerate. This means that buccal fat removal is permanent.