Buccal Fat Removal: Risks, Recovery


Buccal fat removal is also known as cheek fat reduction. The goal of this plastic surgery is to thin the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows. It targets the buccal fat pad, an area that goes deep in the cheeks located on each side of the face. When buccal fat is removed from the pad, the face looks leaner and more contoured.

If your cheeks appear large and plump, or you’ve recently lost weight and the puffiness of your cheeks doesn’t match your new look, you can consider a buccal fat removal surgery. Moreover, you’d better be at or near your goal weight to do this surgery.


A good candidate for buccal fat removal include:

  • Physically healthy and be at a stable weight
  • Have realistic and optimistic expectations toward the surgery
  • Nonsmokers
  • Bothered by the appearance of chubby cheeks


Based on RealSelf buccal fat removal reviews, the average cost of this procedure in Miami is $5,250, ranging from $4,500 to $6,000. Factors that may affect the cost include:

  • The surgeon’s level of experience
  • Type of anesthesia
  • The location where the procedure is performed

Other fees, such as hospital or surgical facility costs, prescriptions for medication and medical tests, should also be included in the cost of a buccal fat removal surgery.


As with other surgical procedures, a buccal fat removal comes with a few risks and potential complications, such as:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Hematoma
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Asymmetry cheeks
  • Poor wound healing
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Swelling and persistent pain
  • Temporary facial nerve weakness
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Numbness or loss of sensation along the incision lines, cheeks, and jaws

You should fully understand these risks and complications to make the final decision.


Preparing for your buccal fat removal begins with a consultation with your surgeon. The doctor can discuss your concerns with you and help you determine whether the surgery will help meet your appearance goals. The surgeon will also ask you to:

  • Get some lab tests or a medical evaluation
  • Stop smoking or alcohol at least two weeks before the surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and other supplements as they can increase bleeding and bruising

Surgical steps

A buccal fat removal procedure takes approximately an hour for completion. Generally, the surgical steps go like this:

  • Local anesthesia in most cases
  • Making incisions on the inside of your cheeks to remove all or some of the fat pad, depending on your goals and what will create the best result
  • Closing the incisions with soluble sutures


Generally, recovery from buccal fat removal is easy. You may experience some soreness for a few days following your surgery and there will be bruising inside the mouth. You may need to sleep with multiple pillows in order to keep your head elevated; this will help to minimize any swelling.

Most patients don’t have significant pain and can return to work in a day or two. You may need to follow a liquid diet for 24-48 hours after the surgery. You can see final results by 4-6 weeks following the surgery.

Keyword: buccal fat removal.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.