What is buccal fat, and why should it be removed? 

The pads of fat between your cheekbones and jawline are called buccal fat. When there is an excess of buccal fat, the cheeks protrude, making a face look round and full. Some may worry about removing buccal fat and looking gaunt as they age since the face naturally loses fat with time. However, Dr. Miller reassures patients that, if desired, dermal fillers can be utilized to add volume to the face later on. Everyone loses fat as they age and needs fillers to maintain or regain a youthful look. The patient can easily look good at any stage in life.

What to expect during buccal fat removal

Buccal fat removal is an hour-long procedure that requires a delicate, practiced touch. Local anesthesia is injected into the target area, along with a solution that numbs the area and restricts blood flow. Patients are awake and completely comfortable the entire time. If, however, a patient desires a sedative or prefers to go under general anesthesia, that can be arranged.  Next, a small incision is made inside the mouth in the oral mucosa, which is the smooth, moist membrane that lines the mouth. The incision is made between the parotid duct (which transports saliva) and the bite line.  Dr. Miller takes care to stay in the superficial layers only, so as not to distort any underlying buccal tissue. Dr. Miller then locates the part of the mouth that holds the yellow buccal fat. He teases out the pocket of fat as a whole piece, taking care to be gentle to reduce bruising and bleeding. Once the fat is removed, the incision is closed with dissolving sutures.

What is recovery like?

Recovery from buccal fat removal is quick. Patients can resume office work and light socializing the next day. Swelling is normal but minimal; an ice pack can be used for relief. Dr. Miller recommends that patients eat soft foods for a few days. The sutures used in the procedure will dissolve on their own in about 5-7 days.

Is Buccal Fat Removal right for me?

Do you often hear that you have a ‘baby face’? Are you dissatisfied with the lack of contour in your lower face? A buccal fat removal could be the solution for you.

The amount of buccal fat one has is determined by genetics, which means diet and exercise won’t have a significant impact. Here are some reasons people pursue buccal fat extraction:

  • Chipmunk cheeks
  • Convexity in mid-face
  • Face looks too young or immature 

Patients should be in good overall health and have no pre-existing conditions. Patients should be non-smokers, or willing to quit for a period before and after the procedure for optimal healing.

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Before & After

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What will my face look like?

The face will be noticeably slimmer within a few days as swelling subsides. After 3-6 months, the cheeks will be narrowed and more contoured. Since buccal fat does not regenerate, results are permanent. However, remaining fat cells in the cheeks can expand with weight gain, so maintaining a steady weight is strongly recommended. Buccal fat extractions have a high patient satisfaction rate since the procedure is quick, recovery is minimal, and results are visible almost immediately. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Miller today for a sleeker, more beautiful face.

Buccal fat removal for men

Does your face lack definition? A buccal fat removal can give you a chiseled, handsome face and stronger cheekbone definition. Dr. Miller has many years of experience with male facial cosmetic procedures and understands the specific needs male cosmetic surgeries demand. An expertly done buccal fat extraction will make you look like the best version of yourself and elevate your confidence.

Expertise you can count on

When seeking a plastic surgeon, it’s a good idea to look for an experienced surgeon who specializes in the surgery you need. The best plastic surgeons partner with their patients to achieve natural-looking results.

Dr. Miller is double board certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, and has been performing facial plastic surgery for over 25 years. Schedule a consultation with him today!

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