Is Buccal Fat Removal Right For You?

February 7, 2023 Tags:

right profile view of woman with strong jawline and cheekbones

Recently, a photo of singer-actress Lea Michele has become the center of conversation in the world of plastic surgery. In this photo, her high cheekbones, hollowed cheeks, and incredibly defined jawline raised speculation whether she had her cheek fat removed with a buccal fat removal procedure. With more and more celebrities like Chrissy Teigan undergoing buccal fat removal, this once “under-the-radar” procedure has catapulted into the spotlight thanks to social media, and left many curious.

What Is Buccal Fat?

Buccal fat is the fat that resides between the cheek and the jawbone. It is a flat pad of fat that is no bigger than a cherry. By removing this store of fat, a person can have their bone structure appear far more sculpted and prominent, giving them a coveted, modelesque appearance.

Buccal fat removal is seeing its growth in popularity due to the extra “pop” it gives to a person’s face. Patients who have undergone this permanent procedure have noticeably stronger cheekbones and a more chiseled, striking appearance. Not everyone is a good candidate for buccal fat removal. For individuals with very round faces that want to create more angularity, buccal fat removal can be an ideal solution. Even into old age, when volume and fat loss is common, patients with round faces that have undergone a buccal fat removal may even age remarkably better than they would otherwise. “When you take some of the buccal fat out in an appropriate patient, [it] actually creates some scar tissue there that may actually help support the tissues so that you’ll age better,” reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

For patients that are not good candidates, buccal fat removal can have an adverse effect and create a bony or gaunt appearance that increases with age. Before undergoing this type of surgery, individuals should consult with a plastic surgeon to determine whether they are an appropriate candidate.

How Is Buccal Fat Surgery Performed?

This surgery can be done under local anesthesia while the patient remains awake, but can also be done under general anesthesia when combined with other procedures like facelifts. During a buccal fat removal procedure, small incisions are created within the cheeks to remove the buccal fat pad. Whether the entire fat pad is taken out or only part of the pad is taken out will depend on each patient’s individual anatomy.

After the procedure, patients can expect some bruising and swelling around the incision area. The whole post-op recovery process can take roughly three weeks to heal from, with some having to wait several months before their final results are visible.

If you would like to have your face appear sharper and prominent, contact Dr. J. J. Wendel Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation. Our experts will listen to you and answer all of your questions to help guide you through your various options.

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