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Procedure: Buccal Fat Removal

Useful information for patients on Buccal Fat Removal - defining the cheek area by removal of cheek fat.

Also called ‘Cheek Reduction Surgery’, this procedure aims to remove the buccal fat pad in the cheeks. The outcome is to thin the cheek and contour midface angles. This surgery may be combined with other types of plastic surgery, such as facelift, lip augmentation, or rhinoplasty. The incision will be made inside the cheeks and the fat will be removed. The candidate for this procedure is people with disproportionate or excessive puffy cheek. Buccal fat removal is not ideal for people with thin and narrow faces or ageing people, because it would create an older look of the face along the age. People with progressive hemifacial atrophy (Parry-Romber syndrome) also do not benefit from this procedure. Preparation may include a detailed history of medical issues, medication history, and physical examination.

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Useful Information

Ensure you consider all aspects of a procedure. You can speak to your surgeon about these areas of the surgery in more detail during a consultation.


Approximately 30 minutes to one hour.


Local anesthesia may be used with light sedation.


This is an outpatient procedure.

Additional Information

Several conditions may apply after the procedure:

  • Temporary swelling
  • Temporary pain
  • Temporary numbness

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Nerve injury with resulting paralysis or numbness
  • Parotid duct damage
  • Collection of blood under tissues (hematoma)
  • Over-correction or under-correction
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Reoperation

Avoid pressure on the area of the surgery. Consume a liquid diet for several days and gradually progress to soft diets before returning to a normal diet. The patient is given a special mouthwash to prevent infection which should be used for at least 2-3 weeks. Swelling may be resolved after 3-5 days after surgery, although daily activities using the mouth (eating, drinking, speaking) could be minimally limited. The patient may return to work within 5-7 days, or after the swelling subsides. Strenuous activity, such as contact sports, may be resumed in 2-3 weeks after the surgery. The full recovery may take at least 3 weeks, in which patients should avoid smoking.

The final results can be seen in several months. The result is usually permanent, however, as ageing occurs, the face may appear some disproportion, which may influence the result.