What is buccal fat removal?

If there is a large amount of buccal fat, this can give the face a round appearance or what is sometimes referred to as a ‘baby face’ or even ‘hamster/chipmunk cheeks’. Buccal fat removal is surgery to reduce the width of round faces.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

What is buccal fat removal?

Buccal fat is found in the cheeks and its presence affects the shape of a person’s face.

If there is a large amount of buccal fat, this can give the face a round appearance or what is sometimes referred to as a ‘baby face’ or even ‘hamster/chipmunk cheeks’. Buccal fat removal is surgery to reduce the width of round faces.

Here we will look more closely at buccal fat and how surgery can help.

What is buccal fat?

The buccal fat pad is a rounded mass of fat in the middle of the cheek, located between facial muscles, in the hollow area beneath the cheekbone. Buccal fat pads are normal and everyone has them. However, the size of these vary from person to person. As mentioned above, the size of the buccal fat pads affects the shape of the face, with larger buccal fat pads giving the face a more round or fuller appearance. People with small buccal fat pads tend to have a more ‘V’ shape face.

There are a few theories as to the practical function of the buccal fat pad which range from aiding us to suckle as babies and to chew, all the way to cushioning the delicate facial muscles.

However it is important to know that these are just theories. Of course we are perfectly able to survive and function without our buccal fat.

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How can you remove buccal fat?

Buccal fat removal, also known as cheek reduction surgery or cheek contouring, sees the buccal fat pads completely removed. This makes the face appear thinner and adds contours to the area. Buccal fat removal offers effective, and permanent, results.

This procedure can be combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty or a face lift.

However, buccal fat removal isn’t for everyone and a patient may not be suitable for surgery for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Their face is too thin. If a person’s face is naturally narrow, buccal fat removal may contribute to sunken cheeks during the ageing process.
  • They have progressive hemifacial atrophy (also known as Parry-Romberg syndrome). This is a rare disorder which causes the skin on one side of the face to shrink. This condition is known to affect the buccal fat pad.
  • They are older. As a person ages, fat is naturally lost from the face. In an older person, buccal fat pad removal may emphasise jowls and other signs of ageing, potentially giving the person the unwelcome appearance of being older than their years. If you are over 40, buccal fat removal may not be the best option for you.

Buccal fat removal is carried out under a local anesthetic. This is relatively straightforward surgery and there is a quick recovery time. Patients are usually expected to make a complete recovery in around three weeks, subject to following aftercare advice. This includes using a special mouthwash to avoid infection and sticking to a liquid diet in the days immediately after buccal fat removal surgery. Swelling and bruising should be expected following the procedure, but these will disappear quite quickly. The cheeks can take a few months to settle into their new shape.

One of the big benefits of buccal fat removal is that it doesn’t generally produce any visible scarring as the incisions are made inside the mouth. These run from the cheek to the gum.

Although it is generally considered to be a safe surgery, there is a long list of potential complications. These include excessive bleeding, infection, hematoma, lockjaw, seroma (fluid accumulation), damage to the salivary glands, facial nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac or pulmonary side effects and facial asymmetry. However, these are not common.

If you are considering buccal fat removal at the Cadogan Clinic, one or our expert surgeons will talk you through what you can expect from buccal fat removal surgery and help you to manage your own expectations.

How much does buccal fat removal cost?

The cost of buccal fat removal varies from clinic to clinic, but you should expect to pay in the region of £3,000 to £5,000.

Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we’ve handpicked some of the world's leading surgeons, all experts in their field, to provide a full range of cosmetic surgery procedures at our clinic. Our prices reflect the skills and reputation of the specialists who practice here.

If you are interested in buccal fat pad removal, please get in touch and we will quote you a price. This will be subject to confirmation following a face-to-face appointment with one of our expert surgeons.

Included in our price:

  • Up to two 30 minute–60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
  • Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
  • Return home on the same day to recover in comfort in your own home
  • 24/7 on call nurse assistance
  • Dedicated patient co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
  • A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
  • Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses.

You cannot get buccal fat removal on the NHS as it does not alleviate any serious physical medical problems.

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Where can I get buccal fat removal in London?

Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we are the leading specialist cosmetic surgery clinic based in the heart of London.

All our operations are performed onsite, at our purpose-built, private facility, conveniently located in Sloane Street, Chelsea.

Whatever your personal reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery, the Cadogan Clinic will provide the leading consultants, techniques and facilities for your treatment.

We believe in the delivery of excellent outcomes and results, and exceptional levels of service. Our outcomes are natural and long-lasting, and we remain the premier choice for cosmetic surgery treatments in the UK.

Treatments mentioned in this article


Laurel Wreath for Awards


Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards

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