Buccal fat pad removal FAQs

By: Dr. Lawrence Iteld


Buccal fat removal is a trending cosmetic surgery procedure taking over social media. You’ve probably seen photos of celebrities who have had this done. Buccal fat pad removal has also become very popular with patients looking to address their full or chubby cheeks and with those who have an overly round face. During this procedure, Dr. Iteld surgically removes a portion of the buccal fat pads, making a significant impact on the overall shape of your face. Patients can expect to see:

  • a more defined jawline
  • a slimmer facial shape
  • enhanced natural face contours
  • the appearance of more sculpted, defined cheekbones

The procedure doesn’t raise the cheekbones but can give you the appearance of cheekbones that are higher and more pronounced without make-up.

Curious about buccal fat pad removal?

With all the hype surrounding buccal fat pad removal, you probably have questions about this procedure. Here are the most commonly asked questions:

What is Buccal Fat Pad Removal?

Buccal fat pads are located in the lower section of the cheeks and often slip down towards the jowls as we age, which can leave you with the appearance of chubby “chipmunk” cheeks. Some patients have always had large buccal fat pads, causing a “baby face” into adulthood. This surgical procedure can slim and sculpt your face by strategically removing part of the underlying fat pads in the hollows of the cheeks. The procedure’s goal is to eliminate excess cheek fat. By doing this, your cheekbones have more definition, and your face takes on a thinner, more chiseled appearance. By removing a specific portion of the buccal fat pads, your face can also appear more symmetrical. Since removing fat may cause the face to look gaunter or skeletal with age, this surgery is typically not performed for people with thin, narrow faces.

What facial issues do buccal fat pad removal address?

This procedure has become popular with patients who want to address the following issues:

  • An overly round face
  • Chubby or full cheeks
  • Chipmunk” cheeks
  • Heavy, droopy jowls
  • Lack of facial definition
  • The desire for a more sculpted, balanced facial appearance

Buccal fat pad removal can help slim your face and define your features for a more classically attractive appearance.

Are you a candidate?

This surgical procedure is ideal if you dislike having cheeks that look puffy or are unhappy with feeling your face is overly round. As with other plastic surgeries, you may be a good candidate for buccal fat removal if you are in good physical health, maintain a stable weight within 20 pounds of your ideal weight, do not smoke, and have realistic expectations.

Why shouldn’t you have buccal fat removal surgery?

As we age, facial fat often atrophies, creating hollowed-out areas. If you have your buccal fat pads removed when you’re younger, you may look overly hollow when you’re older. This can be remedied by having fat transferred to your face from other body areas and/or adding dermal fillers.

Discover if buccal fat pad removal is right for you

Interested in discovering if you’re a good candidate for buccal fat pad removal? Please contact our experienced patient coordinators to schedule your confidential consultation. Contact us or send us an email at [email protected]. _________ Lawrence Iteld, MD, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the Illinois Society of Plastic Surgery. A highly regarded Chicago based plastic surgeon, Dr. Iteld has received awards from Chicago Magazine’s Top Docs, and Castle Connolly Top Doctors®, and is a Key Opinion Leader with Allergan Aesthetics.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.