What Is Buccal Fat Removal and Why Is It Controversial?

A Buccal Fat Removal procedure surgically removes a fat pad from beneath the cheek. The purpose is to create more definition in the cheekbone by removing what is often called the “baby fat” in the cheeks. The procedure has become increasingly common as people spend more time on screen. Whether it’s Instagram or seeing their own faces on Zoom repeatedly, more people desire a more defined visage than ever before. But the procedure itself is controversial, here’s why. 

What is Buccal Fat Removal? 

Buccal fat removal has become incredibly popular in recent years. Like many procedures, its popularity increases due to social media and influencers, making many aspire to achieve a certain idealized look. For many, that means doing something to accentuate their cheekbones and make their faces look more angular. Buccal fat removal is one way of achieving this look.

Why is the Procedure Controversial? 

The main criticism of Buccal Fat Removal is that people lose facial fat naturally as they age (hence the phrase “baby fat”). Some observers worry that removing fat pads from under the cheeks can hurt, rather than help, patients in the long run. For example, as they age, it’s possible they could become unnaturally gaunt-looking as they get older. It is important to assess on a patient-by-patient basis. No quality plastic surgeon will work with the wrong candidate and Dr. Castrellon is no exception. 

Candidates for Buccal Fat Removal

Surgical candidacy rests on several common requirements, regardless of which procedure it is. The ideal candidate for plastic surgery is a non-smoker who is at a healthy weight. When discussing your candidacy it is important to provide a detailed health history and disclose any and all medications or supplements you take. Full disclosure is crucial and even seemingly harmless or “natural” supplements can still be harmful. For example, herbs like St. John’s Wort can interfere with recovery from anaesthesia so it is a supplement to avoid prior to your procedure. 

Finally, the right candidates for cheek slimming will need to have a real desire for the procedure. This is a surgical procedure that will require preparation and aftercare. It’s not something that should be undertaken lightly. 

Buccal Fat Removal Procedure

Buccal fat removal procedures are performed under general anesthesia. The incision is made inside the mouth, to prevent the appearance of visible scars. The surgeon will remove the fatty pads from the cheek area. The size and shape of these vary naturally among patients. Afterwards, your surgeon will close the incision, usually with dissolvable stitches.

Recovery from the surgery can take weeks. During that time, there will be some swelling and discomfort. However, when everything settles down, patients find that they have a more striking look. The cheekbone and hollow are more defined. Results show a more angular look.

Interested in a Procedure?

Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Castrellón where you can discuss any questions you might have and determine the best procedure to achieve your goals.

10 thoughts on “What Is Buccal Fat Removal and Why Is It Controversial?”

  1. I’ve never heard of this procedure before and I’m surprised people would want it. I thought full cheeks were more youthful looking. Interesting…

  2. Steven Morrissette

    Wow, it is truely amazing what surgeries can achieve now a days. I had never heard about Buccal Fat Removal, we learn new stuff everyday.

  3. First time I hear of buccal fat removal. It sound pretty scary to me, though I can see the appeal for women wanting to look like Kim Kardashian.
    What else to say but, to each their own.

  4. It’s interesting to see the movement toward this in social media and how popular it is. I’ve often wondered myself how it looks once the face has aged, but it’s a relief to know this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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