If you have a “cheeky” face, even if you are slim and trim, it may be an enlargement of the buccal fat pads.  The buccal fat is egg-yolk-sized (and egg-yolk color!) pads of fat that sit on the soft part of your cheek and can make you look like you have “chipmunk cheeks”.  The good news for you is that these buccal fat pads can be easily removed in an in-office procedure called Buccal Fat Removal which takes only about 30 minutes if you are going to an experienced surgeon that does many of these buccal fat removal procedures.

Yes! You read it right! Buccal fat removal is a simple in-office procedure that gets done from the inside of your mouth with local anesthesia, just like the numbing you get at the dentist’s office. The procedure will highlight the cheekbone structure of your face and often help create a more pronounced, snatched, jaw.

This can also be an important part of getting the best results from a facelift.  Be sure to ask your surgeon if buccal fat removal or cheek reduction should be considered to ensure you get the best results out of your facelift procedure. “This is critical, and I cannot emphasize it enough”, says Dr. Spiegel.

During your buccal fat procedure, expect to receive local anesthesia to numb the inside cheek area of your mouth while you remain awake during the entire procedure. Often people will bring headphones to listen to their music. But you may want to stay awake, to not miss a moment with the famous Dr. Spiegel. (People often say they enjoyed the procedure and the conversation!) If you’re having more than one procedure done at the same time, you may receive general anesthesia.  And, if you are anxious about the procedure, but want to do it in the office, it’s easy to get a bit of relaxing medication. If you choose this, you will need someone to drive you home afterward.

After you’re nice and numb, a small incision is made on the inside of your mouth on both sides to expose and gently remove the buccal fat pads. Your surgeon will be assisted by an expert assistant in the room (often another doctor or a professional medical assistant) who will retract your cheeks to allow greater vision of the buccal fat pad area. They often help by holding your hand should you need it, and they can show you at the end just how much fat was removed. Many people are eager to see it (but you don’t have to).

There are several YouTube videos that Dr. Spiegel has created to ensure you have all the information before your turn. Check out https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_ffND9v-_vP5UKw4otpawpounoWIBrm1

After the Buccal fat pads are removed, the doctor will close the small incisions with sutures. In most cases, these sutures are dissolvable, which means that over the next week or so your sutures will dissolve on their own and you will see your cheeks start to slim.

Your doctor, and our incredible team of patient care coordinators, will explain in detail how to care for your incisions. You may be given a special mouth rinse to help with healing and keeping your mouth clean.  You can eat anything you wish right after, but you likely won’t want spicy or crunchy foods for a day or two. Some swelling along the cheeks is expected and should quickly fade as your face heals and slims. Depending on how many procedures you get at the same time, your age, and general health, you can expect a few months before you see the final results of the procedure, but don’t worry, you’ll notice an improvement quickly!

As always, Dr. Spiegel recommends doing your research and looking at videos and reviews to feel confident you’ve selected the best-experienced surgeon for your facial procedure.

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel
Dr. Jeffrey SpiegelWith special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor. Learn more....

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel
Dr. Onir L. SpiegelDr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry. Learn more....