“Cheeky” is a British adjective for being impudent, audacious, impertinent, or irreverent, though perhaps in a fun way.

In our world, being “cheeky” means having full cheeks.  Just like the British adjective, this can be good or bad.   Having nice full cheekbones is good, and having a round backside is good.  We can add to the cheeks and butt to get beautiful shapes. Cheekbones and the submalar areas get hyaluronic acid, silicone implants, or fat grafting for a youthful appearance.  To get a backside peach we can use fat (with a long recovery) or Sculptra(TM) with almost no recovery.

But, what if you are too cheeky?  If your backside is too big or you have banana rolls blunting the transition from your bottom to your thighs we can do liposuction or fat freezing.  In both cases the number of fat cells is permanently reduced and you get a more shapely appearance.

And what if you have chipmunk cheeks?  Many people dislike that appearance of having full cheeks as if you had something tucked into your mouth (the way a chipmunk or squirrel would stash an acorn).  When the cheek fullness is too much over the soft side of your mouth (rather than the bony area) we need to remove the buccal fat.

“Buccal” is an adjective referring to that part of the cheek.  (The “buccal mucosa” is the red lining of your mouth that you may bite if you “bite your cheek”.)  Inside the skin of this area are some salivary glands, some nerves, and a large fat pad called the buccal fat.​  To remove the fat I put in a small amount of numbing medicine and then make a tiny incision (about the width of your pinky fingernail).  The fat is then teased out and one or two dissolving stitches is placed.

Complications from this procedure are rare.  Though there are salivary ducts, nerves, and blood vessels in this area that could be injured the worst complication we’ve ever seen is some bruising and even that is uncommon.

People sometimes worry that as they get older they’ll look too thin if they remove the buccal fat.  I don’t believe so. People with “chipmunk cheeks” are not likely to look thin and drawn over time. They have a different facial shape.  But, if for some reason the area looked too thin it’s easy enough to restore volume to the area, only we’d put the right amount and not the excess causing the bulging cheek look that brought the person in the first time.

At TSC we can make people more or less cheeky, but in all cases they’ll end up feeling more fun and attractive!

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With 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.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. 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.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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