Buccal Fat Removal

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Beachwood and Cleveland, Ohio

Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic surgery procedure popular among individuals who want to achieve a more sculpted and defined facial appearance by removing excess fat from their cheeks. Buccal fat removal is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia, making it a relatively low-risk option for patients. Buccal fat removal is designed to create subtle changes in facial appearance rather than dramatic transformations. Patients who want to slim their face, highlight their cheekbones, and create a more chiseled look may be ideal candidates for buccal fat removal.

Dr. Gregory Fedele is proud to perform this procedure for his patients in Cleveland, OH, seeking to improve their facial contours and achieve a more youthful, defined appearance. Dr. Fedele is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facial plastic surgery. His passion for plastic surgery and commitment to his patients is deeply rooted in his Cleveland heritage. He is proud to serve the community he grew up in by providing high-quality, personalized care tailored to each patient’s needs. Whether his patients seek buccal fat removal or other facial procedures, Dr. Fedele is dedicated to helping them achieve their aesthetic goals and feel confident in their appearance. Ready to learn more? Call The Art of Plastic Surgery today at 216-464-1616 or complete this form, and we will contact you shortly.

The Art of Plastic Surgery blog provides patients insight into the most popular cosmetic improvements. 

Before and After Photos

All About Buccal Fat Pads

Buccal fat pads are located in the lower part of the cheeks, just below the cheekbones. The buccal fat pad is a unique structure composed of adipose tissue, a connective tissue that stores fat. The buccal fat pad is often described as a “ball” of fat, with a fibrous capsule surrounding it and keeping it in place. 

The size and shape of the buccal fat pad can vary depending on various factors, including 

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Overall body composition

In some individuals, the buccal fat pads can be quite prominent, leading to a rounded, “chubby” appearance in the lower part of the cheeks. In others, the buccal fat pads may be smaller and less noticeable.

Despite their location in the face, the buccal fat pads are not typically affected by changes in body weight. This is because the buccal fat pads are thought to have a different embryological origin than other fat deposits in the body. [1] While other fat deposits may shrink or grow in response to changes in diet and exercise, the buccal fat pads tend to remain relatively stable.

In addition to their role in facial appearance, buccal fat pads play an important function in the body. Specifically, they help to provide cushioning and support for the muscles of the cheeks and jaw, which can help to protect the teeth and other structures in the mouth.

The size of the buccal fat pads can vary widely between individuals and even between the left and right sides of the face in the same person. While buccal fat pads can contribute to a youthful, full-cheeked appearance, they can also make a face appear overly round or chubby in some individuals.

What are the Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal?

The benefits of buccal fat removal are primarily cosmetic in nature, with the procedure being designed to create a slimmer, more contoured appearance in the cheeks and lower face. Some of the specific benefits of buccal fat removal may include:

  • Improved facial proportions – Removing a small amount of fat can help create more balanced, aesthetically pleasing facial proportions for individuals with prominent buccal fat pads.
  • Enhanced facial definition – Reducing the pads’ volume can help create more defined contours in the cheeks and lower face, leading to a more chiseled, angular appearance.
  • Improved confidence – For individuals self-conscious about their facial appearance, buccal fat removal can be a transformative procedure, leading to increased self-confidence and improved quality of life.

It is often said that buccal fat pads play a role in facial aging, as they can lose volume over time and contribute to a more hollow or gaunt appearance. [2] Some patients may be concerned about the potential long-term impact of buccal fat removal on facial aging. Still, the short-term cosmetic benefits of the procedure often outweigh this concern.

Candidates for Buccal Fat Removal

Younger patients with excess fat in their cheeks looking to achieve a more chiseled and contoured facial appearance are typically good candidates for buccal fat removal. 

The face naturally loses volume and fat as we age, leading to a more hollow or gaunt appearance. While buccal fat removal can provide significant cosmetic benefits in the short term, it may accelerate this natural aging process and lead to a prematurely aged appearance. Therefore, individuals already experiencing significant volume loss in their face may not be good candidates for this procedure.

It is important for candidates to have realistic expectations of the outcome of the procedure and to work with an experienced surgeon like Dr. Fedele, who can help them make an informed decision about whether buccal fat removal is right for them.

Personal Consultation

During a consultation for buccal fat removal with Dr. Fedele, patients can expect a thorough examination of their facial structure and a discussion of their aesthetic goals. Dr. Fedele will take the time to listen to the patient’s concerns and answer any questions they may have about the procedure.

Dr. Fedele will also evaluate their overall health and medical history to determine if a patient is a good candidate for the procedure. He may take photographs of the patient’s face and use before and after images of Cleveland patients who have previously had the surgery to show potential results.

Dr. Fedele will explain the procedure in detail, including the risks and benefits, and discuss what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. He will also provide instructions on preparing for the procedure. It’s important to inform him of all the medications you’re currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal remedies.

We look forward to meeting you at your consultation appointment. Schedule yours by calling 216-464-1616 today!

Preparing for Buccal Fat Removal

Preparing for buccal fat removal requires preparation to ensure a successful outcome and a smooth recovery. The following are some steps that you may be asked to take before your surgery:

  • You may need a medical evaluation or lab testing to ensure you are healthy for surgery. Dr. Fedele may require you to obtain clearance from your primary care physician or specialist before scheduling your surgery.
  • Dr. Fedele may ask you to adjust or stop taking certain medications before your surgery, especially if they can increase bleeding or interfere with the anesthesia.
  • It’s highly recommended that you quit smoking for at least four weeks before and after your surgery. Smoking can interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Buccal fat removal surgery can be performed in a hospital, licensed ambulatory surgery setting, or an in-office procedure room. Depending on the extent of your surgery and anesthesia, you may need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery and stay with you for at least the first night following the procedure.

The Buccal Fat Removal Procedure

During the procedure to remove buccal fat, Dr. Fedele will make a small incision inside your cheek, using local anesthesia to numb the area. Before making the incision, he will locate the Stenson duct, which is the opening of the parotid gland into your mouth. Then, he will make a shallow horizontal cut in the lining of your cheek, about 1.5 cm in length, using a retractor tool to hold your cheek open. He will then gently separate the muscle to reach the buccal fat pad.

Once Dr. Fedele exposes the yellow fat pad, he will take out a small amount, usually about 3-5cc. [3] He will remove the fat pad without applying too much pressure to avoid harming nearby structures. Finally, he will stitch the lining of your cheek using absorbable sutures to close the incision.

Recovery After Buccal Fat Removal

To aid in the healing process, patients should follow these recovery tips:

Rest and Take It Easy

Resting for the first few days after surgery is important, and avoiding strenuous activities for several weeks is vital.

Apply Ice Packs

Patients can apply ice packs to the treated area for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and bruising.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Patients should continue to brush and floss their teeth as normal, avoiding the surgical area.

Follow a Soft Diet

To avoid disturbing the healing area, patients should stick to a soft or liquid diet for the first few days following surgery.

What are the Results of Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal can help younger patients looking to get rid of their “baby face” to create a more sleek and sophisticated look. For patients looking to slim their faces, buccal fat removal can help create a more defined jawline and enhance the appearance of cheekbones. This can create a more angular, sculpted look that many desire.

In addition to creating a more defined facial structure, buccal fat removal can also help patients look younger. As we age, the fat pads in our faces can droop and sag, leading to a more tired or haggard appearance. Removing excess buccal fat can help create a more youthful, vibrant look by restoring volume to the cheeks and improving facial contours.

What is the Cost of Buccal Fat Removal in Cleveland, OH?

The cost of your procedure will vary based on many factors. Dr. Fedele looks forward to discussing them with you during the consultation. Call 216-464-1616 to get started.


  1. Salehi-Nik N, Rezai Rad M, Kheiri L, Nazeman P, Nadjmi N, Khojasteh A. Buccal Fat Pad as a Potential Source of Stem Cells for Bone Regeneration: A Literature Review. Stem Cells International. 2017;2017:1-13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8354640
  2. Wan, Dinah MD; Amirlak, Bardia MD; Rohrich, Rod MD; Davis, Kathryn PhD. The Clinical Importance of the Fat Compartments in Midfacial Aging. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open 1(9):p e92, December 2013. | DOI: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000035
  3. Davis B, Serra M. Buccal Fat Pad Reduction. PubMed. Published 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK576413/