Buccal Fat Removal

If you’ve ever felt that your face carries a somewhat childlike roundness, often termed as having ‘chipmunk cheeks’, or if you’ve desired a sharper, more chiselled facial contour, then a buccal fat removal procedure could be a suitable solution for you. It’s designed to bring greater definition to your mid-face, enhancing the prominence of your cheekbones and slimming the overall appearance of your face.

Buccal fat removal, more formally referred to as buccal lipectomy, is a specialised surgical intervention designed to address excess fat deposits in the cheeks. This procedure carried out through a discreet internal incision inside the mouth, eliminates the possibility of any visible external scarring.

It’s important to understand that the buccal fat pad, located beneath the muscles of the lower cheek, varies significantly between individuals and often remains unaffected by general body weight, meaning that for many people, diet and exercise aren’t able to get this fat to budge.

While procedures like liposuction are not advisable for the reduction of the buccal fat pad – due to potential risks to the nearby nerves – buccal fat removal can be synergistically performed with liposuction and other cosmetic procedures targeting other parts of the face, ensuring a more aesthetic and well-rounded appearance. However, buccal fat removal in London is not for everyone as volume in the face as we age can be considered one of the aspects of a youthful appearance.

At a glance

Procedure Length:
Procedure Length:

Typically 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Out Patient:
Out Patient:

No overnight stay is required.


Local anaesthesia, with or without sedation.


5-7 days for most patients, with minimal activity recommended for the first 48 hours post-procedure.


Wait 48 hours post-procedure before showering to protect incisions and resume with gentle cleansing after.


Sleep with the head elevated for the first few nights to reduce swelling.


Refrain using on or near the surgical area for at least 7 days or until wounds are fully healed.


Avoid driving for at least 24 hours post-procedure, or until off pain medications.


Avoid smoking at least 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks post-procedure.

Sun Exposure:
Sun Exposure:

Limited for 2 weeks. Use a high-SPF and protective wear when outside.

Is Buccal Fat Removal the Right Choice for You?

For those who believe their face appears excessively round or carries a fullness they’d like to reduce, buccal fat removal offers the possibility of a more long-term solution to a more balanced look. However, there are certain criteria individuals must meet to deem whether this procedure is applicable or not:


– It’s essential to be within a close range of your ideal weight, preferably within 10kg, to be considered an ideal candidate.


-You must identify whether the roundness of the face is primarily due to buccal fat pads or subcutaneous fat resulting from weight gain.


– For individuals with inherently slender faces, removal of the buccal fat pad might result in an excessively thin appearance, lacking the natural fullness provided by these pads.

Benefits of Buccal Fat Removal

It’s important to grasp the key benefits of buccal fat removal. This helps you set realistic expectations for the outcome and affirms your decision to undergo a buccal fat removal procedure. Below are just some of the many benefits that this treatment has to offer:

  • No Visible Scars:

    The procedure is done inside the mouth, so no external scars are left.

  • Slimmer Appearance:

    Done right, the face takes on a more refined, leaner look, helping you get that slim look that exercise or diet hasn’t been able to give.

  • Permanent Results:

    The contoured appearance stays, even if you gain weight later.

  • Quick Procedure:

    The entire operation usually wraps up in just over an hour.

  • Short Downtime:

    Most people are back to work in about 3 days.

  • Matured Look:

    Ideal for adults wanting to shed the ‘baby face’ and achieve a mature facial contour.

Buccal Fat Removal Procedure Steps

Buccal fat removal is a delicate procedure, designed to enhance facial contours by reducing excessive cheek fullness. Understanding how the buccal fat removal procedure works can give you some reassurance if you’re worried about how the procedure may go or if you want more clarity. The steps involved during the procedure are tailored based on individual requirements, but generally follow the outline below:

  • Anaesthesia

    To ensure patient comfort, local anaesthesia is administered, sometimes coupled with sedation based on patient and surgeon preferences.

  • Incision

    A small internal incision, typically about 2 cm or smaller, is made on the inside of the cheek, often in the region opposite the second upper molar.

  • Exposing and Removing the Fat

    The buccal fat pad is carefully exposed by delicately separating the underlying tissues. Once sufficiently exposed, the buccal fat is gently teased out, and the desired amount is excised. This is done with precision to achieve the intended facial contour.

  • Closure

    The incision is meticulously sutured using dissolvable stitches, which naturally degrade over time.

Risks and Complications

Every surgical procedure, including buccal fat removal, carries inherent risks. While modern surgical and anaesthetic techniques are broadly safe, patients must be aware of the potential complications, both specific to the procedure and general in nature.

There’s a possibility of unevenness between the two cheeks post-operation. This is normal and may be corrected following a smaller procedure.

This can lead to a hematoma, where blood collects in the cheek.

In some cases, infections may arise, necessitating antibiotic treatment.

The incisions may heal slowly, particularly in smokers or those with diabetes.

This refers to the build-up of fluid in the cheek, which might require drainage.

Typically a temporary sensation post-operation.

Care is taken, but there’s a slight risk of damage to a salivary duct.

On rare occasions and in theory, branches of the facial nerve which lie close to the site of surgery can be injured, leading to muscle weakness which is nearly always temporary but can be long-lasting.


After the procedure, consistently apply cold compresses to your cheeks to minimise swelling and soothe discomfort, especially for the first 3 days. Drinking cool water is also recommended. With the surgical incisions made inside your cheeks, it’s essential to consume soft foods, avoiding anything too warm or spicy for the initial 24 hours.


It’s natural to experience swelling post-surgery, and you might notice your face appearing fuller due to the body’s fluid response. Most of this swelling typically subsides within two weeks. However, it’s important to be patient, as the full results, revealing a more contoured face, may take between three to six months to fully manifest. Regular follow-ups with Mr Kshem Yapa will ensure a smooth healing journey.

Book your consultation

If you would like to discuss this procedure in detail and understand if it’s the right procedure for your goals, book a consultation with Mr Kshem Yapa.


Get in touch today

If you would like to book a consultation with Kshem Yapa or learn a little more about our procedures and services please contact us via the form below to request a call back. We offer face-to-face consultations at our Harley Street Clinic and virtual consultations for those unable to attend our clinic.