Buccal Fat Removal Las Vegas

Because most of us don’t want pinchable cheeks when we grow up

Most of us go gaga over “chipmunk cheeks” on a baby or toddler, but seeing them reflected back in the mirror every day as an adult is another story. While a soft, filled out face is typically considered to look naturally youthful, too much fullness below the cheekbones can sometimes make the face look full or chubby—and for younger adults, having a “baby face” isn’t always the look they hope for.

If the above sounds familiar, you’ll be happy to know that this chubby look can be improved through buccal fat removal. Dr. Samir Pancholi has many years of experience with this procedure and is happy to discuss your options during a private consultation.

What causes buccal fat pads?

Buccal fat pads (chubby cheeks) are fixed, fat pads found between the cheekbones and jaw that help to fill deep tissue spaces, allow your muscles to contract in a gliding motion, and cushion important structures, muscles, and tissues of the face. In some cases, however, buccal fat pads are unnecessarily large or even displaced (“pseudoherniation”), which can cause an overly full look that camouflages the natural contours of the face.

In patients who are at a stable body weight, this excess fullness is usually genetic—and there aren’t really toning exercises for the face! For patients who are overweight or who have had weight fluctuation in the past, chubby cheeks are often a natural result of weight gain. In some cases, weight loss will reduce the appearance of this fullness, though some find that facial fat can be difficult to get rid of through healthy eating and routine exercise.

What is buccal fat removal?

Designed to reduce prominent cheeks, buccal fat removal is a surgical procedure that removes this naturally occuring pad of fat in the cheek hollows. This typically involves a combination of direct excision of the pad and liposuction as needed to provide the best contour for your face. Your procedure should take around 30 minutes to an hour and may be performed under either local or general anesthesia, depending on your unique circumstances and Dr. Pancholi’s recommendation.

Most often, a small incision made in the back of your mouth is all that is needed to allow Dr. Pancholi access to the buccal pad. Through this incision, Dr. Pancholi will carefully and precisely bypass surrounding tissues and muscle to access the buccal fat, which he will then gently remove.

Many of our patients opt to have additional contouring performed around the jawline and under the chin, a procedure known as submentoplasty, at the same time to provide an overall slimmer look that proportionately frames the face. In these cases, Dr. Pancholi will make small, inconspicuous incisions and then use liposuction techniques to contour.

With any procedure that targets small areas of fat and requires finely detailed contouring, it’s crucial to work with a cosmetic surgeon who is experienced with the procedure. In the hands of an inexperienced surgeon, buccal fat removal can result in an asymmetrical appearance, the removal of too much fat, and surgical complications.

  • Defined Facial Contours: This procedure can create more defined cheekbones and a slimmer facial profile, enhancing facial contours.
  • Reduction of Chubby Cheeks: For individuals self-conscious about having “chubby” or “baby” cheeks, buccal fat removal provides a more sculpted, mature facial appearance.
  • Long-Lasting Results: The effects of buccal fat removal are permanent, ensuring that the achieved facial contouring lasts a lifetime, barring significant weight fluctuations.
  • Enhanced Facial Aesthetics: By balancing facial proportions, this procedure can contribute to a more aesthetically pleasing and harmonious face.
  • Minimal Scarring: Since the surgery is performed inside the mouth, there are no visible scars on the face.
  • Quick Recovery: The recovery period for buccal fat removal is relatively short, with most patients resuming normal activities within a few days.
  • Minimal Risk of Complications: When performed by an experienced surgeon, buccal fat removal is generally safe with a low risk of complications.
  • Subtle yet Noticeable Improvement: The changes, while subtle, can significantly enhance one’s facial aesthetics without appearing drastic or unnatural.
  • Anesthesia: Medications used to prevent pain during surgery, which can be either general (inducing unconsciousness) or local (numbing a specific area).
  • Buccal Fat Pad: A naturally occurring pad of fat in the cheek area, beneath the cheekbones. Its size can significantly influence facial fullness.
  • Buccal Fat Removal (Bichectomy): A cosmetic surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size of the buccal fat pads to create a more contoured, slimmed facial appearance.
  • Cheek Contour: The shape and definition of the cheek area. Buccal fat removal is often sought to enhance the cheek contour by reducing fullness and creating more defined cheek hollows.
  • Cheek Hollowing: The aesthetic goal of buccal fat removal, where the removal of buccal fat pads results in a more defined and sculpted cheek area.
  • Incision: A small surgical cut made inside the mouth during the buccal fat removal procedure, allowing access to the buccal fat pads.
  • Local Anesthesia: A type of anesthesia used to numb a specific area of the body, often used in buccal fat removal procedures.
  • Minimal Invasiveness: A characteristic of procedures like buccal fat removal, which involve smaller incisions and typically have a quicker recovery compared to more invasive surgeries.
  • Recovery Period: The time it takes for a patient to heal after undergoing buccal fat removal, typically involving rest and limited physical activity.
  • Surgical Precision: The high level of accuracy and care required in procedures like buccal fat removal to ensure optimal results and minimize risks.
  • Swelling: A common postoperative symptom following buccal fat removal, usually temporary as the area heals.

Video: Procedure overview with Dr. Pancholi

In these videos from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Pancholi shares why buccal fat pad removal is a popular procedure, how it works, and what to expect during and after the surgery.

How much does buccal fat removal cost in Las Vegas?

The cost of buccal fat removal in Las Vegas starts at $4,990The full cost of your procedure will depend on the severity of your concerns and the most appropriate technique to address them. Your final price will include all of your appointments, your surgeon’s fee, use of the operating facility, OR team, anesthesiologist, and all equipment and dressings necessary.

See our financing & payment options

Am I a good candidate for buccal fat removal?

Because buccal fat removal is a fairly straightforward and safe procedure when performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon, we’ve found that most of our patients who want to slim down their cheeks are good candidates for a successful outcome they’ll love. There are a few criteria you must meet before Dr. Pancholi will consider you for surgery:

  • You are unhappy with the fullness of your cheeks
  • You are a healthy, non-smoker at a stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations and understand the risks associated with any surgery.

It’s also important that you understand that the removal of fat from the face may impact the way you age. As you get older and lose tone and definition, lack of volume can lead to an aged appearance in some instances—particularly if you have a thin or narrow face. During your consultation, Dr. Pancholi will examine your face and make a recommendation based on your unique anatomy while considering how your appearance will change with natural aging.

If the fullness of your cheeks is the result of excess body weight, Dr. Pancholi may recommend reaching a stable, healthy body weight before considering surgery.

What is recovery like after buccal fat removal?

As Dr. Pancholi can typically achieve a great result using just one small incision inside the mouth, most patients report that recovery is a fairly quick and comfortable experience. It’s normal to experience swelling and tenderness in the cheek area both inside the mouth and externally. A liquid diet may be recommended for the first week after your procedure to ensure your comfort and avoid straining the healing tissues and incision. Dr. Pancholi may also advise you to use a special rinse to help keep the incision clean and minimize your risk of infection.

Most patients are able to return to non-strenuous work within just a couple days, as long as they follow other aftercare instructions. While you will start to feel normal and swelling will begin to decrease within a week, it can take several weeks to see your final results.

References »

Pokrowiecki R. Extended buccal lipectomy (bichectomy) for extreme cheek contouring. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2022 Jul;51(7):929-932. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2021.09.003. 

Matarasso A. Buccal fat pad excision: aesthetic improvement of the midface. Annals of Plastic Surgery. 1991 May;26(5):413-8. doi: 10.1097/00000637-199105000-00001. 

Davis B, Serra M. Buccal Fat Pad Reduction. 2022 Nov 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. 

Moura LB, Spin JR, Spin-Neto R, Pereira-Filho VA. Buccal fat pad removal to improve facial aesthetics: an established technique? Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral, Cirugia Bucal. 2018 Jul 1;23(4):e478-e484. doi: 10.4317/medoral.22449. 

Traboulsi-Garet B, Camps-Font O, Traboulsi-Garet M, Gay-Escoda C. Buccal fat pad excision for cheek refinement: A systematic review. Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral, Cirugia Bucal. 2021 Jul 1;26(4):e474-e481. doi: 10.4317/medoral.24335. 

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