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Buccal Fat Removal Surgery in Newport Beach, CA

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Overview of Buccal Fat Removal Surgery in Newport Beach

Buccal fat removal surgery involves extracting the excess fat pads from the cheek area to create a more contoured and defined facial anatomy. This surgical procedure is common for those seeking a slimmer face and enhanced cheekbones.

What Is a Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat pad removal or buccal fat reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure aimed at reducing the fullness in the lower cheeks. The buccal fat pad, a natural fatty deposit, is located beneath the cheekbone. By removing these pads, the surgeon can highlight the bones of the face, particularly the cheekbones and jawline.

The surgery is minimally invasive, typically performed under local anesthesia. It’s also known as cheek reduction surgery or buccal lipectomy. The entire process is relatively quick, usually taking about an hour.

Why Have Buccal Fat Removal Surgery Done in Newport Beach?

Choosing to have buccal fat removal surgery in Newport Beach, CA can offer several advantages. Newport Beach is known for its experienced plastic surgeons and high-quality medical facilities. Patients can expect personalized care and attention, enhancing the overall experience. The scenic environment of Newport Beach adds to the recovery setting, making it a comfortable place to heal.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

A good candidate for buccal fat removal surgery usually has a round or fuller face and desires a more sculpted look. Ideal candidates are in good health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about the outcomes.

It’s crucial to have a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss one’s goals and determine if the procedure suits their needs. Individuals with ongoing health issues or those seeking an unrealistic transformation may not be suitable for the surgery.

Choosing a Buccal Fat Removal Surgeon in Newport Beach

Selecting the right plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California (CA) for buccal fat removal surgery involves careful consideration. Essential factors include the surgeon’s experience, board certification, and a proven track record with the procedure.

How Do I Choose a Plastic Surgeon for Buccal Fat Removal Surgery in Newport Beach?

Ensure that the plastic surgeon is board-certified. This certification guarantees the surgeon meets specific standards of excellence.

Look for a plastic surgeon with substantial experience performing buccal fat removal surgery. A surgeon with a robust history in this specific procedure is more likely to deliver desirable outcomes.

Membership in professional organizations, like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), is often an indicator of a surgeon’s commitment to high standards.

Selecting a plastic surgeon who excels in these areas increases the likelihood of a successful and satisfactory buccal fat removal surgery.

Consultation Process

Consulting with an experienced plastic surgeon is a critical first step in the buccal fat removal journey. This process involves thorough discussions about health history, desired outcomes, and the specifics of the surgery itself.

What Questions Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon About Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

It’s essential to ask the right questions during the consultation to ensure you’re well-informed.

  • What are the risks and potential complications?
  • How experienced are you with buccal fat removal?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • What is the expected recovery timeline?

What Should I Expect During a Consultation for Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will assess your overall health to ensure you are a suitable candidate.

  • Medical History Review: This includes discussing current medications, allergies, and any past surgeries.
  • Physical Examination: The surgeon may examine your face to evaluate the buccal fat pads and determine the best approach for removal.
  • Discussion of Expectations: Clearly outline your aesthetic goals and what you hope to achieve from the surgery.
  • Explanation of the Procedure: The surgeon will provide a step-by-step explanation of the surgery process, including the use of anesthesia, risks, the technique for removing the excess buccal fat and the recovery care.

Ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the procedure and recovery process will help you make an informed decision about proceeding with buccal fat removal surgery.

Understanding the Buccal Fat Removal Procedure

Buccal fat removal surgery aims to create a better-defined facial structure by removing fat pads from the cheeks.

What Medical Terms Should I Know About Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

Buccal Fat Pads: These are fat deposits located in the lower part of the cheeks.

Incisions: Small cuts made on the inside of the mouth during the surgery.

General Anesthesia: A form of controlled unconsciousness to ensure no pain or memory of the surgery.

Local Anesthesia: Numbs a specific area of the body while the patient stays awake.

Sutures: Stitches used to close the incisions, which can be dissolvable.

Cheek Hollows: Indented spaces between the cheekbones and jawline.

What Types of Buccal Fat Removal Surgeries Are There?

Traditional Buccal Fat Removal: This is the common approach where the surgeon removes buccal fat pads through incisions inside the mouth.

Minimally Invasive Technique: Some surgeons opt for a more conservative method to remove smaller amounts of fat.

Combination Procedures: Buccal fat removal can be combined with other facial surgeries like facelifts or liposuction for enhanced results.

Recovery: Regardless of the method used, recovery typically involves some swelling and numbness which diminishes over a few weeks.

What Are the Surgical Steps of a Buccal Fat Removal Procedure?

Step 1 – Anesthesia: The procedure begins with the administration of either general or local anesthesia based on the patient’s preference and the surgeon’s recommendation.

Step 2 – Incisions: Small incisions are made on the inner side of the cheeks, making the scars invisible.

Step 3 – Fat Pad Removal: The surgeon will carefully cut and remove the buccal fat pads to achieve the desired contour.

Step 4 – Sutures: The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures. The patient can usually see initial changes within the first week, although full results may take a few months.

Recovery: Patients should follow post-surgery care guidelines, which include managing swelling, maintaining oral hygiene, and attending follow-up appointments.

Cost of Newport Beach Buccal Fat Removal Surgery in California

Buccal fat removal surgery, also known as cheek reduction, involves financial considerations that vary based on surgeon and facility.

How Much Does Buccal Fat Removal Cost?

The cost of buccal fat removal surgery in Newport Beach, CA varies widely. On average, patients in major U.S. cities spend around $2,900, according to RealSelf. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates the average at $2,883, which doesn’t include additional fees.

Some patients report costs as high as $20,000 for the procedure, influenced by the surgeon’s expertise and the medical facility’s standards. Conversely, simple procedures can be as low as $1,000.

Insurance Coverage

Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure designed to thin the cheeks and emphasize facial contours. Due to its elective nature, health insurance plans typically do not cover the costs associated with this surgery.

Is Buccal Fat Removal Covered by Insurance?

In most cases, buccal fat removal is not covered by insurance. Health insurance companies categorize it as a non-essential cosmetic procedure, which means patients must bear the full cost out of pocket. Fees can include the surgeon’s experience, facility usage, and type of anesthesia used.

It is essential to consult with the chosen medical provider about all potential charges. Some may offer financing plans to ease the financial burden. However, these options vary significantly depending on the provider and location.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

Non-surgical alternatives to buccal fat removal provide less invasive ways to shape and contour the face. These alternatives can be appealing for those who want to avoid surgery but still achieve a slimmer, more defined facial appearance.

What Non-Surgical Alternatives Are There to Buccal Fat Removal?

Dermal fillers are injectable substances that add volume to specific areas of the face. They can be used to enhance cheekbones, reducing the prominence of buccal fat pads. Fillers create a more balanced facial structure and often result in a youthful appearance.


Kybella is an injectable treatment specifically designed to reduce fat cells. Originally approved for treating submental fat (double chin), it can also be used for buccal fat. Kybella employs deoxycholic acid to break down fat cells, which the body then naturally eliminates.

Botox and Facial Exercises

Botox, commonly known for reducing wrinkles, can also be used to slim the face. Botox injections weaken the muscles around the cheeks, leading to a subtle lifting effect. Alongside Botox, facial exercises aim to tone facial muscles, enhancing the shape of the cheeks without surgical intervention.

Pros and Cons

Buccal fat removal surgery offers several advantages, such as a more contoured face, but it also comes with potential downsides, including changes in facial volume over time.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?


Buccal fat removal can significantly enhance cheek definition by removing fat pads between the cheekbones and jawline.

Short procedure: The surgery takes less than an hour and requires minimal downtime, often just 3-4 days.

No visible scarring: Incisions are made inside the mouth, which means there are no external scars.

Permanent results: Once the fat is removed, it does not come back, providing long-lasting outcomes.


Recovery might involve swelling for about two weeks, and full results can take up to three months to become apparent.

Long-term risks: Facial volume naturally decreases with age, which can lead to a gaunt appearance or hollow cheeks over time after buccal fat is removed.

Cost considerations: The procedure can be expensive, ranging between $3,000 and $8,000, and is typically not covered by insurance.

Weight gain complications: Any significant weight gain post-surgery can affect the facial appearance, potentially negating the surgery’s slimming effect.

Side Effects, Risks and Complications

Buccal fat removal surgery can offer an enhanced facial appearance by highlighting the cheekbones and jawline. However, it is crucial to be aware of potential side effects, risks, and complications.

Are There Side Effects, Risks, or Complications of Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

After the procedure, patients often experience swelling and bruising around the cheeks. These side effects are generally temporary and subside within a few weeks. Pain and discomfort are common, but manageable with prescribed medications.

The surgery comes with inherent risks such as infection, bleeding, and reaction to anesthesia. Asymmetry can occur if the fat is not removed evenly from both sides of the face. Nerve damage is a rare but serious risk that may lead to temporary or permanent facial numbness.

Proper aftercare is essential for a smooth recovery and effective healing.

Preparation for Surgery

Preparation for buccal fat removal surgery involves steps like medical evaluations, adjusting medications, and lifestyle changes to ensure a safe and effective procedure.

How Should I Prepare for a Buccal Fat Removal?

Patients should have a detailed consultation with their surgeon to discuss goals and expectations. A comprehensive medical evaluation is crucial. This includes lab tests to confirm the patient is in good health and suitable for the surgery.

Patients may need to adjust their current medications. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding risks. Always inform the surgeon of all medications currently being taken.

Smoking should be stopped several weeks before surgery as it can impair healing and increase the risk of complications. Maintaining a balanced diet and proper hydration is important to prepare the body for surgery and recovery.

Buccal Fat Removal Recovery Process

Recovering from buccal fat removal involves multiple phases, including managing swelling, bruising, and pain. Proper care and following medical advice are crucial for a smooth healing process.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal recovery varies by individual but generally follows a typical timeline. In the first weeks, expect initial changes such as decreased swelling and an initial glimpse of new facial contours. Bruising and swelling are common, and pain can be managed with prescribed medications.

Most patients experience full healing within a few months, with final results evident once all swelling has subsided. Throughout the recovery period, regular check-ups with the surgeon help ensure proper healing and address any potential complications.

Duration of Buccal Fat Removal Results

Buccal fat removal surgery creates a more defined facial contour by permanently removing fat pads from the cheeks. The results often improve over several months as the face adjusts and swelling reduces.

How Long Does a Buccal Fat Removal Last?

The effects of buccal fat removal are generally permanent since the fat pads do not regrow. Patients can expect to see their final results 3-6 months post-surgery as the swelling decreases, revealing more pronounced cheek hollows.

Expected Results

Buccal fat removal surgery typically results in a more contoured and defined facial appearance. Key factors include initial swelling, eventual reduction in cheek volume, and a slimmer face shape.

What Results Can I Expect After I Have Buccal Fat Removal Surgery?

As swelling subsides over the course of several weeks to months, the cheek hollows become more defined. This results in a slimmer appearance in the facial contour and a reduction in cheek fullness.

Final results typically become evident between three to six months after the surgery. During this time, doctors evaluate the symmetry and naturalness of the contours to ensure patient satisfaction. It’s important to follow all post-operative care instructions to achieve the best possible outcome.

Before & After Photos

Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance facial contours by reducing the fullness of the cheeks.

Buccal Fat Removal Before & After (B&A) Photos

Before and after (B&A) photos of buccal fat removal are an invaluable resource for anyone considering this procedure. These images offer a clear visual comparison of the results, showcasing the effectiveness of the surgery in enhancing facial definition.

They provide prospective patients with a realistic expectation of the potential outcomes and the degree of transformation that can be achieved. Viewing these photos can help individuals better understand the procedure’s impact, build confidence in the surgeon’s expertise, and make an informed decision about pursuing buccal fat removal for themselves.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is one of the best, most respected, top Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach, California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland’s Newport Beach Plastic Surgery office today by calling 949-867-6005, or visit RichlandMD.com to schedule your personalized plastic surgery consultation in Newport Beach.