What is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal, also called bichectomy, does almost exactly what the name suggests: it removes buccal fat. Buccal fat is a type of naturally occurring facial fat that is located just below the cheekbone. This procedure works as a kind of cheek fat removal surgery and can be a subtle way to contour the mid-face.

How does Buccal Fat Removal work?

To best show whether you’d like the effect of Buccal Fat Removal is to gently suck in your cheeks as this is the type of result you can expect afterwards. The best way whether you’d be a good candidate, on the other hand, is something decided by the expert eye of Dr Yannis Alexandrides. Dr Yannis is our triple board-certified Plastic Surgeon, as well as the Founder and Medical Director of 111 Harley St., and Buccal Fat Removal is one of the procedures that can be performed in our clinic’s theatre. It is usually performed under local anaesthetic, unless combined with other more invasive procedure (such as Rhinoplasty or Facelift) in which case both surgeries will be performed under general anaesthetic.

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One of the biggest benefits of Buccal Fat Removal is that it only requires one inter-oral incision on each side of the cheeks. Dr Yannis will first numb the area using an injectable local anaesthetic and the first incision will be made. To extract the buccal fat, Dr Yannis will use bipolar forceps, which are like electric tweezers that have a skin cauterising function to ensure the buccal fat can be removed through the small hole first made by Dr Yannis and will not cause too much trauma to the surrounding issues. Once the buccal fat has been located and reduced, Dr Yannis will then close the incision and move on to the other side. It really is this simple. Each side of the cheek can take around 15-20 minutes.

The key to ensuring a great Buccal Fat Removal result is two things: first, identifying the optimal amount of Buccal Fat to remove (this is often down to the surgeon’s experience) and second thing is through patient selection as Buccal Fat Removal isn’t suitable for everyone. Recently online there has been a lot of talk with questions such as ‘is Buccal Fat Removal is safe?’ or can ‘Buccal Fat Removal make you look older?’ – and even speculation over which celebrities have had Buccal Fat Removal… Which is why it is so important to ensure both of the above criteria is met to avoid adverse effects such as looking gaunt later on in life which can occur after a dubiously performed Buccal Fat Removal… So, here’s some things to clear up, the first one being: is Buccal Fat Removal bad?

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Is Buccal Fat Removal Bad?

There is generally one rule of thumb to follow regarding whether surgeries, in general – not just Buccal Fat Removal – are bad and that rule of thumb is: the procedures aren’t bad, but the results can be if performed by the wrong surgeon. The types of cosmetic surgeries and non-surgical treatments performed in registered practices, like 111 Harley St., have met the rigorous standards set by government appointed institutions like The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or Care Quality Commission (CQC) so these surgeries, when performed by experienced professionals, have been proven to produce both safe and effective results.

So, to answer whether Buccal Fat Removal is bad, it’s important to remain objective. Find a surgeon who is experienced, someone you trust wholeheartedly, look at their Buccal Fat Removal before and afters, and try not be influenced by the bad stories available to us in the press… If this is a procedure you really wish to have, you should know that a some of our patients decide not to tell their friends and family members about their operation, and often people can’t tell why they look so good – which speaks volumes about the possible discrete and natural-looking results.


Other Ways to Make The Cheeks Slimmer

Buccal fat pad removal is one way to slim the face. If you’re looking to get rid of a double chin, Submental Liposuction (Chin Liposuction) is one avenue worth exploring.

However, surgery is not the only options available, we have a few non-surgical options you can explore and one of them is Botox Masseter Injections.

Botox has a lot of medical and aesthetic uses and face slimming can be one of them! When botulinum toxin is injected into either side of the jaw, the masseter muscle, which is responsible for chewing, it relaxes it and can help to give cheeks a narrower appearance.

Other non-surgical ways to achieve a more contoured appearance could be through radiofrequency treatments such as Accent Prime, another skin-tightening treatment that can also break down the fat cells in the cheeks.

However, the best way to decide which cheek slimming surgery or treatment would be right for you would be to have a consultation with Dr Yannis. He will be able to examine your face, listen to your concerns and outline whether you’d be the right candidate for Buccal Fat Removal or for a non-surgical intervention.

Other Buccal Fat Removal Questions, Answered

Why is Buccal Fat Removal So Popular?

Buccal Fat Removal is popular because it is a quick procedure and does not require much downtime.

It has also become popular because of the shifting attitudes we have towards cosmetic surgery as a society. Social media and the pursuit to enhance our self-image are also factors that come into it, not to mention the rise of Ozempic…

Is Buccal Fat Removal Permanent?

Buccal Fat Removal cannot be reversed but there are some other options to give you back facial fullness if that’s a look you wish to achieve. One non-surgical option can be cheek fillers and another can be Facial Fat Injections. Dr Yannis prefers Fat Injections as these can provide a lasting, smooth result.

Can Buccal Fat Removal help with jowls?

This is a question we get asked a lot – and the answer is no. Buccal Fat Removal will not help with jowls as it targets a different area. Buccal Fat Removal treats the cheeks, not the jawline, so if you’re looking for a jowl treatment, you can try some non-surgical skin-tightening treatments like radiofrequency and microneedling.

If you have advanced jowling, a Lower Face and Neck Lift will provide you with much better definition, or something like Submental Liposuction can help with excess fat around this region but will not be a suitable for those with skin laxity.

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Dr Yannis Alexandrides MD FACS

Not only 111 Harley St.’s Founder and Medical Director, Dr Yannis is also our triple-board certified resident doctor.

Facial Surgery is his speciality of his and has been crafted through his over 20 years of medical expertise, deep understanding of the ageing process and extensive knowledge of facial anatomy. He is also a pioneer of Facelifts with his eponymous Y Facelift technique and the founder of 111SKIN.

Alongside creating exceptional transformations, his excellent eye and skill has ensured that 111 Harley St. remain at the forefront of surgical innovation.



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