Buccal Fat Removal


Buccal Fat Removal

The buccal fat pads are areas of fullness in the cheeks that give a “chubby cheek” appearance to some patients. Fullness and volume in the face are a sign of youth, but in some cases too much fullness in one specific area can be a negative.

Buccal fat pad reduction is a procedure that involves removing part of the buccal fat pad on each side. The procedure is very often performed at the same time as neck liposuction, and many patients benefit from fillers to help define the cheekbones or jawline.

Very professional. I would recommend him highly. I have had many compliments since having my procedure done – Allison R.

Why Consider Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal Fat Removal can:

  • Reduce fullness in the cheeks
  • Give better definition to the cheeks and jawline
  • Improve facial contour

Dr. Rodwell’s Approach to Buccal Fat Removal

This is an area where a very careful analysis of multiple areas of your face is needed to help educate you and then develop an appropriate plan. Patients considering buccal fat removal need to understand the deep fat pads and the fat layer just under the skin as well as issues related to bone structure and chin position. All of these factors contribute to the appearance of fullness in the cheeks.

The goal is to have a more slim and contoured appearance, and for many patients, this involves a combination of treatment options such as neck liposuction or chin augmentation and the use of fillers or fat grafting for the best overall result.  Buccal fat pad reduction can be done as an isolated procedure, but by itself there is a limit to how much improvement can be achieved.  Most patients benefit from a more comprehensive plan that Dr. Rodwell helps them to develop.

The surgery is typically performed in the office under a local anesthetic with some light sedation and is very well tolerated by patients. A small incision is made in the mouth on the inside of each cheek to access the deep buccal fat pads. Dr. Rodwell prefers not to be overly aggressive with trying to remove too much fat as this could potentially lead to problems many years down the road as the face continues to lose volume with aging. A careful analysis before the procedure is the most important part of making sure your long-term results look great.

What to Expect After Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is an outpatient procedure usually performed in the office, but some patients may choose to have the procedure in the operating room. Dissolvable stitches inside the mouth do not need to be removed. Dr. Rodwell will provide you with full post-op instructions. Most people choose to take a few days off from work or school but can very quickly return to normal activity.

Bruising is typically minimal, but most patients should expect some mild swelling. A light pressure bandage is used to apply gentle pressure to the cheeks during the first 1-2 days to minimize swelling. Cold compresses can also be helpful. Pain is usually not a problem, but you can use pain medication if needed for any mild discomfort. Mild swelling can take a few weeks to fully settle, and then you will see the final result of your buccal fat reduction surgery.


If you are considering buccal fat pad removal surgery in Charleston, contact Dr. Rodwell today to discuss your candidacy.