What’s the Hype Over the Buccal Fat Removal Trend?
January 13, 2023
We see this happen time and time again in the cosmetic industry, where a surgical or non-surgical trend all of a sudden blows up on social media, and next thing we know we’re getting a ton of interest in the procedure of the moment. Currently, it’s buccal fat removal.
Why? Well, how trends gain traction and explode on social media is a bit of a mystery, but it’s often fuelled by celebrities and influencers. Recently there’s been a media uproar about Lea Michele’s transformed appearance. Having forever been known for having a lovely rounded face, pictures of her circulating now show a much slimmer face with accentuated and defined cheek bones a la Bella Hadid.
This of course has many speculating as to whether Lea Michele recently had buccal fat removal surgery. Honestly, whether she did or didn’t, is really none of our business! But it’s what’s fuelling the current wave of questions about the procedure. There are a number of celebrities everyone thinks have had buccal fat removal, from Zoë Kravitz to Amelia Hamlin, but only Chrissy Teigen has been explicitly open about having had the surgery.
Who has had the procedure or hasn’t is truly none of our concern at The Plastic Surgery Clinic, but we tend to be weary of trends, and feel it’s important to demystify certain procedures, as not everyone is a candidate for certain surgeries.
Buccal fat removal is basically a cheek fat removal procedure. Every person has a natural fat pad that sits just underneath the cheek hollow, and the size of the fat pad varies from person to person. Some individuals have larger fat pads and some smaller.
The buccal fat removal procedure basically removes this pad of fat from under the cheek hollow, which results in a slimmed down face and more significant definition to the cheeks and jawline.
The procedure is typically done under general anesthesia and takes just under an hour. It is a surgical procedure so we recommend that patients take one week off of work to recover, and it’ll be four weeks before you can resume more strenuous physical activity.
Initially following surgery the cheeks are quite swollen, so patients don’t see a notable difference immediately. It takes some time for the results of the surgery to show, the true final result really becoming noticeable anywhere between six months to a year following surgery.
The Best Candidates for Buccal Fat Removal?
This is really the most important aspect when it comes to buccal fat removal. Identifying, whether you are truly the right candidate for the procedure. The best buccal fat removal candidates are those that have naturally full and rounded cheeks, and also individuals who are bothered by the appearance their cheeks give them and are looking for a permanent change.
It may have been cute to have chubby cheeks as a child, but into adulthood, full cheeks can be bothersome to some and can make certain individuals look older.
That being said there’s a fine balance as to who is truly the right candidate for this procedure. As we age our faces naturally lose volume, and natural fullness can be a benefit. With the ageing process we tend to add volume to the face as opposed to removing it.
There is sometimes concern as to whether the buccal fat removal procedure will ultimately age you. In the right candidate, and if done correctly, i.e. removing just the right amount of fat (not too much) and from the right areas of the face, the buccal fat removal surgery can result in a beautifully defined and contoured face.
This is also why we typically won’t perform the procedure on individuals with naturally small fat pads or an already thin face as this can ultimately make your appearance hollowed out and gaunt.
How Long Does Buccal Fat Removal Last?
Buccal fat removal is permanent. Your fat pads are permanently removed, which is why we like to ensure that our patients are certain about having the procedure.
There are non-surgical options that can also work to subtly slim down the face and add definition and contour to the cheeks and jawlines via fillers, thread lifts, or skin tightening treatments. We recommend these for anyone who isn’t sure about surgery or ultimately having a permanent result.
Although buccal fat removal is considered to be permanent it’s important to maintain a stable weight as you can still gain weight in the face following buccal fat removal surgery, which could ultimately affect your result.