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Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that reduces the undesirable appearance of “chubby” cheeks or “swollen” jowls, thus giving the patient’s face a more tapered and slimmer look.

Have you ever wondered how celebrities and models maintain their chiseled appearance with high and glistening cheek bones?
Sure, some were blessed from birth, but many—more than you might think—have achieved this highly sought-after facial-feature by turning to a trusted plastic surgeon to perform buccal fat removal. Additionally, buccal fat removal is extremely cost effective and can often provide the same aesthetic results as a variety of procedures that are far more invasive and costly.

At Esthetica Center for Cosmetic SurgeryDr. Wael Kouli is a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs his facelifts to meet the goals of each patient skillfully.

While buccal fat removal is an extremely common procedure, it’s so important that this procedure is done by a highly attentive and board certified surgeon. The team at Esthetica Center for Plastic Surgery in San Diego has performed countless buccal fat procedures and puts their clients’ health and personal goals above all else. We can’t wait to give you the appearance you’ve always wanted—and deserve!

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Before and After Photos

All About Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal gets its name from the pad of fat tissue (the buccal fat pad) that sits on both sides of the face, just underneath the cheek-bone. Although the purpose of this pad is not fully understood, research has shown that it plays an important role in improved suckling on the part of infants during nursing.[1] In fact, it’s this fat pad that contributes to the classic “chubby-cheeked” babyface. While this quality is undeniably adorable in infants, it is often considered less so in adults! Often, the visibility of the buccal pad dissipates with age, but, for many it does not, and its prominence can give the appearance of an undesirably rounded face. Unlike subcutaneous fat—the quantity of which fluctuates with a person’s weight—the buccal fat pad remains unchanged throughout a person’s life. This means that no amount of working out will reduce its prominence. If you have a stubbornly round face, buccal fat pad removal may be your only option to achieve a well-defined profile.

Although the removal of buccal fat dates as far back as the 18th century, the procedure began to gain mainstream attention in the 1980s—largely because it has proven so successful, both in its safety and in achieving a desired facial aesthetic.[2] Today, although the precise number of buccal fat procedures conducted are not known, it has become an extremely common procedure.[3] In total, the surgery takes about 30 minutes and can be completed under local anesthesia. When completed, the patient can expect to have noticeably more sculpted and streamlined cheekbone and jawline.


Buccal fat removal is likely a great option for anyone who is unhappy with the lack of definition in their face. If a more slender, tapered and toned look in the face is desired then this is a procedure worth considering. In particular, buccal fat removal is perfect for those who possess relatively pronounced cheek bones that are concealed by “puffy” cheeks, giving the impression of having a round face.

However, it should be noted that not everyone is an ideal candidate for this procedure. First and foremost, those considering buccal fat removal should be in good health and at a reasonable weight. Additionally, those with especially small malar bones, or cheekbones, may not be an ideal candidate for this procedure, as the removal of the buccal fat may result in undesirable results.

Why Esthetica For Buccal Fat Removal?

Dr. Kouli is a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed countless buccal fat removal procedures and continually stays informed on the most up-to-date techniques and information regarding the surgery. Although buccal fat removal is an extremely common and effective procedure, it is still vital that it be conducted by competent and board certified surgeon for the following reasons:

  • Careful consideration must be given to how much of the fat-pad is extracted depending on the patient’s unique facial structure—this is particularly important to consider as a person ages.
  • Balancing the amount of fat removed from each side of the face is imperative to achieve perfect symmetry
  • Great care must be taken during the surgery to ensure no damage is done to the facial nerves or the parotid duct (a major duct to the salivary gland)

Personal Consultation

Your personal consultation will be a low pressure and highly informative visit geared entirely towards finding the most effective and safest path to achieving your ideal facial aesthetic. As noted above, buccal fat removal is not the perfect solution for everyone. We will conduct a brief examination of your facial structure to determine whether this procedure is the best option for you. Although buccal fat surgery is an extremely effective method to achieve greater facial definition, it is not the only method. In the event that buccal fat removal is not the best solution for you, we will talk with you about other strategies to achieving your goals.

It is also common, and perfectly safe, for buccal fat removal to be performed alongside other procedures in order to attain specific results. Liposuction, for example, under the chin and jawline is frequently an ideal pairing with buccal fat removal to fully attain a slimmer and sculpted appearance. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, and we will carefully discuss all options based on your unique personal goals.

Lastly, your personal consultation will involve a discussion of you and your family’s medical history. Although there are typically minimal complications associated with buccal fat removal, it is still important to disclose any and all medical conditions at this meeting, including prescription medications. Your safety is our top priority.

So, what are you waiting for? Setting up this initial visit is the critical first step to achieving the beautifully contoured face you’ve always desired. The caring staff at Esthetica of San Diego thrive on helping people just like you achieve their goals and dreams! If you are even the slightest bit curious about whether buccal fat removal is right for you, pick up the phone right now and call our offices in Del Mar. We can’t wait to hear from you!


After you and your surgeon settle on the ideal solution during your personal consultation, we will provide you with a detailed list of the necessary steps to follow leading up to your procedure. Adhering to these instructions will help ensure that you have the safest and most comfortable experience possible.

Generally speaking, this procedure will require that you:

  • Refrain from eating or drinking at least 6 hours prior to surgery
  • Stop taking any blood-thinning medication (including aspirin)
  • No alcohol the day before and after your procedure
  • Have a ride home if general anesthesia is used during your procedure


Buccal fat removal is usually performed under local anesthesia, with the entire procedure lasting about 30 minutes. After anesthesia is administered, incisions are made on the inside of the mouth near the bite line, just below the salivary duct. The buccal fat pad lies just behind the buccinator muscle and can be removed by forceps with gentle tugging. The incision is then closed using dissolvable stitches. Most patients are able to drive themselves home immediately following the procedure.


Stitches will dissolve after about two weeks. In most patients, swelling will subside after about a week or two, though 3 months is not uncommon. Icing to reduce tenderness and swelling is recommended. For the incision to heal properly, it is important to minimize strenuous movement of the facial muscles. Soft and easily chewable foods (for some this may be a liquid diet) will be necessary for the first week, after which time build-up to normal eating habits may commence.


Final results may take up to 3 months as your facial tissues adjust to the procedure. The closer you stick to the recovery guidelines the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your new beautifully defined contours! We will look forward to seeing you at your follow-up appointments to ensure everything is proceeding as planned and to answer any questions you may have. Of course, if you have any questions beforehand, we’re only a phone call away!

How Much Does Buccal Fat Removal Cost In San Diego?

Because every patient’s procedure is tailored to their specific goals and circumstance, the cost of the surgery will vary from person to person. As noted above, many patients will also desire an additional procedure to compliment the removal of buccal fat, such as neck liposuction or chin contouring. We will provide you with a detailed estimate following your personal consultation.



The office and procedure room were immaculate. Dr.Kouli and staff checked up on me often post.


I had an incredible experience at esthetica. Dr. Kouli is both personable and professional. Everyone in the office is friendly and aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible. I’d highly recommend their services.


I would recommend this office to anyone seeking a procedure. They answered any and all of my questions immediately. No matter how big or small.


Dr. Kouli is the best!, best surgeon, best bedside manner, best follow up… just the best


I can’t say enough about dr. Kouli. He looked a my problem which was pretty bad and immediately knew that he could fix it.