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What is buccal fat removal (cheek reduction surgery)?

Buccal fats are fat pads located at the lower half of the cheeks. These fat deposits are commonly referred to as “baby fats” or “chipmunk fats” as they can give the bearer a childlike appearance with rounded cheeks. Although buccal fats may make one look younger, some prefer a slimmer, V-shaped face. Buccal fat removal surgery (also known as chin reduction surgery) aims to remove these fat pads to sculpt the lower half of the face, accentuating the cheekbones and the chin.

Procedure of buccal fat removal

Buccal fat is removed from the inside surface of the cheeks, within the mouth so there will be no visible scarring. The surgeon will make an incision on the incision of the cheek to expose the facial fascia, cheek muscles and buccal fat pads. The fat pads are removed from this incision before the wounds are sealed with absorbable sutures.

The entire procedure is performed under local or general anaesthesia so there will be no pain and discomfort.

Risks and possible complications

Buccal fat removal is a relatively risk-free and minor procedure. Some of the possible complications include:

  • Infection and inflammation
  • Damage to facial nerves, muscles and other facial tissue
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Asymmetric results

These complications are rare, highly unlikely and typically only occur when poor technique is used. At Clifford Surgery, you can easily avoid these complications in the hands of our skilled and experienced plastic surgeon.

Call us today at (65) 6532 2400, Whatsapp us at (65) 8318 6332 or email us at to book an appointment or enquire on any of our cosmetic services and treatments.

Call us today at
(65) 6532 2400,
Whatsapp us at
(65) 8318 6332 or
email us at
to book an appointment or enquire on any of our cosmetic services and treatments.


Because buccal fat removal slims the face and accentuates the chin, it is commonly performed together with chin augmentation and rhinoplasty for an overall more pleasing result.

Dimpleplasty is can also be considered as the technique used is highly similar and can be performed together from the same surgical incisions
Additionally, Botox injections around the jaw can also further enhance the final results.

Do inform our surgeon if you are interested in any of these additional procedures.

The procedure typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. However, you may need to remain in the clinic for a while post-surgery for monitoring.

Buccal fat removal is performed under local anaesthesia so there will be minimal to no pain and discomfort.

Patients will be required to wear a compression dressing for 2 to 3 days after the surgery to reduce swelling and facilitate healing. Daily activities can typically resume after 7 days and swelling will completely subside usually after 2 weeks.

All incisions for the surgery are made inside the mouth, so there will be no visible scars on the face.

Results from buccal fat removal are immediately visible post-surgery after the initial swelling and bruising has subsided. The best results will show several weeks later after full recovery from the surgery and will remain permanently.

Smoking or tobacco consumption should stop about 4-6 weeks before the procedure as recommended by the surgeon. You should inform the doctor/surgeon of any medication and health supplements you are currently during your consultation session. You may be asked to temporarily cease consumption of certain drugs like blood thinners to reduce the risks of complications. Any dental appointments should be rescheduled some time away from the surgery date. Otherwise, we advise rescheduling the buccal fat removal surgery.

We will advise patients to consume a liquid diet or soft, easy to chew foods for a few days post-surgery as there many will experience difficulty chewing. Avoid sugary, spicy, deep fried or other irritating foods to facilitate a smooth recovery.

Your doctor will also prescribe an antiseptic mouthwash/gargle to prevent infection of the surgery wounds.

Buccal fat removal is a relatively minor procedure suitable for anyone in general good health and wish to have a slimmer face. However, we would not recommend those who already have slim faces and cheeks to go for the procedure as this can result in an unhealthy and gaunt look when older.

Additionally, those who have history of the following may not be suitable for the surgery. Please inform your surgeon if any of these applies to you:

  • Have oral ulcers or cold sores, or are prone to having them.
  • Are wearing braces.
  • Have medical history in any oral, dental or ENT related issues.