The buccal fat pad is a fat mass located in the center of the cheeks, beneath the cheekbones. Although everyone has buccal fat pads, they are more pronounced in certain people. For those with prominent buccal fat pads, their cheeks can look very full and, in some cases, even chubby.

What is Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal may be a good option if you are bothered by the appearance of chubby cheeks (which some affectionately refer to as “chipmunk cheeks”). You should be in good health, not plan to lose or gain a significant amount of weight in the foreseeable future, and understand what the procedure can and cannot achieve. Buccal fat removal is usually performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia and sedation. The procedure is short and the downtime is minimal. Prior to the surgery, you and Dr. Kennedy will determine how much buccal fat to remove. Dr. Kennedy creates a short incision on the inside of your mouth, so there are no external scars. Through the incision, she removes part or all of the buccal fat pad. The pad is approximately the size of a golf or ping pong ball. Once Dr. Kennedy has removed the fat, she closes the incisions with sutures.



The pockets of face fat located in the cheeks are called buccal pads. These areas tend to slim down as a person ages, but in certain cases, genetics have resulted in fat pads that are too large, making the patient look chubby or like a “baby.” Disproportionately large buccal pads can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, but with buccal fat removal surgery, the face can take on a more chiseled, slender shape.


No, it does not. Buccal fat removal provides long-lasting, sustainable results. Your cheeks will remain slim and tapered, even if you gain weight in your body overall.


The surgery is performed with general anesthesia or IV sedation and local anesthesia so that you will be completely comfortable during your treatment. After your surgery, the doctor will provide you with the appropriate painkiller prescriptions to deal with any tenderness, swelling, or bruising. These side effects will diminish within several days, with the majority of swelling disappearing after the first week.


Dr. Kennedy does her best to ensure the utmost safety for your procedure. However, there are always risks present any time a cosmetic treatment is performed. Possible risks include bleeding, infection, numbness, anesthesia risks, and others. Buccal fat pad removal is not suggested for those clients who already have a slender facial shape, as the surgery may make you look gaunt. However, if you do have “chipmunk cheeks,” nothing short of buccal fat pad removal will do the trick in terms of streamlining your cheeks.