Chubby cheeks are cute when you're a baby. If you're looking for more of a heart-shaped face, consider cheek fat reduction.

This type of procedure might be right for you if you've ever said:

I have "chipmunk cheeks."

I want more of a heart-shaped face.

I never lost my baby fat from my face.

Everyone has buccal fat pads even if they’re never noticed them before.  They are a normal part of the anatomy of the cheek but as with any structure in the body, there can be variations from person to person.  In some people, they may be larger than average or just out of proportion to the rest of your face and neck.  This can lead someone who is very thin to appear to have a chubby face that is disproportionate in the lower half.  The overall effect of prominent cheek fat is that of a moon face, rather than the more traditionally desired heart-shaped face.

The benefits

Reduction of the buccal fat pads can help to achieve a slimming effect of the lower half of the face that is subtle in appearance but exceptional in effect.

I say “reduction” because to imply that the fat pads are “removed” is incorrect.  Total excision and removal of the fat pads would lead to an overly skeletonized look of the face that I think gives an unnatural and gaunt appearance.  More accurately, the excess fat that is bulging is removed to give a more “snatched in” curve to the lower half of the face.  Removing bulging fat of the mid cheek gives the cheekbones more prominent and better harmonizes the appearance of the lower half of the face.

The method

Buccal fat removal is performed in the clinic with numbing medicine and can be added on to other procedures such as facelifts or neck liposuction.  The procedure starts by identifying where the fat pads are prominent and locating structures to avoid injuring inside the mouth.  After the area inside the mouth is numb a small incision is made over the most prominent area and the fat is teased out and similar amounts are removed from both sides to achieve the desired look.  The incision usually requires a single suture so the pain after surgery is minimal.


Aftercare involves good oral hygiene and ice for swelling, which can sometimes be the worst part.  There's usually a point in the first few days when you'll wonder if you should have gone through with this since your cheeks will be puffy and swollen (think wisdom teeth removal).  Elevation, icing, and ibuprofen can help to combat the marshmallow face but full resolution of the swelling will take weeks.  Rest assured, after a few days you won't look scary anymore and will start to notice the benefits of the procedure.

*20% deposit required for procedures over $2000, estimated low monthly payment assuming 60 months financing at 6.99% of the remaining balance.  Subject to credit terms.  For specific details, please contact our office to speak with a Patient Care Coordinator.