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The size of buccal fat pads varies from person to person, depending on factors such as weight and genetics.

Patients with larger buccal fat pads may be suitable candidates for buccal fat pad excision (also called a cheek reduction or bichectomy). This procedure surgically removes the fatty tissue from the buccal fat pads. Dr Richardson tailors each procedure to the patient according to their face shape.

What is Buccal Fat Pad Excision?

Buccal fat pad excision is a surgical procedure that involves removing the buccal fat pads to reshape the facial contour.

  • A slimmer facial contour
  • A more sculpted jawline
  • Natural-looking results with no visible scars
  • An enhanced, younger appearance

Dr Richardson will carefully tailor the procedure to your specific face shape to achieve the desired changes.

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Before buccal fat excision, you will need to have an appointment to discuss your health and the details of the procedure. Dr Richardson will take your medical history and ask about any current medications you are taking. This is to ensure that we take all the relevant factors into account and determine each patient’s candidacy. Suitable candidates for the procedure are healthy, at a stable weight, and have larger buccal fat pads. Following a detailed patient assessment, we will develop a tailored treatment plan. After this meeting, you should have a clear understanding of what the procedure entails, as well as what to expect afterwards.

The Procedure

Buccal fat pad excision can be performed under either local anaesthetic, sedation or general anaesthetic. The most suitable type of anaesthetic for you will be discussed at your consultation.

Dr Richardson makes an incision on the inside of the mouth, between the cheek and gums. Next, pressure is applied to the area in order to expose and remove the buccal fat pad. Once Dr Richardson has removed the required fat from the area, he will close the incision with dissolvable sutures.

The surgery generally takes one hour, depending on the amount of fat to be removed. You can go home on the same day, but you will need someone to drive you home.

Cost of a Buccal Fat Pad Excision

The fees will depend on the specifics of the procedure. We will need to consider the anaesthetist fees, hospital fees, and other post-op care requirements. The extent of fat removal can also play a role in determining the final cost, as well as the duration of the surgery.

Due to the cosmetic nature of this procedure, it is not covered by health insurance or Medicare. We can address further questions about fees after discussing your personal needs and health.

Your Personal Consultation

Request a Consultation

Your personal consultation is the first step to finding the right procedure for you. Dr Jeremy Richardson is a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon, dedicated to providing quality results and a positive patient experience.

Book your appointment to
  • Discuss your physical concerns and goals
  • Receive an outline of your surgical options
  • Get quality advice from a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
  • Receive a customised treatment plan
  • Meet Dr Richardson’s Patient Coordinator and team who will support you through your journey


After buccal fat pad excision, you may feel some discomfort. You may also have some swelling and slight bruising around your cheeks and incision areas. However, we can prescribe pain medication to help you through this initial stage of recovery. We will also give you guidance on proper at-home care. For example, you may be advised to:

  • Take prescribed pain medication.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting.
  • Get plenty of rest and use extra pillows when sleeping.
  • Eat a liquid diet before progressing to soft foods and resuming your regular diet.
  • Refrain from smoking, as this can adversely impact the healing process.
  • Advise Dr Richardson of any issues that arise during recovery.

Throughout your recovery, you can expect the following:

  • Some soreness for the first week after surgery.
  • Most of the swelling is gone after one to two weeks.
  • Resume eating solid foods gradually after the first few days.
  • Resume most normal activities and non-strenuous work after a few days to one week.
  • Return to your usual exercise routine two to four weeks after the procedure.

Risks and Complications

Like every surgery involving incisions, buccal fat pad excision surgery has some risks. These include:

  • Reactions to anaesthesia
  • Bleeding and infection
  • Damage to glands, nerves, or other tissues
  • Excess removal of fat
  • Asymmetry
  • Poor healing

You can minimise risks by having the procedure performed by a specialist plastic surgeon and following your at-home care instructions.

Buccal Fat Pad Excision FAQ

How can I prepare for my buccal fat pad excision?

Does the surgery result in scars?

When can I return to work?

When will I see results?

Are the results permanent?

What do I need to know when preparing for surgery?