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

If you have larger buccal fat pads, or if you feel that your face looks too rounded, you may be a candidate for buccal fat pad excision (also called a cheek reduction or bichectomy). This procedure surgically removes the fatty tissue to reduce “chubby cheeks” and slim the face, as well as bring out the cheekbones. Dr Richardson tailors each procedure to the patient according to their face shape and how much facial slimming they wish to achieve.

What is Buccal Fat Pad Excision?

Although most people’s faces become naturally slimmer with age, others may feel that a surgical solution is necessary to achieve their desired face shape. People with large cheeks may feel self-conscious about their appearance. Buccal fat pad excision is a surgical procedure that involves removing the buccal fat pads in order to achieve a slimmer and more shapely facial contour. A cheek reduction procedure achieves a number of benefits:

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

Dr Richardson will carefully tailor your procedure to your specific face shape in order to deliver the best results.

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Before your buccal fat excision, you will need to have an appointment to discuss your health and the details of your desired 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 to determine if you are a good candidate. Generally, good candidates are healthy, at a stable weight, and have large or rounded cheeks that affect their self-image and confidence.

By assessing your facial shape and inquiring about your health, we will be able to determine if this surgery is right for you and 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 how much fat you are having removed. You will be able to go home on the same day, and will need someone to drive you home.

Cost of a Buccal Fat Pad Excision

The fees will depend on the specifics of your procedure. We will need to consider the anaesthetist fees, hospital fees and other post-op care requirements. The extent of your fat removal can also play a role in determining the final cost, as well as the duration of your 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 your 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 the proper at-home care in order to optimise your recovery and give you the best outcome possible. 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

Over the course of 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

This surgery is considered low risk. However, like every surgery involving incisions, buccal fat pad excision surgery comes with some risks. Although risks are low, patients should understand them before going ahead with their desired surgery. Potential issues include:

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

It is important to seek a skilled surgeon such as Dr Richardson, as this will reduce your risks. You can minimise risks by ensuring that you are 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?