Buccal Fat Removal Sydney

Buccal Fat Pad Reduction Surgery with Dr Kernohan in Sydney

Buccal fat pad refers to the rounded mass of fat in the middle of the cheek. It is located in the area between your cheekbones. Some of us have larger buccal fat pads. Buccal fat removal procedure reduces the appearance of buccal fat pad.

Dr Michael Kernohan is a specialist plastic surgeon and top surgeon in Southwest Sydney. Find out more about what the removal procedure involves, the range of recovery time, the benefits and risks of surgery.

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What is Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal, buccal lipectomy or cheek surgery, is a popular plastic surgery procedure. The process involves surgical removal of buccal fat pads, resulting in thinner cheeks and more defined facial angles. 

It can be done alone or in a combination of other facial procedures such as facelift, rhinoplasty, chin implants, lip augmentation, and muscle relaxant injections

Who is a Good Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?

You may be a good candidate for the procedure if:

  • You are in good health with no serious illnesses
  • You are at a healthy and stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations from the treatment
  • You do not smoke or can quit it for the specified time 

Buccal fat removal surgery isn’t for everyone. If your face is naturally narrow, the surgery might lead to sunken cheeks as you age. Similarly, if you have progressive hemifacial atrophy, this procedure isn’t suitable for you. 

If you are older, the procedure might enhance the appearance of jowls and other signs of ageing. 

Your Buccal Fat Pad Removal consultation with Dr Kernohan Plastic Surgeon

Ensure your consultation is with an accredited plastic surgeon who is registered with AHPRA as a specialist in plastic surgery. Dr Kernohan will ask you about your general health and examine you as required.

If, after careful assessment, you are a suitable candidate for buccal fat pad removal, expect to discuss the procedure, preparation, likely outcomes, and potential risks of surgery.

Key points to discuss at the consultation include:

  • Your expectations and the expected outcomes of surgery
  • What you can achieve with the surgery
  • Any concerns about surgery risks, complications, or limitations – please see below.

Buccal Fat Removal Photo Gallery

You can see pictures of Dr Kernohan’s past patients during your consultation. 

Buccal Fat Pad Removal Procedure

Let’s have a look at your patient journey

– Before the Procedure 

Before Buccal fat removal, discuss your expectations and goals in regards to the procedure. If you have any medical conditions or take certain medicines, including vitamins and supplements, it is important to let Dr Kernohan know about them in advance. Make sure to inform the medical team about any allergies you might have or past surgeries. If you use alcohol, tobacco, or any other drugs, make sure your anaesthetist and Dr Kernohan know about it. 

Presenting all this information helps take the best surgical approach as well as steps to minimise potential risks associated with the surgery. 

Dr Kernohan may also ask you to get the blood tests done and adjust certain medications a few weeks prior to the procedure. 

– During the Procedure

The procedure is performed in a hospital theatre. Here’s what it typically involves:

The surgery can be performed under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia. You will not experience pain during the procedure. If you are getting the procedure done in combination with any other surgery, you might need general anaesthesia.

Once the area is numb, Dr Kernohan will make an incision on the inside of your cheek. Then, he will put pressure on the outside of the cheek to expose the buccal fat pad. 

Then the fat pad will be cut and removed. Dr Kernohan will close the incision with the help of dissolvable stitches. 

– After the Procedure

Before going home, you will receive a list of post-surgical instructions to ensure proper healing. You will also be given a facewash to prevent infection. 

It is important to stay on a liquid diet for a couple of days post-surgery and then switch to soft foods before returning to a normal diet. 

After the surgery, it is very common to experience swelling and bruising for at least a week. Complete recovery can take around three weeks. Make sure to adhere to your doctor’s instructions when it comes to incision care, self-care, and eating. 

Risks and Complications of Buccal Fat Removal 

Buccal fat removal is generally considered to be a safe procedure. However, there are potential complications that could occur when getting this procedure. Complications could include post-op bleeding, fluid or blood accumulation at the incisions site.

Make sure to check the plastic surgery risks page for more details.

How much is Buccal Fat Pad Removal in Sydney?

The cost of Buccal fat removal in Sydney ranges from $5000 to $10,000  

The variation in the price can be attributed to factors like:

  • Expertise and experience of the surgeon
  • Type of anaesthesia used
  • Prescription medications

Have a look at Dr Kernohan’s prices page to get an idea about the costs of plastic surgery.

Contact Dr Kernohan’s team for a cost estimate or to schedule a consultation.

Video: What is a deep plane facelift?


Does Medicare Cover Buccal Fad Pad Surgery?

Buccal fat removal is a cosmetic procedure that is NOT covered by health insurance. Find out more info about other Medicare item numbers here.

Check out payment plans and medical financing options available to help you fund your surgery.

How to Choose the Right Buccal Fat Removal Surgeon in Sydney

Here are the four important qualities you need to look for in a top plastic surgeon for buccal fat removal surgery:

Experience – Choose a surgeon based on experience and talent. A highly experienced surgeon has performed more facial procedures compared to someone with less experience. So, choose wisely

Results – Always ask a surgeon to show you before and after pictures of past patients who have had a similar facial profile to yours. This will give you an idea of how your results will look

Hospital privileges – Make sure that your surgeon has accredited hospital privileges to perform the procedure. It demonstrates a good reputation in the medical community and says a lot about your surgeon’s capabilities

Personal attention – A consultation will tell you a lot about the surgeon. You will have an idea of whether you want to proceed with the surgeon or not. Make sure the surgeon answers all your questions and you feel comfortable going forward with him.


Buccal Fad Pad Removal Surgery FAQs

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about buccal fat removal: 

Why do I have so much buccal fat?

  • Generally, buccal fat is a result of genetics. Some of us are just born with fuller or rounder cheeks. 

Can cheek fat be reduced?

  • Yes, cheek fat can be reduced with diet and exercise to an extent. In some other cases, it calls for a buccal fat pad reduction procedure. 

Is buccal fat removal invasive?

  • Buccal fat removal is regarded as a non-invasive technique. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia. 

Is buccal fat removal common?

  • Buccal Fat removal has gained a lot of popularity in recent times due to its less-invasive nature and the great results that can be achieved with the procedure. 

Can buccal fat be dissolved?

  • Yes, buccal fat can be removed, but is not dissolved. A small incision will be made on the inside of your cheeks, and fat will be removed with the help of that incision. Post the surgery; the incision will be closed with the help of dissolving sutures. Fat dissolving injections could help reduce your buccal fat but is not recommended.

Does buccal fat removal affect the jawline?

  • Yes, the buccal fat removal will add more definition to your cheeks and the jawline area. 

At what age can you remove buccal fat?

  • The fat pad continues to grow till your twenties. So, it is best to wait till you are at least 20 to get the Buccal Fat removal surgery. 

How do you get a defined jawline?

  • There are multiple ways to get a better defined jawline. Some of the options are dermal fillers, fat-melting injections, surgical threads, and jawline surgery. 

Will my face get thinner with age?

  • As we age, we tend to lose some of the fat in our faces which can make our faces appear thinner and bonier. 

Does buccal fat surgery change your face shape?

  • Yes, buccal fat removal will completely change the shape of your face and give you a more angular and slimmer facial appearance. 

Is buccal fat removal permanent?

  • Yes, the results of buccal fat removal are regarded as permanent. 

Can buccal fat grow back?

  • No, once the buccal fat is removed, it will not grow back. 

Does buccal fat removal affect dimples?

  • No, buccal fat removal will not usually affect your dimples as they are related to muscles and not fat.  

How long is recovery after buccal fat removal?

  • It will generally take you about a week to recover from buccal fat removal surgery. Complete recovery can take around three weeks. 

Can I brush my teeth after buccal fat procedure?

  • Yes, you can brush your teeth after buccal fat removal. However, brush your teeth gently and be careful to avoid the incision site. 

How long is your face swollen after buccal fat removal?

  • The swelling will subside in about two to three weeks after the buccal fat removal. 

Can you lose buccal fat with weight loss?

  • If you lose weight, your whole body is affected, including the face. However, even if you have a normal weight, you could have a full, round face.

What can I eat after buccal fat surgery?

  • Avoid all sorts of sharp, crispy, fine granular foods. Stick to a liquid diet and softer foods such as mashed potatoes and smoothies for a few days after the procedure. 

What is the fastest way to recover from buccal fat removal?

Here are a few tips that will help you recover faster from buccal fat removal:

  • Use a mouth rinse recommended by your surgeon
  • Stick to soft and semi-liquid foods for the first few days after buccal fat removal 
  • Stay clear of strenuous activities till your surgeon gives you a go
  • Take short walks around the house to maintain circulation 
  • Take all the medications given by your surgeon
  • Do not miss any of the follow-up appointments

Further Reading and Medical References about Buccal Fat Pad Removal