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Buccal Fat Removal

Buccal fat removal is an aesthetic procedure that sculpts the face and accentuates the cheekbones by eliminating excess tissue from the cheeks. Facial fat distribution varies greatly from person to person.

rounded face, or “chubby cheeks” can make cheekbones look lost and make us feel self-conscious about our looks. Buccal fat removal targets the precise compartments of fat that mask facial structure so that patients can enjoy defined contours, long-term. Highly sought-after cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wael Kouli has helped thousands of patients achieve their beauty goals.

As a multilingual, multi-talented doctor, Dr. Kouli provides professional surgical services to the residents of Southern California. Conveniently located close to Fashion Island shopping center, Esthetica Center for Cosmetic Surgery is the premier location for enhancing your facial aesthetics. Book your personal consultation with us by calling (949) 919-6462 or by filling out our inquiry form.

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Before and After Photos

About Buccal Fat

The adipose tissues in our cheeks are known as buccal fat pads (or BFP). Fat pads are distinct, rounded compartments of tissue that help to shape our face. They are located in the middle third of the cheek, the malar region. The face has numerous compartments of facial fat:

  • Nasolabial
  • Medial
  • Middle
  • Lateral Superficial Cheek (1)
  • Deep Medial Cheek
  • Buccal
  • Periorbital (Under-Eye)

Most people have buccal fat pads between 8-10 cubic centimeters in volume. They are surrounded by two key jaw muscles; the buccinator and the masseter. From birth, the BFP develops as we do. Its initial function is to aid suckling as infants, and later in life, it aids the gliding action of chewing. (2) Some people have more buccal fat than others. This can be a result of many factors, including genetics, age, and weight. A rounded face and/or chubby cheeks are commonly caused by excessive buccal fat. In fact, in rare cases, it can even accumulate into an abnormal mass in the shape of a rounded marble. This condition is known as pseudoherniation(3)

For many people, buccal fat removal is the optimal procedure to get rid of buccal fat and achieve the desired aesthetic of a sculpted, contoured face. Through a safe, quick, and effective incision made inside the mouth, Dr. Kouli simply squeezes the buccal fat out from the cheek, transforming a rounded, chubby-cheeked face into one that is sculpted and contoured.

Your Personal Consultation with Dr. Kouli

Dr. Kouli consults with every patient directly.  This is so he can get all the necessary information to achieve their desired aesthetic. We welcome you to schedule a personal consultation so he can listen to everything you have to say, examine the problem areas at hand, discuss any potential side effects and decide on the best procedure(s) moving forward.  During the personal consultation, Dr. Kouli and his team will assess the information and provide an accurate rendering of what your facial aesthetic will look like post-treatment.  From there, a step-by-step treatment plan is created to fit your needs, followed by an estimated cost for the treatment.

Don’t wait to get the facial surgery you’ve always wanted. Contact our Orange County office today. There’s no reason to struggle with feeling insecure about your facial appearance! Preparing for Buccal Fat Removal

Once you’ve met with Dr. Kouli and have agreed that a buccal fat procedure is the best way to achieve your aesthetic desires, we’ll schedule your procedure. In the meantime, it is essential for anyone moving forward with a buccal fat removal procedure to ensure the following preparations at least 2 weeks prior to surgery:

  • Refrain from taking NSAIDs (e.g. aspirin, Motrin)
  • Cease use of blood-thinning medication
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Do not smoke/vape

Please do not eat or drink 6 to 8 hours prior to surgery and allow for at least a day off from work or any other activities to recover.  Finally, please have someone available to drive you home, as the anesthesia will still be in effect after your procedure is completed.

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Buccal fat pad removal extracts the buccal fat pad in a fast, effective procedure. Most of the time, this surgery is performed in an hour or less. Dr. Kouli diligently ensures your safety and comfort throughout with the proper anesthesia.

After the anesthesia has taken effect, he makes a small incision on the inside of the cheek, close to the parotid gland, in order to access the fat compartment. Using the incision as an opening, Dr. Kouli gingerly applies enough pressure from the outside to push the buccal fat through the incision. With specialized tools, he carefully removes the fat pad and sutures the incision shut, then repeats this technique on the opposite cheek. The intraoral incision method leads to successful results with a low risk of complications, less pain, no damage to any branch of the facial nerves, and, of course, an aesthetic improvement.

Due to the quickness and ease of the treatment, buccal fat removal can be performed at the same time as other procedures, like Beauty injectionsfacial implantsand more! Please feel free to discuss these options with Dr. Kouli at your consultation.

The “inverted Triangle Of Youth”

Facial beauty is often measured according to youthfulness and anatomical symmetry. Runway models have uniquely symmetrical faces with high, well-defined cheekbones. As our understanding of the aging face has developed, scientists have noted that significant changes occur in its fat compartments over time. The concept that a slimmer cheek profile is more beautiful comes from the so-called “inverted triangle of youth” concept. This is defined by a leaner face with a high malar region that accentuates the cheekbones. (4) While many people have naturally defined cheekbones, others have great bone structure disguised by adipose tissue. In fact, Chrissy Teigen is the latest celebrity to confirm getting her buccal fat pads removed!

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Is Cheek Fat Removal Right For You?

This procedure applies to both women and men. One of the greatest benefits of buccal fat pad removal is that it’s faster and less invasive than many other facial contouring procedures. The ideal candidate is a healthy adult with a rounded face (or chubby cheeks) and realistic expectations of what will result from their surgery.

In most cases, the above-mentioned will make you eligible, however, a buccal fat pad removal procedure may not be a good fit for patients who have:

  • Cardiac or pulmonary disease
  • A bleeding disorder
  • An unstable body weight
  • Other serious medical conditions

Be sure to check out our before and after photos to see what a buccal fat removal procedure can achieve!

Recovery & Results

After your surgery, you will recover in a private room where our staff will monitor you, and then we will release you from our care. Temporary pain & swelling may occur after the procedure, but overall, you can expect a quick recovery of between 7-10 days.

Dr. Kouli strongly urges patients to refrain from extensive physical activities initially, however light movement is important to aid healing. It may also be necessary for patients to eat softer foods or to liquify food for the first couple of days, and avoid “sharper” foods like rice, cereal, and chips. Keep your head elevated, use ice packs, and take the pain medication prescribed to alleviate swelling and discomfort. Dr. Kouli may also advise you to rinse your mouth with a medicated mouthwash after every meal. By the time the swelling has fully reduced, you will be able to see the beautiful results of buccal fat removal in full effect.

Visit Dr. Kouli’s blog for more information about buccal fat removal and other cosmetic services. You can learn more about the post-treatment experience by viewing our testimonials here.

Cost of Buccal Fat Removal in Orange County, CA

The cost of buccal fat removal varies according to the individual. We take into consideration the details of your procedure, plus any additional services needed to achieve your ideal results. An accurate estimate will be provided at your consultation along with terms of payment. Your health is of the utmost importance to us and therefore, we will arrange a follow-up to ensure everything is healing as anticipated.

Please browse the Esthetica website if you’re interested in learning more about the surgical and non-surgical services that complement a buccal fat removal procedure. Don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kouli’s  Newport Beach office if you have any questions at (949) 919-6462.

What Is Buccal Fat?

The buccal area of the face is the cheeks. It’s also known as the buccinator space, as this is where the buccinator is located; the muscle responsible for cheek tightening. Buccal fat is a pad of adipose tissue located in the cheek, which can be removed in a short cosmetic procedure.

What Cosmetic Surgery Is Best For “chubby Cheeks”?

A buccal fat pad removal procedure is a fast, effective way to achieve better defined facial contours and reduce volume in the cheeks. Where other facial augmentation is required, surgeons can combine buccal fat pad removal with other rejuvenation procedures.

How Long Does Buccal Fat Pad Removal Take?

Compared to other, more invasive facial augmentation procedures, buccal fat pad removal is very fast. It can take between 30 minutes and one hour to complete, though patients should also factor in anesthesia administration.


  1. Farkas JP, Pessa JE, Hubbard B, Rohrich RJ. The Science and Theory behind Facial Aging. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2013;1(1):1-8.
  2. Davis B, Serra M. Buccal Fat Pad Reduction. PubMed. Published 2022. Accessed June 22, 2022.
  3. Matarasso A. Managing the buccal fat pad. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2006;26(3):330-336. doi:10.1016/j.asj.2006.03.009
  4. Moura, L. B., Spin, J. R., Spin-Neto, R., & Pereira-Filho, V. A. (2018). Buccal fat pad removal to improve facial aesthetics: an established technique?. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal23(4), e478–e484.

If you're looking for a highly skilled, very attentive and genuinely caring surgeon, look no further.

Mary R.

Thank you for making not only my wedding dress dream come true, but my ever day dream of loving what I see when look at myself. I love you all!!!

Sarah B.

I recommend Dr. Kouli 100%. He has all my trust and if I ever need anything alse in the future he will for sure always be my go to doctor.