Buccal fat reduction

Cheek contouring (buccal fat reduction +/- masseteric injections)

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Cheek contouring is a technique used to slim down fullness in the cheeks. For patients who feel they have “chubby cheeks”, it can be a good option. The procedure involves removing some of the cheek fat through a relatively small incision placed inside the mouth. In order to be a candidate for this procedure, it’s important patients actually have excess cheek fat and have reached a stable weight. If patients do not actually have cheek fullness, they risk looking too “hollow” in the cheek region afterwards. Similarly, patients need to have good quality skin, with enough elasticity that it will contract after some of the fat has been removed. If patients are losing weight, they should not have this procedure until they’ve reached a stable weight. Like fat elsewhere, your cheeks will enlarge with weight gain, and shrink with weight loss. As such, you don’t want to surgically slim down your cheeks and then lose a lot of weight afterwards, otherwise your cheeks may look too slim. Dr. McInnes will help you determine if you are a good candidate for cheek contouring.

How is it done?

This procedure is usually done under general anesthetic. A numbing medication is first injection on the inside of the cheek where the incision is to be made. A small 1-inch incision is made on the inside of the cheek and a small portion of fat is carefully removed (called the buccal fat pad). It is very important not to take too much fat. The goal of surgery is to improve the cheek contour by removing a conservative amount of fat, without skeletonizing the face. This procedure can often be combined with adjunctive facial procedures such as liposuction for fullness under the chin.

I have a prominent jawline that looks too boxy, can that be improved?

If you have a boxy jawline, and desire a more heart-shaped face, carefully placed Anti-wrinkle injections can be the answer. If Anti-wrinkle injections are placed in the masseter muscles of the jaw, in the right locations, it can thin the muscle and achieve the desired facial contour. This is a very effective non-surgical treatment.

Candidates for buccal fat reduction?

  • The patients who do the best tend to have decent skin elasticity, such that it will recoil and tighten once some of the underlying fat is removed.
  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for their surgery

Results of buccal fat reduction:

The early results of surgery will take a couple of weeks to notice as the swelling comes down and skin tightens. Most patients are socially presentable (ie. minimal bruising) after 2 weeks. The final contour will likely be achieved after 6-12 months as the final swelling settles, and the skin has time to fully constrict and tighten down.


You will have some discomfort that can be treated with oral pain medication, and Dr. McInnes may prescribe a very short course of antibiotics. The sutures in your mouth will be dissolving and will usually disappear after 4-8 weeks.


There are risks associated with your surgery. Risks of surgery will be discussed prior to your consent. It is important to address all your questions directly with Dr. McInnes.