Chubby Cheeks (Buccal Fat Pad) Surgery

Chubby cheeks on people with normal weight or if they are mildly overweight is a finding commonly caused by enlarged fat deposits in the cheeks, called buccal fat pads.

What causes chubby cheeks?

Enlarge or prominent fat deposits in the cheeks or Buccal fat pads are distinct deposits of fat located in the mid to lower portion of the face (cheeks). This inherited condition can make the face look rounder, chubby and less defined. In people who chew gum or crushed ice with their teeth frequently, chubby cheeks can also be caused by enlarged muscles in the face mainly the masseter muscles.

Will chubby cheeks decrease in size as we age?

Very often, chubby cheeks tend not to decrease in size with aging. Although some people lose facial fat with aging, most people with chubby cheeks tend to maintain their chubby cheeks. Chubby cheeks tend to get more prominent as we age.

Can chubby cheeks be reduced with diet and exercise?

Very often, chubby cheeks (caused by enlarged buccal fat pads) are resistant to decrease in size with diet and exercise. This is because the buccal fat pads have a robust blood supply that nurtures those distinct pockets even when there is a caloric deficit with diet and exercise. Lower face does tend to hollow with increase in age and weight loss.

Do Botox Injections to the masseter correct chubby cheeks?

Beauty portrait of attractive young smiling girl with messy hair touching cheek

Botox injections to the masseter could correct chubby cheeks on patients whose chubbiness is caused only by enlarged masseter muscles. When a patient has chubby cheeks caused by a combination of both: enlarged buccal fat pads and enlarged masseter muscle, Botox injections to the masseter tend to “not work.” This is because the chubbiness of the face caused by the enlarged buccal fat pads is in the anterior lower portion of the cheeks where Botox Injections mainly focus in the posterior lower portion of the cheeks, where masseteric muscles are located.

Who is a good candidate for chubby cheek reduction surgery?

Patients who consider their face to be overly round, “childish”, or without a good definition of their cheekbones are good candidates for chubby cheek reduction surgery. Patients who have chubby cheeks and have high cheekbones are excellent candidates for the procedure. High cheekbones are the foundation to have a chiseled V-shaped facial look after chubby cheek reduction surgery.

What is Chubby Cheek Reduction Surgery?

Chubby cheek reduction surgery, also known as buccal fat removal, buccal fat excision is a cosmetic surgery procedure that permanently removes the buccal fat pads, which removes the fullness of the lower anterior cheeks (corrects chubby cheeks). The goal of this procedure is to achieve a thinner, more V-shaped chiseled facial appearance.  This procedure is performed through a small incision inside the mouth, the fat pad is isolated and removed, few sutures are placed inside the mouth. This procedure may be performed under local anesthesia (awake) with minimal to no downtime.

Is it possible to remove just a portion of the fat that causes chubby cheeks?

Yes, it is possible to remove just a portion of the buccal fat pads. Since everybody has different preferences, we can customize the amount of buccal fat pads removed during buccal fat pad cheek reduction surgery. The most common amount of buccal fat pad removed is between 50% to 80% depending on the patient’s anatomy.

When can I see the results of chubby cheek reduction surgery?

The results of chubby cheek reduction surgery can be seen as early as 3 weeks post-procedure. However, the end results of the surgery can be evident once all the post-surgical swelling is resolved, generally about 8-12 weeks after surgery.