Buccal Fat Removal in Chicago

Buccal fat pad extraction is a plastic surgery procedure for reducing prominent cheeks, by the proportional removal of buccal fat-pad tissue.

Buccal Fat Removal Procedure

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your cheeks? Perhaps you’ve lost definition in your cheeks and they appear large and plump? Or maybe you’ve recently lost weight and the puffiness of your cheeks doesn’t match your new look? If you’re dreaming of a slimmer, more defined facial appearance, then buccal fat removal in Chicago may be the perfect treatment for you.

Chicago Buccal Fat Pad Removal

By removing the buccal fat pads in the cheeks, facial appearance will be rejuvenated with a slimmer, more contoured appearance. Sharper lines and less plumpness can transform the way that you look and feel, tackling common problems like ‘chipmunk cheeks’ and excess puffiness due to weight gain or genetics.

If you’re tired of the way that your cheeks look and want to achieve the contouring that you’ve always dreamed of, then the Oakbrook cosmetic surgeons at the Kovak Cosmetic Center can help.

How Does Buccal Fat Removal Work?

The buccal fat pad is different from other fat in the face in that it exists as a fat pad and is encapsulated. This allows for it to be directly removed without the use of liposuction. Liposuction, while a good process for the neck, is much riskier on the face due to a possibility of facial deficits or depressions being created. Buccal fat is located between the buccinator muscle and superficial muscles of the face.

Buccal fat can be removed in one of two methods. First of all, buccal fat can be removed from inside the cheek area. A small incision is made in the lining of the cheek and then the buccal fat can be extracted from the face. The alternate approach is through a facelift incision, where the buccal fat is pushed through the cheek area on a deep facelift approach. For most patients, isolated buccal fat removal occurs through an inside the mouth or intraoral approach.

A general or local anesthetic is normally used during the procedure, so it’ll be comfortable and painless. In many instances, the procedure won’t take more than around an hour. This may increase if additional procedures are performed at the same time, such as liposuction. If you have any queries about the procedure, then please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly experts at the Kovak Cosmetic Center.


At your preoperative visit you will conveniently be given your prescriptions if required for the procedure. Certain procedures require antibiotics, washes or antivirals. We also give a prescription for Ativan or Valium to make you comfortable the day of surgery. That way you can have the prescriptions at home and bring them to the office the day of surgery. If you take these medications you will need to have a trusted ride home.

On the day of surgery you will be met by our front desk staff and offered coffee, water or tea. We will then take you to an examination room. The doctor will come in and greet you and confirm the operation and consent forms prior to taking any medications. After this you can take the Valium or pain medication by mouth if that was the plan that was created specifically for you. You will be given a gown and a warm clean blanket. We will take you to the surgical suite and you will get set for the operation. Our comfortable and adjustable surgical chair is set to your liking. A warm slightly wet towel is placed along the forehead and eyes almost like a massage. Music is on and patients feel rested after the procedure.

Topical numbing cream is applied to the “block” sites that the doctor will perform himself. Local and tumescent anesthesia is then administered. That will be given time to set in. We will ask you if the temperature is comfortable and adjust as needed. Often times we use the patient’s cell phone and music and play it throughout the surgical suite during the case. So make a good playlist prior to coming!

When the numbing medication has set in which we confirm by lightly touching each area the procedure can begin. This will depend on which procedure you have chosen. Each procedure requires different blocking techniques developed as stated above.


Immediately after the buccal fat removal procedure, it’s common to experience slight swelling and mild pain. These symptoms can last from anywhere between 2-3 days to a week, depending on the patient. Due to the length of recovery time, it’s often advised that patients take time off work to focus on recovery.

To help with recovery after surgery, it’s important to keep the head elevated and use ice to help reduce the swelling. The soreness and stitches from the surgery will mean that only soft food should be consumed for around 3-4 days following the procedure; the stitches should be removed after around 10 days.

Results from the surgery often become apparent about a week after the procedure, when the swelling has subsided. Over the course of the next few months, the results will become more noticeable, as the skin settles. In many instances, the results can be permanent, although this is dependent on weight gain, which can cause plumpness to return to the cheeks.



Buccal fat removal has many wonderful benefits, that explain why it’s a fairly common cosmetic procedure. As the treatment is targeted at improving the appearance of puffy cheeks, you’ll see most of the benefits of the treatment around the cheek area. However, as the cheeks are a defining facial feature, the benefits of buccal fat removal can extend to the entire face, giving you a slimmer and more contoured appearance.

The treatment targets fat that can’t be reduced through exercise, helping you to see the full results of recent weight loss on your face, not just the rest of your body. The increased contouring of the cheeks and enhanced cheek definition can give you a boost in self-confidence over your facial appearance.

There are also many positive points about the buccal fat removal treatment. As it’s performed under anesthetic, the treatment is painless, and it’s also very quick. Recovery doesn’t take very long, and the results often appear fairly quickly after treatment. In some cases, the results of buccal fat removal can be permanent, making this a treatment that can improve your facial appearance forever.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Buccal Fat Removal?

You may be the perfect candidate for buccal fat removal if you’re unhappy with the roundness of your cheeks and want to achieve a more defined look. The best results of the treatment occur when the plumpness of the cheeks is due to the buccal fat pads and not other fat under the skin. Due to this, the ideal candidates are often near to, or will have achieved, their ideal body weight.

Typically, buccal fat removal is not suggested for patients under the age of 18, or in some cases slightly older. The reason for this is that the body is still developing, and plumper cheeks at this stage in life often thin naturally. Removing the fat before this point can cause undesirable results in the future, potentially causing the cheeks to look hollow. Also due to the natural loss of fat as the body ages, the treatment is often not recommended for patients in their 50s or later.

Buccal fat removal isn’t normally advised for smokers, unless they’re willing to quit for at least the month surrounding the surgery. Health will also be a contributing factor to treatment eligibility. Overall health can determine how quick recovery will be, while existing health conditions could make the procedure unnecessarily risky.

Before you consider having buccal fat removal surgery, it’s important that you have a full consultation with a surgeon at the Kovak Cosmetic Center in Oakbrook. Our experienced cosmetic surgeons will be able to discuss the procedure with you and determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment.  Dr. Benjamin Caughlin is now well known in the Chicago area as the top double board certified plastic surgeon with a specialty in buccal fat.

Are There Any Risks with Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is an established treatment and is generally considered to be a safe procedure. However, as with most types of surgical procedure, cosmetic and otherwise, there are some risks and possible complications.

Here are some of the potential complications that could be the result of buccal fat removal:

• Hematoma
• Numbness
• Parotid Duct Damage
• Nerve Injury
• Cheek Depressions
• Infection
• Allergic Reaction to Anesthetic

While many of these possible risks are uncommon, it’s important to be aware of the risks before proceeding with treatment, and to discuss any concerns that you may have with your doctor.


A consultation at the Kovak Cosmetic Center will involve discussing your goals with our resident cosmetic surgeon to determine the kind of aesthetic results that you’re hoping to achieve. During the consultation, your doctor will review your treatment options, and you’ll have chance to discuss the procedure and what the expected results will be. At this point, you’ll be able to ask any questions that you may have about the procedure, and your doctor will determine whether buccal fat removal is the right choice for you.

Intrigued to learn more about buccal fat removal, and what degree of results you can expect? Contact our friendly team today to book your first consultation and take one step closer to achieving your dream look.


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