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08th Mar 2024

What exactly is buccal fat removal and is it safe?

Kat O'Connor

Buccal fat removal is the latest beauty trend taking over Hollywood

Does anyone else feel like they need to change 101 things about their appearance after scrolling through TikTok lately? From buccal fat removal to Ozempic, Hollywood is only strengthening the pressure placed on women to look perfect.

And we’re growing tired of it.

One of the latest trends to take over La La Land is buccal fat removal. Celebrities like Lea Michele, Chrissy Teigen, and Gigi Hadid are all reportedly fans of the procedure, but what exactly is it?

How buccal fat removal works

The aim of buccal fat removal is to give the patient more defined cheekbones. To achieve this look, patients will have the fat in their lower cheeks removed. Removing the fat from your lower cheeks can give your face a slimmer and more defined look, but removing the pad of adipose tissue isn’t for everyone.

Having defined cheekbones may be in style now, but we all know how often trends change in Hollywood so surely using makeup to achieve this look is a wiser move.

Doctors will remove the fat by ‘vaccuming’ it out of your face using a narrow tube, as well as a suction device.

According to Hopkins Medicine, doctors may remove some or all buccal fat during cosmetic surgery. Everyone has a different size and shape of buccal fat so each surgery will vary.

The team explained how the surgery changes the shape of your face:

“Removing buccal fat can make the cheekbones more defined and by creating a shadow contrast between the cheekbones and the lower jaw while making the face look less round and more V-shaped.”

Is this a safe cosmetic surgery?

Doctors have advised people to wait until they’re between the ages of 18 and 20 to even consider this surgery because their faces change as they mature.

Older women have also been warned against this surgery because their skin elasticity isn’t strong enough and it may lead to sagging.

Experts have confirmed that the surgery is “generally safe” but like most cosmetic procedures, there are risks involved.

These risks include excessive bleeding, infections at the site of incision, and injuries to the facial nerves or salivary glands/ducts.

Patients could also suffer from numbness, facial drooping, an aged appearance, and even asymmetry of the face.

Between the risks, costs and drastic change, we think we’ll stick to using highlighter and steering clear of buccal fat removal.


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