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What is Buccal Fat Extraction?

Buccal (pronounced “buckle”) fat extraction is the technical term for removal of excess fat from the cheeks. While not a very complicated or invasive procedure, slimming down the buccal fat can make a subtle and unique difference in the look of your face, improving the look of “chipmunk cheeks” for a more sophisticated appearance.

Dr. Otto Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced in all types of facial cosmetic surgery, including buccal fat extraction. Dr. Placik has helped thousands of men and women in Chicago and the surrounding areas feel and look their best with a variety of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on buccal fat extraction, including prices.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.


About Buccal Fat Extraction

The buccal fat extraction procedure focuses on pads of fat in the lower half of the face that can give a bottom-heavy, imbalanced or “puffy” look. Excess fat in this area can make your face look overweight even if you’re otherwise slim and fit. Those men and women who prefer a more chiseled look with distinct cheekbones may opt for a buccal fat extraction, also sometimes called a cheek reduction.

In this procedure, Dr. Placik makes a small incision in the inside of the cheek to remove the pad of fat. Surgery can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general IV anesthesia, depending Dr. Placik’s recommendation. Since the incision is made on the inside of the cheek, there is no visible scar, and often there is only minor swelling and bruising. In most cases, you will be able to go home the same day.

Patient Not a Model

Buccal Fat Extraction Procedure

A preliminary consultation with Dr. Placik is particularly important for the best results after buccal fat extraction, as many factors need to be considered. One important element to keep in mind is your age. While your face might seem overly full or rounded now, if you are under twenty-five, you might not want to pursue surgery. Most people’s faces naturally become thinner and more refined in their later twenties and early thirties, so if you decide on a buccal fat extraction when you’re younger, the natural changes in your facial contours as you get older could make you appear far thinner than you intended.

A comprehensive consultation with Dr. Placik can also help you determine if the shape of your face is likely to change, or if your more rounded look is hereditary and thus will likely stay with you even as you get older. If the latter is the case, then you might choose to go ahead with the buccal fat extraction.

Buccal Fat Extraction FAQ

Am I a candidate?

If you are self-conscious about the appearance of chubby cheeks, you may be a candidate for buccal fat extraction. However, Dr. Placik will need to conduct a comprehensive exam before determining your candidacy. Patients that are still in early adulthood may need to wait a few years before pursuing cheek reduction.

What are your qualifications to perform buccal fat extraction?

Dr. Placik is one of the most experienced plastic surgeons performing this procedure in the U.S. In addition, he has authored articles and papers on this subject and is a leading innovator in buccal fat extraction.

Will cheek reduction help me look younger?

In many cases, cheek reduction can actually contribute to a more refined appearance, although not specifically a more youthful one. Removing the buccal fat pads can enhance the cheekbones for improved facial definition.

How much does buccal fat extraction cost?

The total cost of cheek reduction varies from patient to patient, and will be affected by such factors as whether other procedures were included at the same time. Costs will cover Dr. Placik’s fees, the surgical facility itself and the anesthesiologist. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

What should I expect during recovery?

It’s normal to feel soreness and notice swelling through the lower face and mouth immediately following your cheek reduction. However, visible bruising should be limited to the inside of your mouth. Dr. Placik may recommend an initial diet of non-acidic foods and ask you to rinse with a special mouthwash, as well as sleep with your head elevated. You should see the results of your surgery in about 2 weeks.

What are the risks?

The primary risk of buccal fat extraction is subpar results when not performed by a very skilled surgeon with plenty of experience in this specific procedure. Other risks include those similar to any surgery, such as a poor reaction to anesthesia, infection or nerve damage. Dr. Placik will discuss all relevant information with you ahead of time so you’re fully prepared for your surgery.

Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about cheek reduction surgery, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.


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