Where Did the Buccal Fat Removal Trend Come From, and What This Desire for Chiseled Cheekbones Can Lead To

In the year 2022, Internet users were passionately discussing a trendy procedure that can be used to achieve chiseled cheekbones like those of Hollywood stars. This cosmetic surgery is called “buccal fat removal.” However, doctors assert that only about one in five people, who contact them about it, actually needs to have their cheekbones reshaped.

What this procedure is and why remove buccal fat

This operation is performed to make the cheeks visibly smaller by removing fat from them. The result is a tighter face and chiseled cheekbones.

The procedure is carried out by plastic surgeons in a clinical setting, and it’s not cheap — in the USA, this service can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000.

But even this doesn’t stop people from trying to sculpt their faces. Over the last few years, doctors have noticed a sharp increase in inquiries from patients wishing to get rid of excessively “puffy” cheeks. These were mostly women in their twenties and thirties, and most of them, according to doctors, didn’t need any plastic surgery at all.

What the doctors are honestly warning about

Doctors are mostly worried that the patients who decide to have their cheeks reduced will soon notice premature aging of the face. After all, it’s the subcutaneous fat in this area that gives us a more youthful appearance and prevents the appearance of excessive wrinkles.

Among medical professionals, there are those who strongly discourage turning to this procedure unnecessarily. “Fat in the face is precious, and it’s the one place in the human body where you really don’t want to lose a lot of it,” they say. Indeed, it’s unclear how the face of a person, who has decided to make their cheeks smaller at the age of 20 or 30, will look as they age. They may have to get fillers to look younger.

However, there is another opinion. Some plastic surgeons believe that such consequences of this surgery can be minimized by not removing all of the buccal fat. Everything must be tailored for each patient individually.

Who among celebs has decided to “tighten their cheeks”?

JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP / East News, © chrissyteigen / Instagram

In September 2021, Chrissy Teigen posted on her Instagram page about her recent plastic surgery. She admitted to her followers that her current cheekbones are the result of a surgeon’s work and the removal of buccal fat.

The model is now happy with her appearance and has no regrets about the procedure.

Who else has shared the results of this kind of plastic surgery

Blogger Amber Rapp underwent buccal fat removal surgery in March 2021. After that, she shared several videos with her followers in which she revealed her experiences, spoke about the pros and cons of the procedure, and showed the different stages of her recovery after the medical intervention.

Amber didn’t get her face sculpted due to the influence of current fashion trends. She came to this decision after 10 years of deliberation — even as a teenager, she felt insecure about her cheeks, which were larger than those of her peers. The operation was successful, but it was several months before she could see the final result, which is how long it took for her face to heal and come to its new shape.

Stories shared by other people who’ve had buccal fat removed.

  • 28-year-old female. I have a family history of full faces. I have been at a consistently healthy weight my whole life, yet my face has always been full. In the past few years, it has started to feel more puffy and heavy.
    Initially, I tried masseter botox but quickly realized that wasn’t the problem. Started doing research on facial slimming procedures and thought buccal fat removal made sense for my anatomy. I went to several different surgeons for consultations and ended up going with one who had a lot of experience with BFR.
    The results really start to show in 6 months — 1 year, so it will only get better from here, and I’m excited to see continuous improvement. I do think that for the wrong candidate, it’s a terrible idea but in my case, it worked wonders. So for the right person, it could be transformational. © esaysdance / Reddit
  • I’m 32. I’ve always had a chubby face and a double chin, even when I was underweight. I know that buccal fat removal is not a popular procedure on this sub, but I truly believe I was a good candidate. My chin still has some swelling, but so far, I’m very happy with the results! © superfundsite_ / Reddit
    — Rare instances like yours where it is done conservatively and to your own facial features it can work wonders because you didn’t ask for the ‘supermodel snatched sunken cheek’ look, you went for the ‘just a little less chubby cheeks’ option. © andreeeeeaaaaaaaaa / Reddit

What Internet users say about it

“Is the buccal necessary? 27-year-old female” © daddydevito12345 / Reddit

On Reddit, you can find posts in which their authors share photos of their own cheeks, asking if they should have their buccal fat removed. And as you read other users’ comments, you realize that there are as many opinions as there are people.

  • Some of us lose our cheek fat much earlier than we could have anticipated and it’s awful feeling like you look much older than “you should.” I dislike having a thin face with thin skin, and it’s even more apparent under cloudy, miserable weather with all the shadows and whatnot.. ugh! © Tippytoptiptop / Reddit
  • I had buccal fat removal and chin lipo. I am in my early 40s and had it done a year ago. It has improved my marionette lines, I would say by 70%. I don’t have a hollowed-out look and no longer consistently bite my cheeks. It’s been a wonderful surgery for me. As my buccal fat only grew with time. You should discuss it with a plastic surgeon to see if you are a good candidate. © Basic_Ad_7931 / Reddit
  • Buccal fat leans out when you are in your 30s, so removing it now may be regrettable later on because fat is precious in that it’s what prevents you from looking older. People are getting filler/fat grafts in their 30s and 40s because they want to look younger. © Capital-Can8994 / Reddit

How long do you think the buccal fat removal trend will last? And is it worth giving in to the influence?

Preview photo credit JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP / East News, chrissyteigen / Instagram
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