Call Now Button

Buccal Fat Removal Sarasota


The cheeks naturally carry much of the face’s natural fat. Once a person reaches adulthood, the majority of fat thins out to provide the look of a mature and adult face. Due to many circumstances including genetics, medical conditions, or weight loss, some people end up with excess fat in the cheeks. Typically, this fat will not go away on its own, even with a good diet and exercise. Understandably, patients want to remove this face to enhance their cheekbones and achieve a more contoured face. Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts offers the best buccal fat removal Sarasota offers.


Buccal fat removal, also known as a cheek reduction surgery, reduces fat in the cheeks. In this specific procedure, Dr. Sessa removes part of or all of the buccal fat pad. The surgery usually takes no more than an hour and involves an intra-oral surgical technique. This means that Dr. Sessa makes incisions in the mouth which prevents scarring.

Cheek Anatomy: What Are The Buccal Fat Pads?

The buccal fat pads are located between the masseter and buccinator facial muscles. This area just below the cheekbones should hold some fat, especially in younger adults and adolescents. The size of the buccal fat pads also varies from person to person.

Usually, Dr. Sessa does not need to remove the entire buccal fat pad to achieve good results. Additionally, a Sarasota cheek reduction usually will not address the extensions of the fat pads seen elsewhere in the face.

Causes For Cheek Reduction:

There are many reasons that patients seek a buccal fat removal in Sarasota. Generally, patients have a genetic predisposition for “chubby cheeks” or simply want an extremely contoured look. Some health conditions or situations may cause extra fat to collect in the face and buccal area. A few reasons a patient may experience a “chubby cheeks” look can include:

  • Weight loss, weight gain, or frequent weight fluctuations
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Steroidal therapy or medications
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Cushing’s Disease

It is possible to live a lifestyle that includes an optimal diet and exercise while carrying extra fat in the face. Often, this fat will not respond to lifestyle changes like other fat deposits.


Cheek slimming surgery can dramatically change the look of the face. Patients often find their results dramatic following the procedure. Buccal fat removal comes with many benefits such as:

  • Slimmer, more contoured facial appearance
  • Cheekbones can appear more prominent
  • Can contribute to a more mature look
  • Quick surgical time (often less than one hour)
  • No visible scarring on the outside of the body
  • Little downtime
  • Pain and recovery comparable to an oral surgery

Buccal fat pad removal is a fairly straightforward procedure with relatively few risks for ideal candidates. At a consultation, Dr. Sessa can determine if you are a good candidate for buccal fat removal in Sarasota.


Your Consultation

At a consultation with Dr. Sessa, he will ask about your concerns and goals for surgery. He will also want to know your medical history and will take the time to answer your questions. Finally, Dr. Sessa may conduct a physical exam of the face to determine if cheek reduction surgery is the best fit for you.

The appearance of chubbiness in the buccal area can have many causes that buccal fat removal is not the best surgery to address. For example, if the excess fat is due to aging, a facelift may better suit your needs. 

Along with this, combining buccal fat removal with another facial plastic surgery may provide higher quality results. Example of procedures that Dr. Sessa may recommend in addition to or instead of buccal fat removal may include:

If Dr. Sessa determines you are a good candidate for cheek reduction surgery, he will explain the results you can expect. You will also receive your individualized price quote and financing information before leaving the office.

Cheek Reduction Surgery In Sarasota

On the day of your Sarasota buccal fat removal surgery, you will come to our accredited outpatient surgery center. The Sarasota Surgical Arts team will prep you for surgery and Dr. Sessa may make pre-operative markings before surgery. Finally, a licensed anesthesiologist will place you under your chosen anesthesia. 

To begin surgery, Dr. Sessa will make a small incision inside of your mouth. Through this incision, he will remove the buccal fat. Normally, a walnut-sized piece of cheek fat is removed. Dr. Sessa will then repeat the steps on the other side. 

Finishing up the procedure, he will stitch the incisions. As mentioned earlier, buccal fat removal typically takes less than one hour. Some patients may also opt for local anesthesia due to the short surgical time. Patients who choose this option often remark that it is similar to dental surgery or procedure where local anesthesia is utilized.

Recovery After Buccal Fat Removal

After surgery, you will go home to begin your cheek reduction surgery recovery. In the first few days following the procedure, you can expect some level of pain and discomfort. This is easily managed with pain medications that Dr. Sessa will prescribe. 

Swelling is common after buccal fat removal and may last for a number of weeks. It should become virtually unnoticeable in about a week. Many patients find the swelling similar to wisdom tooth removal surgery.

You will need to follow a soft food diet for around one week following the procedure. This will promote good healing and keep you comfortable as your incisions heal. Typically, foods can be re-introduced as you become comfortable.

Patients can usually return to work within a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities may be limited for two weeks or so. Dr. Sessa can provide a more accurate timeline for your buccal fat removal recovery after your consultation.


What Are The Risks?

Any surgical procedure comes with some risks. The risks of infection, bleeding, fluid collection, numbness, and scarring are present during nearly every surgical procedure. Some risks associated specifically with buccal fat removal include nerve damage, lockjaw, facial paralysis, and changes in facial sensation.

These risks are rare in a good candidate and with an expert cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Sessa. At your consultation, Dr. Sessa will determine if you are at a higher risk of complications. He will also use careful techniques that minimize surgical risk.

Does Buccal Fat Removal Make You Look Older?

A common misconception about buccal fat removal is that it causes premature aging in the face. This is a valid concern because the face thins naturally as we age. Therefore, patients who already have a thin face, or who have not yet experienced full facial thinning from adulthood, are not usually good candidates for the procedure. When performed in someone who is not a candidate, it can cause accentuated cheek hollows.

In an ideal candidate, the surgery may lead to a more mature look, but this does not age them negatively. Often, patients with perpetual chubby cheeks look younger than their age and may carry a childish appearance. Buccal fat removal may positively age these patients.

Whether buccal fat removal may lead to a gaunt look in the future can be addressed at a consultation. Dr. Sessa will examine your facial structure and determine if other procedures may be necessary to achieve the best results.

Can I Do Liposuction Instead?

It is possible to perform liposuction on the cheeks, although normally not recommended for the buccal area. Liposuction also utilizes incisions outside of the body. Therefore, while technically possible, buccal fat removal is the preferred method of fat removal from the cheeks.

What Is The Right Age For Buccal Fat Removal?

Buccal fat removal is not right for every patient. Due to the natural thinning of facial fat in our teens and early twenties, it is usually preferred that patients wait until their mid-twenties for the procedure. Since aging progresses differently for everyone, Dr. Sessa can determine if you are the right age for buccal fat removal in Sarasota.

Aging is also a factor in facial fat distribution. The structures of the face tend to descend with age. For example, fat from the highest part of the cheekbones can move down to the buccal area. Therefore, some patients opt for a buccal fat removal during a facelift, or later in life to achieve a younger look.

Is There A Risk Of Scarring?

Buccal fat removal incisions are placed inside the mouth. While scarring may still occur, it will not be visible from the outside. This also means that keloids and hypertrophic scarring are nearly impossible.


Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts is an accomplished cosmetic surgeon with almost two decades of experience. He specializes in facial surgeries like facelifts, rhinoplasty, and cheek reduction procedures. His precise techniques and expertise make him a highly respected and sought after Sarasota cosmetic surgeon. 

Sarasota Surgical Arts accommodates local and out of town patients at their accredited surgery center. You can expect a friendly and welcoming atmosphere where your needs and goals are the top priority. 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Alberico Sessa at Sarasota Surgical Arts, call us at 941-923-1736. You can also contact us online via email, our Price Simulator™ app, chat, or contact form on this page.