Cosmetic surgery that has gone viral takes some cheek

Buccal fat is the fat between your cheekbones and jaw.

Buccal fat is the fat between your cheekbones and jaw. Photo: Getty

Social media’s current viral cosmetic surgery trend is making the rounds, its popularity skyrocketing with each post – but what is buccal fat removal? 

Buccal (pronounced ‘buckle’) fat is the fat between your cheekbones and jaw. We all have buccal fat, but some faces have more than others. 

The presence of more buccal fat gives the appearance of a rounder face and removing the fat highlights bone structure and results in hollower cheeks. 

Although buccal fat removal isn’t new, social media has breathed new life into the procedure with the hashtag #buccalfatremoval getting millions of views on TikTok.   

How does it work? 

The procedure is fairly quick, only taking two to three minutes and doesn’t typically require a general anaesthetic, US board certified plastic surgeon, Dr Michael K Obeng told People. 

The procedure starts with a local anaesthetic, numbing the skin on the patient’s face.

During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will make a small incision on the inside of the patient’s mouth, on both sides of their face, exposing the buccal fat pads. The fat is then removed.

The Hollywood effect 

Like many beauty fads, the paper trail for this trend seems to lead to the bright lights of Hollywood, with the procedure earning the nickname the “Hollywood cheek”.  

Though the who’s who in buccal fat removals is still slightly cloudy – with few celebrities openly admitting to undergoing the procedure – some, like model Chrissy Teigen, have been forthcoming about their experience. 

Last year, Teigen took to social media to show off her defined jaw and high cheekbones, revealing that she had undergone buccal fat removal and was happy with the results.

Earlier this month, Funny Girl star Lea Michele sparked speculation that she has jumped on the “Hollywood cheek” trend after posting a selfie with visibly more hollow cheeks.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lea Michele (@leamichele)

Model Bella Hadid is often referenced during buccal fat removal discourse, due to her high cheekbones and defined jaw, despite the model saying she has never had the procedure done.

Online response 

Although this trend is enjoying its 15 minutes in the spotlight, it is not without its critics. 

Self-proclaimed “round-faced girlies” have taken to social media to praise the face shape that those who undergo this procedure are keen to ditch.

“my buccal fat is an ally… not an enemy …” one user posted on Twitter. 

@rachelocoolmua Buccal fat removal can SUCK IT #roundface #roundfacecontour #fullface #contourtutorial #makeuptutorial #blush ♬ You Don’t Own Me – Lesly Gore

Advocating for people to embrace the shape of their face, TikToker and make-up artist Rachel OCool responded to the trend with a tutorial on how to enhance a round face with make-up.

The video has racked up 6.1 million views on TikTok.

Echoing OCool’s sentiments, another TikTok user started her video saying, “If having buccal fat is wrong I don’t wanna [sic] be right,”

@lordsnart Stay rotund for my sake #bblefffect #buccalfatremoval #friendship #TheRealPussinBoots ♬ original sound – mo

 No going back

If you have longed for a chiselled jaw and this seems like the solution you’ve been searching for, fair warning. Unlike many trendy cosmetic surgery procedures, buccal fat removal is irreversible. 

But while it cannot be reversed, its appearance can be changed through injectable fillers. 

Healing time is about three weeks, but it will take several months before you see the final results, according to Cleveland Clinic. 

The clinic advises that people weigh the benefits and risks of buccal fat removal before taking the plunge.

Topics: Celebrity
Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.