Posted by Dr. Anil R. Shah

Buccal fat removal is one of the hottest procedures.

This past weekend, Chrissy Teigen had buccal fat removal, or cheek reduction surgery. So what is a buccal fat removal? Buccal fat removal is one of the hottest procedures, removing the fat from inside your cheek to contour, contract, and define your face, leaving no scar. This was extremely popular in the 1990s among models (think Marcus Schenkenberg, Tyson Beckford, Cindy Crawford, etc.). 


The procedure achieves high cheekbones with a little bit of shadow underneath the cheek. Recently, it’s had a resurgence due to the increasing impact of social media stars on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. They seek an elegant, more mature look. Chrissy Teigen, being in the social limelight, has always wanted to change this. According to the article, Teigen has absolutely no shame in revealing her newly contoured cheeks. And in the last few years, buccal fat removal procedures have increased by exponential measures in Hollywood and in my office, as well!


So how do we do Buccal Fat Removal differently in our office? Well, we did not treat Chrissy Teigen and she’s not a patient of ours. However, I’ve essentially changed this from a big procedure in which someone has to go to sleep into a procedure they can undergo comfortably in the office, wide awake. I now make a small, micro incision– literally the size of one of your teeth– and from that, I take out all of the fat.

Lots of patients ask me the importance of making such a small incision. Who cares if it’s inside the mouth? The reason for this is because with a larger incision, you’ll have a scar inside your mouth forever, giving you something to keep biting on and biting on. With this smaller incision, you’ll have practically no scarring, leaving virtually no recovery time. In fact, most of our patients are able to return to work right away, within 24 hours.

So here’s to patients looking their best via surgeries without any scarring. And cheers to Chrissy feeling as confident as ever and being the best version of herself.

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