What is buccal fat removal and why is Gen Z obsessed with it?

Recently, buccal fat removal has become one of the hottest trends in cosmetic surgery. Multiple celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, have shared their co-sign for the procedure. Although it is rising in popularity, several people still don’t know what the surgery requires.

Teigen revealed to the world she got the surgery in September of 2021. 

Buccal fat removal is a simple procedure to produce a slimmer, more angular look to the face. The removal is lightly invasive, requiring a small incision in the mouth. From there, the doctor removes some or all of the fat from the buccal fat pad — leaving a sleeker-looking face. 

However, for Gen Zers and younger patients that want to get this procedure, there are a few side effects to consider as they age with this surgery.

“Usually people who are younger like to have this procedure done, but as we age the face becomes more gaunt, naturally,” said Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh, a plastic surgeon and owner of Arizona Facial Plastics, told In The Know. “So people who age and have the buccal fat [removed], sometimes [they] have to put volume back into that area.” 

Dr. Taghizadeh’s practice focuses on the “aging” face, but he has dealt with younger patients who wanted buccal fat removal. 

“The demand for it has gone up some,” said Dr. Taghizadeh. “I don’t have the data, but I do believe the numbers have gone up.” 

Not only does he believe more young people want this procedure done, but he also has a theory as to why. 

“I think the popularity of social media — Instagram, TikTok, Facebook — you see a lot of people with a certain look and having a more defined lower face is very popular,” Dr. Taghizadeh said. “So yes, you see more young people who have gravitated to wanting that look.” 

TikTokers have had a lot to say about buccal fat removal, with many users posting what the process looked like for them. Currently, the #buccalremoval has over 6.5 million views.

Nurse Sam (@torontonurseinjector) posted her recovery when she was two weeks into the eight-month timetable. However, her treatment was different from the rest as she received an injectable meant to dissolve the fat rather than remove it. 


The swell was worth it 🤩 Full results seen at week 8 (im at week 2) #buccalremoval #fatdissolving

♬ BILLIE EILISH. – Armani White

“Removal is a surgery where they take the whole thing out and dissolving is an injectable & you loose about 20% every treatment- bit more subtle,” Nurse Sam explained to a commenter. 

There are several ways to get rid of cheek fat, and the younger generation is embracing it and pushing it forward.

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