Jaw Filler And Buccal Fat Removal: Enhancing Your Facial Profile

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Achieving a sculpted jawline and contoured facial profile is a common aesthetic goal. Jaw fillers and buccal fat removal are two popular procedures that address this desire.

Jaw fillers, typically made of hyaluronic acid, are non-surgical injections that enhance the jawline’s definition. In contrast, buccal fat removal is a surgical approach to reduce cheek fullness and create a more sharp facial appearance. Both treatments offer distinct benefits and considerations, from the immediacy and reversibility of fillers to the permanence and invasiveness of buccal fat removal. Understanding the role of buccal fat pads in facial aesthetics and the specifics of each procedure can guide individuals toward the best choice for their unique facial structure and aesthetic goals.

Comparing Jaw Filler and Buccal Fat Removal

Choosing between jaw fillers and buccal fat removal hinges on understanding their differences, including the invasiveness of the procedures, permanence of results, and individual suitability. This comparison will delve into these aspects to aid in making an informed decision.

Non-Surgical vs. Surgical Approaches (Recovery and Downtime)

Non-surgical jawline enhancement with dermal fillers boasts minimal recovery time, allowing patients to resume normal activities almost immediately. The procedure is quick, typically under an hour, and any mild bruising or swelling is short-lived. In contrast, buccal fat removal, being a surgical procedure, requires a more extended recovery period. Patients may experience swelling and discomfort for a few weeks, with a full return to normal activities often advised after a couple of weeks. The choice between a non-surgical and surgical approach may depend on the patient’s availability for downtime and their comfort with undergoing surgery.

Immediate and Long-Term Effects

Dermal fillers provide an immediate enhancement to the jawline, with results visible as soon as the procedure is completed. However, the effects are temporary, generally lasting between 12 to 18 months, requiring repeat treatments to maintain the contour. Buccal fat removal, on the other hand, offers a permanent solution to reducing cheek volume. The final results take time to manifest, as swelling must subside to reveal the new facial contour. This delay in seeing the outcome is a trade-off for the long-term permanence of the procedure.

Suitability, Customization, and Age Considerations

Suitability for jawline enhancement procedures varies with individual facial anatomy, aesthetic goals, and age. Dermal fillers are versatile, allowing for customization in volume and placement to achieve the desired effect, regardless of age. They are suitable for those seeking temporary changes or who are hesitant about surgery. Buccal fat removal is more suited for individuals with pronounced buccal fat pads and requires careful consideration of facial proportions to avoid an overly thin appearance in the future, particularly as one ages and natural fat loss occurs.

Pros and Cons

Benefits and Drawbacks of Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers offer a non-invasive route to a more defined jawline with immediate results and no significant downtime. They are ideal for individuals seeking a temporary solution or those who wish to test the waters before committing to a permanent change. The ability to dissolve HA fillers provides an additional safety net for those dissatisfied with the outcome. However, the temporary nature of fillers means recurring treatments are necessary, which can be a long-term financial and time commitment. Additionally, there is a risk of uneven absorption, leading to asymmetry, and potential complications such as infection or allergic reactions, although rare.

Advantages and Risks of Buccal Fat Removal: The advantages of buccal fat removal are significant for those seeking a permanent solution to achieve a slimmer, more contoured facial appearance. By reducing the size of the buccal fat pads, this procedure can enhance facial angles, particularly in the cheek and jawline areas, contributing to a more mature and aesthetically pleasing profile. The results are long-lasting and can dramatically alter one’s appearance in a positive way. However, risks are inherent in any surgical procedure, including infection, asymmetry, and potential damage to facial nerves or salivary glands. It’s also important to consider the natural reduction of facial fat with age, as removing too much buccal fat can lead to a skinny appearance in later years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose between jaw fillers and buccal fat removal?

The choice depends on whether you prefer a non-invasive, temporary solution like fillers or a permanent, surgical option like buccal fat removal. Consider your aesthetic goals, tolerance for downtime, and whether you desire reversibility in the results.

How long do jawline fillers last compared to buccal fat removal?

Jawline fillers typically last between 12 to 18 months, while buccal fat removal offers permanent results. The longevity of fillers can vary based on the type used and individual metabolism.

Can dermal fillers and buccal fat removal be done simultaneously?

Yes, dermal fillers and buccal fat removal can be performed together for comprehensive facial contouring, but it's essential to consult with a qualified professional to determine the best approach for your needs.

What are the risks associated with combining procedures?

Combining procedures can increase the risk of complications such as infection, prolonged swelling, and asymmetry. It's crucial to have both procedures done by experienced professionals.

Are there non-surgical alternatives to buccal fat removal?

Yes, non-surgical alternatives like weight management and facial exercises may help reduce the appearance of fullness, but they are unlikely to replicate the results of buccal fat removal.

What are the signs of a good candidate for buccal fat removal?

Good candidates for buccal fat removal typically have excess fullness in the lower cheeks that is not responsive to diet or exercise and are seeking a permanent solution.

Is buccal fat removal reversible?

No, buccal fat removal is not reversible. Once the fat pads are removed, they cannot be replaced, making the decision to proceed with surgery one that requires careful consideration.


Jawline enhancement through jaw fillers or buccal fat removal offers individuals the opportunity to achieve a more defined facial contour. While fillers provide a temporary and non-invasive solution, buccal fat removal delivers permanent results through a surgical approach. The choice between these procedures should be informed by personal aesthetic goals, lifestyle, and the willingness to undergo surgery. Maintaining the results requires different approaches: periodic touch-ups for fillers and a stable weight for buccal fat removal. As with any cosmetic procedure, consulting with a qualified professional is essential to ensure safety and satisfaction with the outcome.

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Wollina, U., Goldman, A., & Tchernev, G. (2017). Fillers and Facial Fat Pads.

Cohen, S. R., Fireman, E., Hewett, S., & Saad, A. (2017). Buccal Fat Pad Augmentation for Facial Rejuvenation.

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.