Look at yourself in the mirror while sucking through a straw. This is what you might look like if you removed your buccal fat.
Buccal fat (pronounced as loop) consists of small pads of fat in each of your lower cheeks. Removing it is a quick procedure that can make your face more sculpted and slimmer.
Comments and videos of the cosmetic procedure have poured in on social media, sparked by discussions about whether various celebrities have had their cheeks thinned. On TikTok, the hashtag #buccalfatremoval has garnered more than 157 million views in recent weeks.
Chrissy Teigen confessed to having his mouth fat removed last year. But videos and comments about the procedure exploded on social media this month after actress Lea Michele posted a picture of herself on Instagram showing off her well-defined cheeks. (Michele made no reference to the proceedings in her post and did not comment on the speculation. She could not be reached through her reps.)
The discussion prompted many people to start sharing their own buccal fat removal stories. A young woman said she had the procedure because she always felt like her round face didn’t match her petite body. Others who were happy with the procedure shared before and after photos on TikTok.
But a number of TikTok videos also warn against the procedure. Oral fat cannot grow back, and as people age and naturally lose fat from their face, the results can be shallow cheeks and a lean, unhealthy appearance.
The Washington Post interviewed several plastic surgeons about the procedure. Here’s what they had to say.