- Amber Rapp, 28, underwent buccal fat removal surgery last year after thinking about it for a decade.
- Interest in buccal fat, or cheek fat, removal has spiked in the last few years, plastic surgeons told Insider.
- Rapp said she felt insecure about her full cheeks since she was a teenager, and did extensive research prior to the surgery.
Nebraska-based YouTuber Amber Rapp got her buccal fat, or cheek fat, removed last year and hasn’t looked back.
Following speculation that celebrities are getting their full cheeks surgically slimmed, interest in buccal fat removal surgery has spiked over the last few years, plastic surgeons told Insider.
Chrissy Teigen admitted to having the procedure done in 2021, and many continue to speculate online about other celebrities.
Earlier this month, “Funny Girl” star Lea Michele posted a picture in which she seemed to have noticeably more defined cheeks.
—carey (@brokebackstan) December 12, 2022
Some social media users have lambasted the surgery for creation yet “another flaw for us,” but for Rapp, 28, the procedure did just the opposite. Rapp told Insider she felt insecure about having larger cheeks than her peers since she was a teenager, and thought about the procedure for a decade before surgically removing her buccal fat.
Rapp has no regrets about the surgery and feels “very happy” with her results.
“It’s very subtle and I really have no complaints,” Rapp said. “There are zero regrets.”
Rapp said her plastic surgeon said she was a good candidate for buccal fat removal surgery
Rapp said she has always felt her cheeks were larger than other people’s.
“I felt that my fullness in my face was just not the same throughout my body, you know, my weight hadn’t changed but my fullness in my face is still there,” Rapp said.
Rapp said she noticed her parents kept their face fullness as they aged, making her more interested in getting the fat cheek surgically removed.
After learning about buccal fat removal from the internet, Rapp went in for a consultation in her early twenties. Though her plastic surgeon said buccal fat removal surgery was the right procedure for what she wanted to see in her face, Rapp felt like she was too young to have it done.
She went back for another consultation last year, when she felt more financially secure. (Rapp did not share how much she paid for the surgery, but plastic surgery costs vary depending on a variety of factors.)
After having an extensive conversation with the plastic surgeon she found through online research, Rapp said she felt confident going through with the procedure.
“If you have a five, six year period where you’re still having thoughts about this procedure, I think it’s valid to get that done,” Rapp added. “I always think you have to put a lot of thought into getting cosmetic procedures done rather than just willy-nilly getting that done quickly.”
Rapp said she did not see the results until months after the surgery, when her swelling finally subsided
The YouTuber described the hour-long surgery as easy and straightforward, and she said she stayed awake for the procedure.
Rapp went home immediately after surgery. Though she felt little to no pain during and after the surgery, Rapp said her cheeks swelled significantly within a day. The swelling caused her discomfort when brushing her teeth, and she was on a soft-food diet of applesauce and mashed potatoes for a week.
Her swelling improved but did not subside until about two months after the surgery, Rapp said. Since her plastic surgeon was open with her about the recovery process prior to the procedure, Rapp said the healing went as expected.
She has no scarring and almost two years removed from the surgery, Rapp said she feels very happy with the results.
Ira L. Savetsky, a New York City-based board-certified plastic surgeon, told Insider people naturally lose buccal fat as they age, which might result in a gaunt appearance later in life for some patients. Savetsky, who wrote a paper on buccal fat removal last year in the peer-reviewed journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, encourages doctors to use the procedure sparingly and understand that it can result in premature aging.
But Rapp has no concerns about losing cheek fat as she ages: “I definitely brought that up to my surgeon and he didn’t see any sort of issues with that, especially since jowls are a part of my family’s genetics,” Rapp said.
Rapp advises people considering buccal fat removal surgery to take their time finding a surgeon they feel comfortable with, and making sure the doctor is realistic about the results and recovery.
“Make sure you do your due diligence and realize this is your face that’s gonna change,” Rapp said.