Liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the United States, in part because it can be applied to several different areas of the body. No wonder it has become a popular option for reducing fatty deposits around the chin and neck the proverbial double chin, turkey neck, or hanging jowls. A contoured chin, jaw line, and neck are associated with youth. Fat that settles in these areas can negate that vision, making us look old before our time. In addition to refining the chin, submental liposuction also helps sculpt the jaw line, imparting a more youthful look.
Dissatisfaction with a double chin is one of the most common complaints that plastic surgeons hear. Fat accumulation under the chin can happen even if a person is not overweight. While chin exercises can help tone up the underlying muscles, they wont do anything for fat. The only permanent way to remove it is with liposuction.
Surgeons have several criteria for determining if a person is a good candidate for plastic surgery. The ideal candidate for chin liposuction is in general good health, has relatively firm, elastic skin, and is within 15% of their ideal body weight. They must also be free of any uncontrolled medical conditions that could compromise their surgery and recovery. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bleeding disorders, and asthma.
The patient should also be stable emotionally and mentally, and ready to deal with all aspects of the procedure. The recovery period in particular requires cooperation on the patients part to guarantee an optimal final result. Patients should also have a realistic expectation of what chin liposuction can accomplish for them.
It is unlikely that medical insurance will cover the costs of chin liposuction, so patients must consider how they will pay for it. Financing is one option.
The liposuction technique most often used on the chin and upper neck is called tumescent. In this technique, the treatment area is first numbed with lidocaine. Tiny incisions about the size of a pencil lead are made under the chin and each ear. A medical instrument called a microcannula is inserted and a large quantity (two to three times the amount of targeted fat) of a very dilute solution of local anesthetics (epinephrine and lidocaine in a saline carrier) is infused to both numb the area and reduce bleeding at the site. The local anesthetics can be supplemented with mild sedation to calm the patient if necessary.
Once the solution is injected into the tissues, they plump up and temporarily swell (tumesce) the fat compartment. The surgeon reinserts the microcannula, manipulates it to break up the fat, and then uses a specialized vacuum pump to suck out the fat cells. The procedure generally takes less than an hour.
Chin liposuction can eliminate both the unwanted fat in the chin and the loose, saggy skin found in the upper neck area that would otherwise be dealt with through face lifts and chin tucks. While lifts and tucks are effective in their own right, liposuction offers fewer side effects, less tissue trauma, a quicker recovery, and less scarring. No stitches are needed and there are no unsightly scars.
Chin liposuction is a relatively noninvasive cosmetic surgery procedure. However, that does not mean it is without risks since there are risks associated with all surgeries. Potential issues associated with liposuction in general include dimpling, lumpiness, wavy or uneven skin, numbness, scarring, discoloration, and excess sagging chin skin. Any of these problems may require follow-up surgery to correct. Asymmetry, or uneven results, may also occur due to poor surgical technique. An infection, either localized or systemic, can develop. An allergic reaction to the anesthesia is always an issue with any surgery, as is an embolism (blood clot or bit of fat in the blood stream), edema (swelling), and nerve compression. Theres also the risk of unintended puncture wounds from the cannula.
There is usually little to no discomfort following chin liposuction. The patient wears a special elastic chin band or strap for 2 to 3 days and at night for a week. The strap provides gentle pressure to help reduce bruising and swelling, which is usually minimal. There are no stitches, only gauze to cover the puncture wounds, which usually heal within 24 hours. Prescription painkillers are not usually necessary, as ibuprofen and acetaminophen generally suffice for any discomfort. Most patients take 2 to 3 days off from work, but they are allowed to engage in light to moderate activity during this time.
What is chin liposuction?
Chin liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure to remove stubborn deposits of fat under the chin and on the upper part of the neck, including the jaw line. During chin liposuction, the surgeon inserts a thin metal tube called a microcannula through tiny incisions under the chin and breaks up the fat deposits. The loosened fat is then sucked out using a special vacuum device.
Is chin liposuction different from other types of liposuction?
No, the procedure is basically the same as for any other part of the body where liposuction is performed. The size of the instrument used (cannula) is smaller, however.
Are there different types of liposuction techniques?
Yes, there are several, including super wet, tumescent, ultrasound assisted, and laser assisted. The tumescent technique is most often used for chin liposuction. Read more about the different liposuction techniques.
What can I expect after surgery?
Chin liposuction is day surgery and can be performed in a surgeons office under local anesthesia. You can drive yourself home immediately following the procedure. You may feel sore, experience swelling and some bruising for a day or two. Follow your surgeons postsurgical instructions carefully. You will need to wear a special chin strap for support for the first few days and every night for a week following the procedure. By then you should be fully healed. You activities should escalate from light to moderate to normal during this time.
When will I be able to return to work?
Everyone heals differently, but most patients return to work in 2 to 3 days.
When will I see results?
The results of your liposuction will be visible as soon as the swelling dissipates, generally within a few days. In some cases, the swelling can continue for up to 6 weeks.
Is chin liposuction painful?
Chin liposuction is performed under local anesthetic and is virtually pain-free. Most patients do not require prescription painkillers, only over-the-counter products like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
3023 Hamaker Court
Fairfax, VA 22031
Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute
8650 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20110
George Washington University Hospital
2150 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC, DC 20037