Facial Liposuction

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Jill Daniels, Freelance Medical Writer

Jill Daniels is a freelance health writer based in New York City. She spent several years writing for WebMD, including their Weight Loss Clinic and Fertility Center programs. Jill has also written/reported for publications including InStyle, People and Women's Own. She received a degree in journalism for Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


August 11 2008

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Are you trying to lose your double chin? Reduce your jowls? Contour your cheekbones? Well, if you are, facial liposuction or facial contouring may do the trick.

It can take a great deal of dieting and exercising to reduce fat in the face – and heredity may not even let it happen! It's unfortunate but people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond can have a significant amount of fat in their neck region. Premature aging or being overweight isn't necessarily to blame. Certain individuals just have a genetic disposition to developing a thick neck or excess fat deposits under the chin and on the cheeks. It tends to run in families.

Facial liposuction can eliminate fat from the jaw line, cheeks, and neck that even the most stringent healthy living regimen wouldn't be able to reduce. While the procedure can produce some impressive results, it certainly can't do everything. Facial liposuction isn't for everyone, but it may be right for you.

Facts about Facial Liposuction
Facial liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove localized fatty deposits from areas of the face such as the chin, neck, and jowls and help improve facial contouring; it is typically performed on or below the chin and jaw line. It can reduce signs of aging and provide you with a more youthful appearance.

Who is a Good Candidate?
Like any cosmetic procedure, there are people who make good candidates and those who do not. When it comes to facial liposuction, a promising candidate:

  • Is in good health
  • Has good skin elasticity
  • Has localized fatty deposits that won't go away
  • Is of average weight or only a few pounds above what they should weigh
  • Is emotionally stable – because there is a healing period that may be challenging
  • Has realistic expectations

What to Expect During and After the Procedure
Sometimes referred to as neck liposuction or jowl liposuction, facial liposuction is most commonly performed on an outpatient basis. Local or general anesthesia may be used, depending on the extent of the procedure and whether you are planning to have additional procedures done at the same time.

Tiny incisions are placed in discreet areas of the face or neck. A small tube called a cannula, which is attached to a suction syringe or pump, is used to break up the fat and gently extract the unwanted fat cells. This results in resculpting of problem areas of the face. Because the incisions are so tiny, few or no stitches may be needed, and the procedure typically produces very little scarring. You will be required to wear a snug elastic dressing over the treated area for a few days to a few weeks, depending on your situation.

Some soreness, bruising and swelling is to be expected for several days, but complications from the procedure are rare. Most people are able to resume normal activities within a few days, and final results can be seen in 3 to 6 months.

Is the Fat Removal Permanent?
Because people don't create many new fat cells after puberty, once they have been removed through facial liposuction they should be gone for good. This, of course, does not mean that the remaining fat cells in your body or near the treated area won't balloon up if you gain a lot of weight. So, maintaining a healthy weight is important to sustaining optimal results.

Beyond Facial Liposuction
It's true that facial liposuction can successfully eliminate fat in the neck, chin and jowls, but it's most successful in younger people or those who have good skin elasticity. When a person doesn't have great skin elasticity or seeks very strong facial definition, alternate procedures such as a face lift or neck lift can help by tightening the skin after the fat has been removed with facial liposuction. The addition of cheek or chin implants can also improve results.