–because no one wants a double chin
It seems like a strange area to accumulate fat. And yet many people who are otherwise height-weight proportionate have a stubborn deposit right under the chin that makes them look heavier. If you pose with your chin up and forward every time someone takes a photo, then you know what I’m talking about.
In the appropriate patient, liposuction under the chin can be a very effective—and cost-effective—treatment. So who is an “appropriate patient?” Like liposuction anywhere else on the body, neck liposuction works best in people with good skin tone. In the absence of major weight loss, skin tone beneath the chin correlates most closely with age.
20’s or 30’s: Your skin tone is probably fine.
Early 40’s: You may still be a reasonable candidate, but your skin tone is probably only fair.
Late 40’s: This is on a case-by-case basis. It may be getting a little too late for liposuction.
50’s: Your skin tone is probably inadequate for liposuction.
As an isolated procedure, submental liposuction (liposuction of the neck, under the chin) is most effective in younger patients. In older patients, a limited-incision neck lift or facelift may be a more appropriate procedure.
What other anatomic factors must be considered?
- Chin projection. If you have poor chin projection, you may benefit from a chin implant, which will tighten the soft tissue behind the chin.
- Muscle anatomy: Some people with “no chin” have an anatomic variant called an obtuse cervicomental angle. Liposuction is still a reasonable procedure, but in the absence of an anterior cervicoplasty (neck lift with muscle repositioning), an “angular” neck cannot be achieved.
Surgical sequence (about 45 minutes in the office under local anesthesia)
- I mark the excess fat beneath your chin.
- We provide laughing gas (70% nitrous oxide) to help you feel tipsy.
- Local anesthetic is injected to the surgical site.
- A small incision (about 4 mm or 1/6th inch) is made under the chin.
- Additional local anesthetic and saline are placed through the incision into the marked fat using a 3 mm (very narrow) liposuction cannula or hollow tube. At this point, you will feel like a “bullfrog,” since the fluid will cause temporary neck swelling.
- The same liposuction cannula is now used to suction out the fluid that was just injected—plus the excess fat.
- The incision is closed.
- A contoured piece of thin surgical foam and a not-so-sexy compression garment are placed.
- Have a family member or friend drive you home. Although the laughing gas wears off in about 10 minutes, the compression garment can be a little distracting at first.
- You may remove the foam and garment to shower every day. However, the garment must be worn at ALL other times (24 hours daily) for the first two weeks. For an additional two weeks, it should be worn most of the time (at least 16 hours daily—so you don’t have to wear it at work).
- You must avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for at least two weeks after surgery.
Remember that the purpose of submental lipectomy surgery is two-fold:
- Removal of excessive fat beneath the chin. That’s my job.
- Avoidance of sagging of the skin beneath the chin. That’s your job; you must wear your compression garment, or else the surgery will be unsuccessful.
Costs may vary depending upon your anatomy and desires, but the price of a typical submental liposuction in my practice is $1750.
Patient #1 is a 43 year old from Flower Mound who underwent liposuction under the chin
Patient #2 is a 32 year old from Plano who under went liposuction of the neck below the chin
Patient #3 is a 29 year old from Frisco who underwent submental liposuction
For more information, please visit www.https://www.plasticsurgerydallas.com or call us at (469) 467-0100.
Ronald M. Friedman, M.D.
Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center
Former Chief of Plastic Surgery, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas