Posted May 01, 2023 in Liposuction

2 Minute Read: 

What kind of cannula (suctioning instrument) do you use for liposuction under the chin?

Why does it matter?

I recently attended the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery annual meeting in Miami and visited the exhibitor booth to purchase another cannula for submental (under the chin) liposuction. The salespeople tried to push the “latest” cannulas with multiple holes running 360 degrees around the cannula to maximize efficiency. They also recommended “microcannulas” for precision. I ignored their recommendations and purchased another 3 millimeter single-hole cannula. Why?

Various liposuction cannulas, multiple-hole and single hole

Multiple holes maximize efficiency in deep liposuction. A single hole maximizes safety in superficial liposuction.

1. Liposuction of the abdomen, love handles, thighs and pretty much most of the body is performed in the “deep” layer of fat (just above muscle). For deep liposuction, a cannula with multiple holes is most efficient.

On the other hand, liposuction under the chin is performed in the “superficial” layer of fat (just beneath the skin). A single hole in the cannula facing away from the skin will minimize the risk of skin injury.

Liposuction cannulas with different-sized holes.

A 3 mm diameter cannula leaves 3 mm of cushion to help smooth the skin. A 1 mm cannula may cause the skin to stick to the underlying muscle.

2. In the submental area, I use a 3 mm diameter cannula. This will leave approximately 3 mm of “unsuctioned” fat intact just beneath the skin (since the single hole in the cannula is facing away from the skin). Use of a microcannula (such as a 1 mm) sounds great but only leaves 1 mm of intact fat beneath the skin. This may lead to the undesirable side effect of skin “sticking” to the underlying platysma muscle. We want to reduce your fat but not eliminate it altogether.

Technique really does matter.