If a double chin is causing you issues, chin and facial liposuction could be the answer you have been looking for.
You don’t have to be overweight to get a double chin. Even in slender people some droopy skin can be a problem. Unfortunately, the chin and neck don’t respond all too well to exercises, creams, or other interventions.
Then there’s neck aging. Over time, the skin quality in the neck and facial region decreases, and becomes more wrinkled due to sun and environmental exposure. The skin becomes lax, and there is often more fat accumulation under the chin which leads to a change in the definition of the chin and face. All of these factors can draw your face down and make you look older than you actually are.
The following facts will help you decide whether or not chin and facial liposuction are right for you:
1. People rarely usually seek out chin or facial liposuction
“Usually a patient comes to me with complaints about the overall appearance of the lower one-third of the face and neck, and we have a discussion as to what factors are contributing to their overall dissatisfaction,” says Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi, a Palm Beach facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who regularly performs chin and facial liposuction. “Many times, it’s something as simple as someone saying that their face used to be heart-shaped and now it seems more round or square.”
One of the advantages of the procedure is that it produces a sharper angle to the neck and jawline, without removing any of the skin. Subsequently, the skin retracts to create a more defined profile.
The following before and after photo illustrates the issues brought up by Azzi and how they are addressed. This patient is shown before the procedure began and five days post op. The procedure was performed in Azzi’s office while she was awake, using only local anesthesia.
2. Liposuction is popular
The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)reports that liposuction is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure. In 2015, liposuction was performed over 395,000 times in the United States alone.
Unfortunately, the ASAPS does not publicly track what number of these procedures were specifically performed on the face.
3. Facial liposuction can be combined with other procedures
People seeking facial liposuction generally want to improve their overall profile, “most commonly, chin and facial liposuction is performed in conjunction with another procedure, like a lower face and neck lift,” says Azzi.
4. Few facial region allow for liposuction
Only a handful of places are suitable for liposuction in the facial region. These include the neck, chin, outside area of the cheeks, jowls, and jawline.
5. Patients that combine procedures are typically older
Azzi says that most people seeking chin liposuction in conjunction with a face or neck lift are between the ages of 40 and 70. They are often concerned that the lower part of their face is aging more quickly than the upper portion.
To put this into perspective, most estimates place the average age of cosmetic surgery patients around 39 years old.
“If the patient is younger, it’s usually a stubborn fat deposit under their chin versus a chin that is too far back, creating the illusion that their nose is larger than it actually is,” he says.
6. Patients who get a solo procedure are younger
“When I do chin liposuction in isolation, it is typically performed on a much younger patient with a very isolated problem. Usually these people are in their 20s or 30s,” says Dr Azzi. “This is mainly due to the fact that in the 20s and 30s people won’t need a face or neck lift as their skin is young and has the ability to retract naturally. Whereas, when patients are any older than that, they usually need a procedure geared toward polishing the look and keeping everything very natural-looking,” adds Azzi.
7. Chin liposuction gives long term results
“There are a lot of new technologies and injections that people use to improve the chin and neck, but I have found them to be less effective and less controlled in terms of long-term outcomes,” says Azzi.
8. You only need one liposuction procedure
Kybella requires two or three treatments over a three to four-month period, and the procedure will leave you with substantial swelling in the area for three weeks. The benefit of liposuction over treatments like Kybella is that the procedure is minimally invasive, only requires one treatment, and produces little, if any side effects.
9. You can be awake during chin liposuction
“My techniques are done without sedation,” says Azzi. “They are all performed in my office and they’re painless, so people typically prefer this option over other very expensive, limited, and often painful alternatives such as an entire facelift.”
10. It’s a minimally invasive procedure
Liposuction typically uses tumescent local anesthesia (TLA). On the day of your procedure, a TLA solution is prepared by surgical staff, which usually contains a 1-2% Lidocaine concentration, combined with saline as a vehicle. This method of anesthesia makes fat removal safe, results in very little blood loss, and reduces pain after the procedure.
A very small 1-3 mm cannula — a blunt tipped tube — is then inserted into the area via a very small incision. This cannula is then used to suck the fat out.
11. There are minimal side effects
Azzi says that when done right, liposuction has virtually no side effects and has minimal downtime, roughly one week. Liposuction is considered one of the safest cosmetic surgical procedures. While minor issues like bruising and swelling occur, the complications of liposuction to the chin and facial areas are very rare.
12. The fat removed can be redistributed
“I love addressing the Triad of Aging – gravity, volume loss, and texture – using the fat removed to add volume in strategic places on the face,” says Azzi. “Often times, I can get the equivalent of several syringes of filler from liposuction, and the beauty is that much of it lasts forever after being injected.”
13. Chin liposuction can involve little downtime
When this procedure is performed by an expert facial plastic surgeon, you should have no signs that anything was done after just a few days. Some patients may experience a small amount of bruising, but typically this can easily be covered with makeup.
“I have done this in my office many times and had patients go back to work afterwards,” says Azzi. “I have also done it in combination with an in-office face and neck lift where the patient remains awake, and have had people back in circulation within five days without anyone noticing a single incision,” he adds.
14. The results of liposuction are permanent
15. There are other names for chin and facial liposuction
This procedure can be termed chin or facial liposuction. The surgeon you work with may also refer to it as submental liposuction, neck liposuction, or a lipectomy.
16. It’s good for all sizes of fat deposits
Whether you have a small fat deposit under the chin or a receding chin with excessively loose skin, liposuction is a great choice for treatment.
17. Scaring is minimal
The incisions of liposuction are so small that they are barely visible. Additionally, your surgeon will place the incisions in strategic hidden areas, for instance, right under the chin.
People with darker skin tones may see small marks at the incision site, but because they are placed under the chin or in another hidden place, people rarely notice them and they usually fade with time as well.
18. It’s not a substitute for weight loss
Although chin and facial liposuction do remove fat deposits, liposuction is not intended to be a substitute for weight loss. Ideally, you should achieve your ideal weight before undergoing this procedure as this will provide the best results.
Liposuction should be viewed as a contouring procedure in most cases, and not a form of weight loss.
19. Liposuction may not be recommended
Women who are pregnant and people with cardiovascular disease or coagulation disorders should not have liposuction. Nor should people with diabetes or poor wound healing.
Chin and neck liposuction before and after pictures. Credits: Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi and ASAPS.