Excess fullness under the chin and around other areas can be a problematic feature for many people, including those who are young or not necessarily obese. The “double chin” is a common complaint of many individuals and may be caused by an increased number of fat cells in certain regions that are often resistant to conventional weight loss. Excess fat under the chin and jaw bone create a fullness to the neck that is characteristic of advanced aging.
Liposuction can be an effective means of re-contouring the neck and jawline, occasionally performed alone in younger patients and in conjunction with a facelift in older individuals.
Understanding the Procedure
Liposuction is the method of removing excess fat and is usually done through very small incisions in concealed areas. Conventional liposuction involves a small canula that allows the evacuation of unwanted fat deposits through a suction mechanism. At times, a newer liposhaving method can be used whereby the redundant fat is carefully trimmed away rather than avulsed through suction. Both techniques work well for select areas of the face and neck.
The “double-chin” is usually addressed through a small incision under the chin through which the fat is removed. Other areas including the lateral face and neck can be accessed through incisions around the ear.
When performed alone, this procedure is often done under local anesthesia with sedation, although patients may elect to go completely asleep, under general anesthesia. Either way, little pain or discomfort will occur.
What to Expect After Surgery
After the liposuction, it is usually necessary to apply a pressure bandage that is circumferential around your head. This dressing is very important in that it maintains pressures and helps define the new facial contour. This bandage is usually removed shortly after surgery in order to inspect the operated areas. One often requires some form of a pressure bandage for a few days, and at times, an elastic bandage can be used allowing you to remove it for short periods, such as for bathing or eating.
The incisions are usually closed with small sutures that dissolve over the course of several days. Some degree of bruising and swelling will invariably occur postoperatively. This is minimized with a firm pressure bandage and can be further controlled by maintaining your head in an elevated position as well as the application of ice. Once a bruise has occurred, however, it usually requires several days for it to naturally disappear.
Frequently Asked Questions?
What type of complications can result from this type of procedure?
A hematoma is a collection of blood under the skin and this can occur postoperatively. When it exists, it will need to be evacuated and this can usually be done in the office. Other complications include possible contour irregularities. Significant dimpling that one occasionally finds after lower body liposuction is very rare in the face and neck areas. Infection and unusual scarring are exceedingly uncommon.
Will it be necessary to repeat this procedure later in life?
Once this fat is removed, it is permanently gone; fat cells will not naturally re-accumulate in that area. It is important to note, however, that should significant weight gain occur, these areas will be affected in proportion with the rest of the body. General speaking, the change in contour from liposuction is proportional and permanent.
Can this procedure be performed alone?
In some circumstances, liposuction is the only procedure necessary for the face and neck. There are other occasions where excess fat and skin laxity coexist such as with older patients where the skin may not be able to contract and adhere to the new underlining contour. On these occasions, the removal of fat may leave redundant skin that is equally displeasing. For this reason, some individuals require a facelift in conjunction with a liposuction in order to optimize outcomes.
“I trust him thoroughly. He came highly recommended… I had a smooth recovery and kept my spirits up”… This procedure was a little easier than I expected. The bandage was a nuisance but it was only temporary… My sister is losing her surgeon due to her move here. She is just going to love Dr. Park.”