Some of us are troubled by fat deposits under our chins, or “double” chins, and want more than anything to get rid of the problem! It used to be that we had to undergo a facelift or chin tuck to solve the double chin problem.
Not anymore! Chin or neck liposuction can do the job easily, with less scarring, and the healing is much faster. In fact, it is one of the most common liposuction procedures for both men and women.
Some people think that only elderly or overweight people are affected by double chins but this is not the case. In fact, double chins are often genetic. Much is determined by bone structure and skin elasticity so even younger, average weight people can develop double chins.
Liposuction can eliminate the offending fat deposits by breaking them up with a tiny titanium or stainless steel cannula and suctioning out the fat. It can do wonders for the look of your entire face and may even make you look younger and appear pounds lighter.
One Patients Experience with Neck/Chin Liposuction
Am I a good candidate?
If you have pockets of fat in your chin and neck, then the procedure may be right for you. Even if the skin in your chin area is “loose”, you may be a good candidate because the skin often retracts nicely. In fact, some patients incorporate skin tightening procedures along with the liposuction to firm up the entire chin and neck area.
The best candidates for chin liposuction are in good health and not diabetic, and are within 25 pounds of their ideal weight. While women are the majority of liposuction patients overall, men are equally good candidates. It is also important to have elasticity in your skin, so patients over 40 may not obtain the same results as younger patients. Liposuction is not recommended for patients with diabetes, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, bleeding disorders, or who have had previous surgeries on or around the chin.
If you have lost a lot of weight (such as with gastric bypass surgery), or are over age 60, you may want to consider combination of liposuction and skin resection to help remove saggy skin.
In any case, you should always have a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine if it is right for you.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Chin liposuction is a simple day surgery and can be done in your doctor’s office under local anesthesia.
Most often the surgeon will perform “tumescent” liposuction for the chin and neck area. “Tumescent” refers to the local anesthetic solution which is a saline (or saltwater) solution composed of lidocaine and epinephrine. It has a numbing effect to help with pain reduction and it causes the fat to become plump, or “tumescent”. This method helps prevent too much bleeding and bruising.
Tiny incisions about the size of the lead in a pencil are made under your chin and behind your ears. They are usually hidden by your jaw line. The tumescent solution is injected into the fat beneath the skin to shrink the arteries and make the fat easier to remove. The surgeon then uses a microcannula (a tiny metal tube) to manually loosen and break down the fat, and suctions out the excess. No stitches or sutures are needed and the procedure usually takes less than one hour.
Another option is to consider laser liposuction. A small laser fiber is inserted beneath the skin and the laser beam heats the fat and skin. This heat dissolves the fat and the skin also tightens from the heat. Laser liposuction melts the fat into a thin liquid that is easy to remove. The disadvantage is that it cannot remove larger fat areas. Laser liposuction usually takes less than one hour.
What happens after the procedure?
Most patients experience little or no discomfort after undergoing the procedure and most patients can drive themselves home afterward. A gauze bandage will cover your incisions and those usually heal very quickly. You may have to wear a special chin strap for several days to help reduce any potential bruising or swelling. Over-the-counter painkillers are usually enough to take care of any discomfort you may have. Most patients take a few days off from work or at least until the bandages are removed, but some patients return to work the next day. You should refrain from very strenuous exercise for the first several days.
You will probably notice improvement right away following your the surgery, and the results should improve over the next few months. Scars are practically invisible, and recovery is very fast. Many patients have no noticeable signs of surgery as soon as the next day and any minor bruising can easily be covered up by clothing.
Are there any risks?
Liposuction is a very safe procedure when done by a properly trained and board certified plastic surgeon. However, there are risks associated with any type of surgical procedure. While they are rare, here are some potential issues that may occur:
- allergic reaction to the anesthetic
- dimpling or lumpiness
- embolism (a blood clot)
- edema (swelling)
- nerve compression
- extra puncture wounds from the cannula that were not intended.
How Much Does it Cost?
Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, the cost for chin/neck liposuction can run between $1,800 and $6,000. If performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia, it will be on the lower end of this scale. If your procedure is done in a surgical facility or surgicenter under general anesthesia, you should expect to pay an extra fee for the facility and anesthesiologist as well. Laser liposuction can be more expensive.
You may also find that prices vary based on your location. If you live in a remote or rural area where there are few plastic surgeons available, you may find the cost to be higher. Major urban areas have greater competition between surgeons and, consequently, prices may be more reasonable.
If you are having liposuction done on other areas of your body at the same time, the costs may be significantly less.
Liposuction is not usually covered by health insurance so you will have to consider how to pay for the surgery. Some plastic surgeons will offer financing options.
Keep in mind that just shopping for the lowest prices will not always give you the best results. It is always important to find a skilled plastic surgeon who is properly trained. Educate yourself and learn as much as possible about the procedure and what you can expect. Liposuction performed by the right surgeon can work wonders to get rid of that double chin and improve your self-esteem!