Facial Liposuction

Facial Liposuction for the Chin and Neck

Reviewed by Yael Halaas, MD

Facial liposuction, also called submental or submentum liposuction, can remove unwanted fat from under the chin and neck, helping to improve your appearance by banishing your double chin, jowls or even your turkey neck. It can change the look of your face, and others will be none the wiser — often leaving them thinking you have simply shed a few pounds.

Chin / neck liposuction does not differ much from liposuction elsewhere on the body, except in scale. A smaller area is being treated and a smaller amount of fat (usually just a few ounces) is being removed.

Courtesy of AAFPRS

Sometimes chin augmentation with implants can be performed in conjunction with facial liposuction to create or restore facial harmony. Neck / chin liposuction can also be done in conjunction with buccal fat extraction if you are bothered by chubby cheeks.

Is Facial Liposuction Right For You?

If you are thinking about having facial liposuction, make sure you are in good health before undergoing the procedure. Discuss your goals with your surgeon so that you can reach an understanding about what can realistically be achieved and whether facial liposuction is the best way to achieve these aesthetic objectives. If you are planning to lose weight, you should consider postponing the procedure, as weight loss may affect the look of your face.

Choosing a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon or board-certified facial plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facial liposuction is the best way to maximize the cosmetic results of your procedure. Ask to see before and after photos during your initial consultation for a better idea of what you can expect if you choose to undergo facial liposuction with this surgeon.

Facial liposuction is usually done with light sedation plus local anesthesia, unless you are having other facial procedures done at the same time. In that case, your surgeon may opt for general anesthesia. On its own, facial liposuction typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour to perform.

Your surgeon will make an incision that is about two to four centimeters long either in the angle of your lower jaw, just beneath your chin, or between your gums and the bottom of your inner lower lip. Your surgeon then inserts a thin tube (cannula) into the area via a tiny incision. The cannula is moved back and forth to break up the fat, making it easier to vacuum out. This is called traditional liposuction, but other liposuction types may be used. For example, ultrasound-assisted liposuction uses a special cannula that emits sound waves to help break up the fat, presumably making it easier to vacuum out. Power-assisted liposuction uses a motorized (not manual) cannula to break up fatty tissue before vacuuming it out. Laser-assisted liposuction liquefies the fat before it is removed, and water-assisted liposuction involves a jet of pulsating water to loosen fat cells from connective tissue while simultaneously vacuuming them out.

Once the liposuction procedure is complete, your incisions are closed. The surgeon may place an antibiotic-soaked piece of gauze between your lower lip and your gums. The results are immediate.

Risks of Facial Liposuction

Facial liposuction generally carries fewer risks than liposuction performed on other body areas. However, like all surgical procedures, facial liposuction does entail risks. These may include:

  • Infection
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Hematoma (pooling of blood beneath the skin that may clot)
  • Seroma (collection of fluid beneath the skin)
  • Dissatisfaction with the cosmetic outcome

Your surgeon will provide you with detailed information about how to minimize risks and ensure a healthy recovery. Following surgery, he or she may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection. It's important to take the full course of these medications even if you show no signs of infection.

Your risks will be increased if you are a smoker. Smoking interferes with your body's ability to heal, increasing your risk of complications and a less-than-ideal outcome. Quitting several weeks prior to surgery will help minimize any smoking-related risks.

Facial Liposuction: Your Recovery

Recovery after facial liposuction is not as grueling as with a facelift or some other more invasive facial rejuvenation procedures. There will likely be some mild discomfort that can be controlled with prescribed or approved over-the-counter pain killers. Some swelling and bruising is also normal; ask your surgeon whether there is anything you can do or take to help minimize it. Certain homeopathic remedies such as bromelain or Arnica Montana may have a role.

You will likely be asked to wear a compression garment for several weeks. Most people can return to work in five days; you may be back at work faster than this if you sport a turtle neck or scarf to cover the treated area.

Facial Liposuction Cost

Liposuction to the chin, cheeks, jowls and neck can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. Laser-assisted liposuction and ultrasound-assisted liposuction may cost more than traditional liposuction. These procedures are considered cosmetic and consequently are not covered by insurance. If the cost is prohibitive, ask your doctor about financing options.

  • Halaas 58x57

    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

    60 E. 56th Street
    3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10022
    (332) 239-6439

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    Mune Gowda, MD

    3270 West Big Beaver
    Suite 415
    Troy, MI 48084

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    Sean Maguire, MD

    Physician's Center for Beauty
    24 Chenoweth Lane
    Louisville, KY 40207
    (866) 774-9105