Fixing the Dreaded Double Chin
The term “double chin” is a misnomer. A double chin is actually a neck problem, not a chin issue. It is due to excess fat in the area of the neck that is immediately below the chin, hence creating the appearance of an extra chin or double chin.
When this problem occurs, it does so to varying degrees, with the worst cases (as noted) looking like double chins. In less severe cases, the under-side of the chin may just look plump without being a double chin. Regardless of severity, extra neck fat is the cause. Because fat is the cause, liposuction is the most sought-after treatment for it.
In order to understand whether neck lipo is for you, you must first understand a few things, including how loose neck skin plays an important role.
Extra Neck Fat
Extra neck fat is considered by most to be undesirable. Extra neck fat may be hereditary, and if so is usually evident in early adulthood. It may also be acquired, in which case, it is progressive with weight gain. There are also those who have extra neck fat in response to aging, even in the absence of weight gain. In these cases, fat can accumulate in the neck due to a redistribution of subcutaneous fat that occurs with aging.
Regardless of its cause, extra neck fat can cause a person to look heavier as well as older. In fact, it is surprising how neck lipo can make someone with extra neck fat look significantly younger and thinner .
Loose vs. Hanging Neck Skin
Loose neck skin is simply skin in excess of what you need to cover your neck. It is most often acquired through aging, weight loss, or both. Rarely does a person under 40 who has not gone through significant weight gain and loss have significantly loose neck skin.
Hanging neck skin involves neck skin that is so loose that it appears to hang off of the person’s neck. In other words, it not only feels loose, but it appears to hang.
Candidates for Neck Lipo
Neck lipo is best suited to people who have extra neck fat and either 1) neck skin which is not loose or 2) neck skin which is loose but not hanging. If you have neck skin which is loose AND hanging, then neck lipo is not for you. Although neck lipo may still be attempted, there is a reasonable risk that a face and neck lift may be needed to either tighten up the remaining loose skin.
The reason neck lipo may be considered in those who have loose but not hanging skin is because the procedure itself promotes tightening of the neck skin. This occurs for two reasons: 1) the healing response to liposuction (or any event which requires healing) promotes some tightening of the skin, and 2) with neck fat removed, the neck skin tends to re-drape along the contour of the underlying structures of the neck
What about Necks with Extra Fat AND Hanging Skin?
Attempting neck lipo in this group is possible, but the results are typically much less favorable and involve a higher risk of irregularities and a greater likelihood that a facelift might be required to tighten the neck skin and smooth any irregularities. So, if both extra neck fat and loose hanging skin are involved, a facelift might be the best option to start with, rather than considering neck lipo. On the other hand, some people are so eager to avoid a facelift that initial neck lipo is an appealing option. This decisions must be carefully discussed with Dr Sadove.
Jawline and Jowls
Many who have extra neck fat also suffer the problem of having no distinction between the face and neck – in other words, it is hard to tell where the face stops and the neck starts. In these cases, lipo of the neck along the jawline really helps to define this area and can be done at the same time as neck lipo.
Jowls are the pockets of fat along and above the jawline. These are not improved with neck suction and require different treatment.
Neck lipo can be performed as an outpatient procedure in less than an hour. Mild oral sedation and local anesthesia can be used. Your plastic surgeon will begin by injecting your neck with tumescent fluid, which is a combination of saline, local anesthetic (similar to novocain), and epinephrine, which helps constrict blood vessels, reduce bleeding, and prevent bruising. If performed in the office, you will have some discomfort when the anesthetic fluid is injected. If performed in the OR, the tumescent fluid is injected when you are temporarily asleep, so that you feel nothing.
Following the procedure, pain is very little, and most find that they can return to work in 1-2 days. There is usually little bruising. You will need to wear a compressive garment around your neck and head for several days when at home. You will have 1-3 very small incisions, each of which typically heal inconspicuously.
The cost of lipo of the neck and jawline in the USA ranges from $2000 to $4000, including facility fees, surgeon fees, and anesthesia fees.
Because the nerve that controls the lower corner of your lip runs through the area of your neck involved with neck lipo, there is a risk that this nerve could become temporarily weakened, resulting in an uneven smile. Fortunately, this is rare.
If you have loose neck skin, ask Dr Sadove how much improvement can be achieved with lipo alone or whether you will need a lift (facelift).
Alternative Treatments- Freezing and injecting
Injection and freezing is now being marketed to the public. It is no surprise. The rush to make a fast buck with the latest “miracle” wiz-bang is sadly rampant in the industry. Dramatic undocumented claims unfortunately follow. First, aesthetically we always treat what is called an aesthetic unit. For example, we would never peel part of a forehead unit or half of the abdomen in a tummy tuck. It always looks better this way. Injections and freezing do not treat the entire aesthetic unit of the neck(or tummy). A clamp placed under the chin can make a “hole” in the location where it is placed. This is not aesthetic. It is a mechanical non artistic act.
Injections cause dramatic pain and swelling under the chin. The acid injected will burn a hole in whatever living tissue in which it comes in contact. This includes the nerve to your smile.
Cost Read the fine print….” most people see results after one treatment” Do you really want to throw away $4000 on multiple treatments, with pain and suffering in order to achieve a result which in the end is inferior to that which you could have achieved with one treatment by suction with a fast easy recovery? Such a fear of a quick anesthetic is clearly not in your best interest. All which is sold as “non-invasive” is not better. When it seems too good to be true it usually is. Please see the before and after Liposuction of the neck images.