Whether it is done consciously or unconsciously, we visually discern a person overall body weight and physique by examining the amount of fat in the face and neck. Since the face is the first thing that we see when we look at someone, the amount of fat in the neck and face leads us to make a judgment about the fat and muscle content of the entire person. Sadly, the amount of fat in the face and neck is not always indicative of the fat in the entire person. As we pick up fat we can certainly add additional fat to the face and neck however, the converse is not always true. As we lose weight it is often the fat in the face and neck that is the last to go. Also, as we age, fat accumulates in the chin, jowls, and neck which causes the border of the jaw (mandible) to become softer and less pronounced. Our eye picks up on that lack of a sharp border and our brain thinks “obesity.”
In order to combat this unfortunate fact of fat distribution, many people choose to undergo a chin liposuction procedure. Chin liposuction, also called submental liposuction, is a safe procedure that creates a very aesthetically pleasing result. The procedure usually lasts less than an hour and can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia.
The neck is numbed with local anesthetic and the area is infiltrated (filled) with saline using an approach called the tumescence technique. This technique helps “lift” the skin off of the underlying tissue so that the liposuction cannula can reach all areas of the neck and chin. Very small incisions (5 mm or less than a half of an inch) are made just under the chin and under the ears. The thin liposuction cannula is inserted in these areas and uses high frequency oscillations to liquefy the fat and then suck it out through something like a vacuum. The surgeon goal is to sculpt the fat in this area, not to remove it all. If the cheeks need to have fat removed from them, additional small incisions may be needed.
The next generation of fatty tissue reduction uses a laser system for combating cellulite. This procedure is based on a technique for the reduction of the fatty tissue in those areas of the body where diets and exercise are ineffective.
Laser lipolysis is an alternative to vibration assisted liposculpture. The SmartLipo laser causes the membrane of fatty tissue cells to break, transforming them into an oily substance which is absorbed and naturally eliminated by the body. Laser lipolysis provides an effective means of reducing the fatty tissue deposits in much smaller areas without the side effects associated with more aggressive surgical procedures.