Liposuction is often thought of in the context of fat removal along the abdomen or thighs. While it is performed in numerous areas all over the body, the utilization of facial liposuction is often overlooked. Facial liposuction is a delicate surgical procedure that is a critical component of facial cosmetic surgery. It is an important part of a faceflit, necklift, mini lift or can be performed in isolation to remove stubborn fat along the jawline and under the chin. As a way to improve overall facial contour, Dr. Moses removes undesirable fat that has accumulated around the neck and jawline, resulting in a restored, more youthful appearance in these areas.
Facial liposuction targets 2 main areas: the submental chin and the jowl.
The submental chin is the area below the jaw and extending to the most forward portion of the neck. Fatty tissue accumulates in this area and can give the appearance of a “double chin,” one being overweight, or an overall older, more aged look. This area is subject to both genetic and individual factors, even persisting despite one being within range of their ideal body weight.
Submental liposuction (SML) refers to physically removing the stubborn “double chin” fat. This fat pad can be genetic or due to facial aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal changes etc. It is a common concern among men & women of all ages due to its position front & center on the face.
In recent years, an injectable option has come into the spotlight to address this stubborn area. While it is a non surgical option per se, it has several disadvantages. Dr. Moses’s preferred method of choice for addressing this area is liposuction – which can be done in the office or combined with other surgical procedures on an outpatient basis.
The jowl refers to the lower cheek region that overlies the mandible, or jaw bone. As this area descends and forms due to numerous physiologic aspects of aging (ligament laxity, fat pad descent, bony resorption), fat accumulation in this area can lead to a drooping face. This may lead to appearing older than one’s staged age or an overall sad look to the face. Using a similar approach as is used for submental liposuction, the fatty accumulation in this area can be permanently removed, leaving a clean, freshly sculpted jawline as a result.
Am I a Candidate?
Candidacy is a function of the individual and his or her desired aesthetic result. Overall, patients in good health with concerns of persistent fatty areas in the face or under the chin that are refractory to diet and exercise are appropriate candidates.
Patient age range varies as does the ability to perform liposuction as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with another facial aging procedure. Patients for stand-alone facial liposuction are often 45 years old or younger, with area of stubborn fat accumulation or early jowl formation desiring to have a thinner, more youthful jawline. Within this age range skin elasticity is still maintained and younger patients are able to greatly benefit with performing liposuction in only those areas.
In general, patients along the older end of the spectrum may have more advanced neck or facial aging in addition to the accumulation of fat in these areas. They may have a full neck with loose skin that is then filled with fat. For those older patients with increased skin laxity and decreased skin elasticity, liposuction is not able to be performed in isolation but is moreover recommended as an adjunct to a surgical procedure, such as a Mini Neck Lift. This is performed to tighten the neck skin and reduce the amount of excess skin while also removing the excess fat that has accumulated (mini neck lift is a quick procedure with a very short recovery period).
The focus of facial liposuction – the submental chin region and the jowl – has a significant effect on the jawline and chin contours. With a prominent jawline and/or a strong chin conferring confidence, leadership and strength for both men and women, facial liposuction has the ability to really impact one’s self confidence. By unveiling these natural facial contours by removing excess fat in the lower portion of the face, one can be more confident in showing off these strong facial features.
Facial Liposuction as a an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure confers additional benefits:
- Improved Overall Facial Aesthetics – Perhaps of the greatest benefits of facial liposuction is that it can contour the face & improve overall facial balance
- Low Risk of Infection
- Fast Recovery
- Minimal Scarring – incisions hidden in discrete areas of the face
- Total Removal of Fat Cells – as opposed to weight loss, where fat cells remain in place, these fat cells are permanently removed & do not return*
- Minimal to No Pain – patients may have only minor discomfort & swelling that can be treated with ice packs and/or pain relievers.
*Facial liposuction affords permanent results; however, patients must understand that although the fat cells removed will not return, weight gain may cause remaining fat cells to expand and cause poor contour.
Facial liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis. It may be performed in isolation or in conjunction with other facial surgical procedures, such as facelift or necklift. For submental liposuction and liposuction of the jowl, the procedure constitutes a small incision (less than 1cm) under the chin in a pre-existing skin crease that is hidden from view. A small cannula is introduced & the stubborn fat is permanently removed. The cannula is feathered into the jawline to address the stubborn fat around the jowls. Please watch the video below for more information as well as a comparison between this option & the injectable currently on the market.
The Post Operative Period & Recovery
Following surgery, the day after most patients feel relatively well and experience minimal to no discomfort. They will be asked to return to the office the first day after surgery for a visit as well as around day 5 after surgery to check the incision and surgical site. Since all sutures will dissolve, they will not need to be removed.
Facial liposuction, patients should keep their heads elevated and avoid any strenuous activities. During the first week, nothing heavier than 10 pounds should be lifted. Patients are instructed to keep the head elevated and in a neutral position, avoiding flexing the head or neck.
Some patients will be able to return to work a few days after the procedure so they can fully recover and allow any swelling or bruising that may have developed to subside. However, those with severe bruising may have to wait a bit longer. Any vigorous activities/exercise should not be delayed until two weeks after the surgery. Additionally, if a patient has chosen to pair facial liposuction with other procedures, a longer recovery period may be required depending on which adjunctive procedure has been performed.