Getting Rid of the Double Chin with Submental Liposuction
The neck’s skin is vulnerable to the effects of ageing and prone to the accumulation of fat. It is common for people to have a double chin and seek liposuction to obtain a slender, streamlined neck.
Depending on the patient’s physical attributes, the plastic surgeon will consider fat removal and tightening the neck skin to create a well-defined chin. In general, ideal candidates for neck liposuction are younger patients with firmer skin tones and excess fat deposits.
Note: meaning of Submental – refers to the area beneath the chin. It means the same thing as Neck / Chin Liposuction and these terms are used interchangeably.
How much does Neck / Chin Liposuction Cost?
- National average cost of Liposuction surgeries in 2018 is $3,518
(Note: updated figures for 2019 and 2020 are not available on the ASPS website.)
- The above number is not a great price reference because the liposuction average cost covers procedures for ALL areas of the body. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) does not provide granular data on average cost of neck / chin liposuction as a separate category.
- A procedure to improve the neck skin is often required. This is a critical additional cost that should not be overlooked. Your plastic surgeon might recommend doing:
- Chin Liposuction + Neck Lift, or
- Submentoplasty (Liposuction + Surgery to area below the chin)
- Note that the National average cost of a Neck Lift in 2018 is $5,242.
The combination of the surgical techniques to improve the neck’s aesthetic profile can be categorized as Neck Contouring. Hence, it is likely more relevant to consider the cost of Neck Contouring. It is not defined by surgical technique and comprise Liposuction and other procedures.
What about the Cost of Neck Contouring?
- National average for Neck Contouring Cost is $1,200 – $12,700. This is a large price range, from the bottom cost of $1,200 to a 10X increase at the top of the range. The main reason is the difference in treatment complexity for every patient.
- Younger patients with an ideal profile of skin and fat may only require a neck liposuction to improve the neck contour. For such ‘easy and straightforward’ cases, the patient only incurs the cost of double chin liposuction and overall expense is relatively cheap.
- More complex cases involve older patients with skin laxity or patients with weak bone support requiring chin augmentation, will incur much higher costs.
- Other reasons for the price discrepancy is due to differentials in:
- Consultation and surgery fees, anesthesia fee
- Surgical facility or hospital charges
- Cost of compression garments (used after liposuction)
- Medicine costs
The cost of liposuction and neck contouring varies by the geographic location of the surgeon. For example, the liposuction cost in California is $1,000 to $20,000, but the liposuction cost in Colorado is $2,000 to $8,000.
To compare the geographical differences, check out the Cost of Liposuction, Neck Lift and Neck Contouring (by State).
Data is sourced from the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
How does Liposuction work?
- Most surgeons adopt the Tumescent Liposuction method which involve injecting liquids (including saline, licocaine and epinephrine) into the fat which swells the target area swollen and makes the fat easy to suck out.
- Licocaine is an effective local anesthesia and removes the need for general anesthesia. Epinephrine (adrenaline) constricts the blood vessels in the area and eliminates bleeding during liposuction.
- Have a look at the picture below to understand tumescent liposuction better:
Tumescent (“Superwet”) Liposuction – injection of liquids before fat extraction
Benefits of Tumescent Liposuction
Due to the very small size of the cannula (1-2mm diameter), only tiny amounts of fat are sucked out in each ‘back-and-forth’ motion. Hence the liposuction procedure is more laborious and takes a longer period of time. However,
- It helps create a smoother and natural result for the patient.
- Avoidance of general anesthesia raises the surgery’s safety profile.
- There is very little bruising because of the minimal blood loss, allowing for a much faster recovery.
What to expect? Main procedures for Double Chin Liposuction:
- Plastic surgeon will make pen markings on your neck for positions for inserting the cannula.
- Skin cleansing with antiseptic solution to lower infection risks.
- Administration of general anesthesia. If that is unnecessary, injection of local anesthesia into the target area. You should experience little to no pain during the liposuction process.
- The liposuction cannula is introduced through several small incisions in the skin. Using a back-and-forth motion, the surgeon will vacuum the excess fats using the cannula. This process takes about 30 minutes as the surgeon has to evenly extract fat in each target area to produce a smooth facial profile.
- The surgeon will apply bandaging and may provide a plastic drain to collect the excess fluids in the neck, such as saline solution, anesthesia, and blood.
Recovery from Chin / Neck Liposuction
- It is normal to experience swelling and discomfort after liposuction. There may be tightness around the neck’s skin because of the bruising.
- To control the swelling and accelerate recovery, patients may will wear a compression garment which is typically a head sleeve or chin strap. This needs to be worn only in the first week of recovery.
- If facial drains were necessary, the doctor will remove them in 24-48 hours.
- Medications will be provided to the patient if there are pains and discomfort during the recovery from double chin liposuction. At the areas of incision, patients may be prescribed with antibiotic ointment. Exposure to sun and water should be avoided for a few days.
- Most people can return to work in a few days and are recommended to resume exercise after 2 weeks.
- Patients who undergone a combination of chin liposuction and a neck lift, or Submentoplasty will have a longer recovery period.
People with Significant Skin Laxity may need a Face Lift
As explained earlier, it may be insufficient to achieve a desirable aesthetic outcome by solely performing a chin liposuction, especially if the patient has significant skin laxity.
Plastic surgeons may recommend a face lift procedure in combination with the liposuction.
People with moderate Skin Laxity may be suited for Submentoplasty
Plastic surgeons may recommend a less invasive procedure named Submentoplasty, meaning, surgery to the area under the chin.
Submentoplasty incorporates chin liposuction, removal of excess skin below the chin, and the tightening of neck muscles (platysma).
This is popular with men considering liposuction but at the same time, wish to avoid having a full face lift procedure. For males, liposuction scars are also well hidden in the hair-bearing skin below the chin.
Non-Invasive Alternative to Neck and Chin Liposuction
There are other ways to remove the double chin, such as Coolsculpting and Kybella.
Where to obtain more information and find a certified plastic surgeon
For more information, you can check out these organizations with a directory of certified plastic surgeons:
- American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
- American Board of Plastic Surgery
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Cost of Submental Liposuction and Related Surgeries – Breakdown By State
For other plastic surgery procedures, you can also learn more about double eyelid surgery guide for more information.