Liposuction alone of the neck or face may be an option for a patient who does not have extra skin, but has fullness in either the area beneath the chin, along the chin margin or lower parts of the cheek. Some young patients, by heredity, have a collection of fat beneath the chin, which causes an undefined angle to the neck. These patients are good candidates for neck liposuction to improve the contour of the neck and chin margin. Liposuction in the mid-face or removal of fat in the mid-face should be done cautiously as plastic surgeons have recently determined that aging is worsened by loss of volume and any removal of fat from the mid-face at an early age may increase aging of the patient in the long term.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure of approximately 30 to 60 minutes in length and can be done under local or general anesthesia. Several small ½ to 1 cm incisions are hidden beneath the chin and near the earlobe in natural skin creases and are closed with absorbable sutures. Neck liposuction requires wearing a band underneath the chin after surgery for approximately one week’s time to decrease the swelling and improve re-draping of the skin in this region.
Risks with liposuction are possible, as with any surgery. A collection of blood called a hematoma is a possible complication in the first 24 hours after surgery. Infection is possible but very unlikely. Problems with wound healing are possible, especially in patients who smoke. Scars will be present after the surgery, but are most commonly fine white lines that are very easily hidden. No two sides of the face are the same and this will also be the case after surgery. There may be numbness in the area treated with liposuction. This numbness resolves slowly with time. There is a rare risk of injury to the nerves of the face, which could cause muscle weakness of the face causing asymmetry.