What is Chin Liposuction?
Chin lipo is a procedure to remove fat from the neck and below the jawline. Removing this superficial fat can help sharpen the jawline, eliminate a double chin and give the appearance of losing weight.
Am I a Candidate for Chin Lipo?
There are minimal limits for how much fat can be removed. The primary criteria for what will make someone a good candidate is a patient who can maintain a stable weight after the procedure. Patients who absolutely should not get the procedure include those with significantly loose skin (increased age), serious medical conditions (bleeding tendencies, high blood pressure, etc), and finally those with poor anatomy.
Chin Lipo: Neck Anatomy
The neck anatomy can be described as an upside-down teepee. The base of the teepee is the mandible or jawbone. The top is the hyoid bone which is a portion of the larynx or windpipe. The walls would be one’s skin. Internally, there are two layers of fat: superficial fat and deep fat, which are separated by a muscle called the platysma.
The Jaw and Chin Lipo
When the jawbone or even the central portion of it (the chin) is recessive, one can falsely have the appearance of a double chin. In this case, it is possible that there isn’t an excess of fat, but rather the recessive mandible compresses what is there. In this case, an Implantech chin implant alone or in combination with chin lipo can provide the most important solution.
Another consideration is fat from above the jaw. The jowls can droop over the jaw and this can mask results from chin lipo. A key rule of lipo is that you cannot lipo above the jawbone secondary to the risk of nerve injury.
The Skin and Chin Lipo
The quality of the skin, specifically the laxity, will affect the level of results you can get. While lipo can inherently tighten the skin, if it is already visibly loose, it will likely appear even laxer once the skin is removed. Typically, we see increased laxity and decreased elasticity with older age. While there is no specific age at which you CAN’T do lipo, 40 is a generic cutoff. Genetics, large weight loss, and even medical conditions can affect skin laxity. When one has significant laxity, a neck lift is likely one’s best option.
The Hyoid: The Immoveable Object
While not all surgeons are created equal, the one thing no surgeon can change is the position of the hyoid. When you evaluate different results, you will see that the best patients have a high and further back positioned hyoid. Lipo should be done down to the level of the hyoid and obviously, you can’t remove anything deep to that!
Deep Neck Fat Removal
This fat can be removed in select circumstances. In order to perform this, a large incision needs to be made and the platysmal muscle is opened. The muscle can then be separated and tightened. This is often referred to as a deep neck lift.
The platysma should not be ignored. It can create problems or be used as a tool to improve results. If aggressive liposuction is performed, the platysma can be revealed leading to the appearance of lines when one looks up.
In older patients, this muscle is often visible, to begin with and can “age” the neck even though fat has been removed.
When the skin does adhere to the platysma, there is typically a tightening of the skin. While this would not get rid of significantly lax skin, it can improve skin that is lax to the touch or even defines and “snatches” the jawline.
Chin Lipo Before and After
Many aspects of one’s anatomy are not in your control. Now that you have read this article you understand the evaluation a surgeon performs. You hopefully will also understand and get a better idea of the things limiting or improving your outcome. Chin lipo recovery is a painless but long process. Wear your garment as much as you can and follow your surgeons instructions to improve the things you can control!