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What is Double Chin Surgery?

By December 26, 2021May 1st, 2022Neck

Definition, Benefits, and Risks 

Having a double chin is more common than you might think. If you have a double chin, double chin surgery may be recommended for you such as neck liposuction, neck lift surgery, or both.

In fact, no specific surgery is available for getting rid of double chins. Your surgeon will perform a combination of several surgical approaches to remove the excessive fat in your chin and make your neck skin tight. The final result will be a firm chin and neck that are more defined to improve your overall appearance.

What Is a Double Chin Surgery?

The neck and chin are among the first areas that show visible aging signs. In some cases, the most prominent aging sign is the fat accumulation under the chin resulting in a double chin. Fat accumulation in addition to having loose skin can affect your overall facial appearance, especially your jaw profile. (1)
Several procedures can help to correct a double chin including:

      • Chin Liposuction: This procedure depends on removing the fat accumulating under your chin.
      • Submentoplasty: This procedure combines two approaches, chin liposuction to remove the excessive fat and small incisions to make the muscles in the chin and neck areas tighter.
      • Neck Lift or Lower Rhytidectomy: This procedure gives your face a better appearance by removing excessive skin and making the neck muscles tighter.

All the previous procedures can be used to get rid of a double chin. However, people with non-elastic skin that have an overall saggy appearance may not be suitable for liposuction or submentoplasty procedures. Your surgeon will recommend the best double chin surgery for you depending on your overall condition. (2)

What Are the Benefits of Double Chin Surgery?

People who undergo this surgery report that they have:

      • Better overall appearance with a younger, and fresher look.
      • Smoother skin in the neck and chin areas.
      • More defined neck and chin with better facial profiles.

What Are the Risks of Double Chin Surgery?

Cosmetic neck and chin procedures are usually safe and risks are uncommon. However, it is surgery. Therefore, several risks and complications might occur including (3):

      • Face asymmetry.
      • Bleeding.
      • Blood clots.
      • Anesthesia complications such as nausea, vomiting, or walking problems after the procedure.
      • Loss of sensation due to damage to nerves.
      • Irreversible damages to muscles, blood vessels, or organs.
      • Hair loss near the site of incisions.
      • Blood accumulation, also known as a hematoma, that needs to be drained.
      • Improper healing of incisions.
      • Infections.
      • Nerve injuries may lead to changes in skin sensations, numbness, or skin weakness.
      • Pain and/or swelling that persists.
      • Lung and heart problems.
      • Unsatisfying results that may need a follow-up surgery to correct.
      • Skin discoloration.
      • Scarring.
      • Rippling.
      • Skin irregularities.

Figure 2 – Baseline (A, C) and 12 week post-treatment (B, D) photos for a 50 year-old female. Weight change þ1.7 lbs. (þ1%) from baseline.

What to Expect after Double Chin Surgery?

Immediately after the procedure, you should expect some discomfort and swelling. Your neck and chin skin may feel tighter than usual, which is normal due to the swelling and bruising. (4)

In some cases, facial drains are used to prevent fluid and blood build-up in the neck and chin areas. They are usually removed after two days.

Your surgeon will probably recommend using an antibiotic ointment for a while and applying it to the incision areas. Also, you should avoid sun exposure and water on your face and chin for several days after the double chin surgery. (5)

The recovery period varies depending on the surgical technique used by your surgeon. You may need to wait several days to a week before returning to your normal lifestyle. If the surgery is a neck lift, you may need to recover for two weeks before returning to work and a normal lifestyle.

Figure 3 – Baseline (A, C) and 12 week post-treatment (B, D) ultrasound images and photos demonstrate fat layer reduction for a 47 year-old male. Lines indicate the skin layer at the top of the ultrasound images and the fat thickness. Weight change 4.2 lbs. (2%) from baseline.

How to Get Prepared for Double Chin Surgery?

While preparing yourself for the surgery, you need to make your expectations about the results and recovery period as realistic as possible. The best way to do so is by asking your doctor the following questions plus any other questions you might have about the procedure. (6)

      • What are the expected results of the surgery?
      • Do you have any doubts that this procedure may not be suitable for me on any level?
      • How long does the recovery period usually take?
      • What are the possible complications?
      • Am I at high risk of any specific complications?
      • How can we minimize the risks and side effects?
      • Are there any concerns I should worry about during my recovery period?

In addition to the previous questions, it is important to have someone available to drive you after the surgery. Also, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothes before and after the surgery.

Finally, before the surgery, you should fill all your prescription medications to have everything ready for your recovery.

How Much Does Double Chin Surgery Cost?

Double chin surgery costs vary depending on the type of operation you will have. Neck lift procedures are more invasive and need more time to recover than liposuctions. The costs will also include your surgeon’s fees, medications, instruments, operation room facility, and anesthesia.

According to the American Boards of Cosmetic Surgery, the average cost is between $1,200 and $12,700.

What Is the Difference between Double Chin Surgery and Kybella?

Kybella is an FDA-approved, non-surgical, injectable medication used to remove and treat double chins by treating the accumulated fat. The active compound in this medication is deoxycholic acid, which breaks down fat in the body including the neck and chin area. (7)

It is different from double chin surgery in the following:

  • Kybella requires multiple sessions on a monthly basis to achieve the desired results. In most cases, 6 sessions are enough to get rid of the double chin.
  • Topical local anesthesia is used to the chin and neck areas before the treatment.
  • The common side effects include pain, redness, swelling, bruising, and numbness. It is rare to have an allergy to the medication or cause an injury to the facial nerves.
  • The average cost is between $1,200 and $1,800 per session. Therefore, liposuction may be a better option if you need several sessions to remove the double chin.
  • Results are last-long since the fat cells will be completely destroyed.

Citations:
Viñas JC, Lyrio H, Corujo M, Parcansky J. Surgical treatment of double chin. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1972 Aug;50(2):119-22. doi: 10.1097/00006534-197208000-00003. PMID: 5045377.
Patel S, Kridel R. Current Trends in Management of Submental Liposis: A Pooled Analysis and Survey. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2018;20(3):202-206. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2017.1567
Kilmer SL, Burns AJ, Zelickson BD. Safety and efficacy of cryolipolysis for non-invasive reduction of submental fat. Lasers Surg Med. 2016;48(1):3-13. doi:10.1002/lsm.22440
Co AC, Abad-Casintahan MF, Espinoza-Thaebtharm A. Submental fat reduction by mesotherapy using phosphatidylcholine alone vs. phosphatidylcholine and organic silicium: a pilot study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Dec;6(4):250-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00343.x. PMID: 18047610.
Talathi A, Talathi P. Fat Busters: Lipolysis for Face and Neck. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2018;11(2):67-72. doi:10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_59_18
Harris WC, Raggio BS. Facial Chin Augmentation. [Updated 2021 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554506/
Cohen JL, Chen DL, Green JB, Joseph JH. Additional thoughts on the new treatment Kybella. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2015 Sep;34(3):138-9. doi: 10.12788/j.sder.2015.0175. PMID: 26682336.