As the aging process occurs most people notice the accumulation of loose skin and fat in the jaw area resulting in jowls and, also, in the area below the chin resulting in a “double chin”. Some individuals develop excessive vertical bands of loose skin in what is commonly referred to as the “ turkey gobbler deformity.” The deposition of this loose skin and fat obscures and blunts the ideal chin-neck contour, which provides a youthful appearance to the neckline.
Some double chins and jowls can be improved with a procedure known as submental suction assisted lipectomy (or liposuction). A small incision is made under the chin, the excess fat removed and the skin of the upper part of the neck tightened.
The submental suction assisted lipectomy is performed under twilight anesthesia with minimal postoperative discomfort. A bulky dressing is placed and removed the next day. The rapidly absorbing sutures begin to come out after just a few days and the majority of any bruising or swelling that occurred will be resolved by the end of the first week. An elastic sling is worn at night for the first few weeks to support the area under the chin and speed the healing process.
Submental lipectomy is best suited for the patient who has developed excessive fat deposits in the jowl area and/or under the chin and whose skin has retained adequate elasticity, so that it may re-contour after the fat deposits have been removed. The fat cells that are removed are gone forever. The aging process marches on, however, and there may be additional redistribution of facial fat in the future.
Submental lipectomy alone is usually not sufficient for most patients. As we age the skin looses its elasticity and, as the contents of the skin envelope are removed, if there is not sufficient elasticity remaining the result will be a collection of loose and sagging skin under the chin. Often a cheek-neck lift (facelift) is required in addition to the submental liposuction to tighten and support the loose skin envelope. The combinations of these procedures produce a natural, youthful contour to the chin-neck angel.
The collection of fat and excess skin in the jowl and neck area is an inevitable part of the aging process. Each individual has a different set of needs when considering surgery to reverse the signs of aging. At the time of your consultation the best remedy to help restore a healthier, more youthful appearance to your jaw and neck will be outlined. Computer imaging can help demonstrate how these changes may improve the appearance of your neckline.
Suction assisted lipectomy alone, or in conjunction with a cheek/neck lift, has been a welcome addition to facial cosmetic surgery, helping to significantly improve an area that is of concern to some many individuals.