If you have a double chin and are looking for ways to get rid of it, a plastic surgeon may recommend neck liposuction, neck lift surgery, or a combination of both.
There’s no one specific double chin surgery, but instead a combination of approaches that can remove excess fat and tighten neck skin to create a firmer, more defined chin and neck area.
Here’s what you need to know about double chin surgery and other, less invasive options.
- Double chin surgery recommendations are based on your skin quality and desired effects.
- People aged 20 to 50 who have more elastic skin may benefit from neck liposuction. This procedure removes excess fat, but it won’t improve skin quality.
- Neck lift surgery can correct a double chin, as well as sagging or loose skin on the neck.
- Submentoplasty is a surgical approach that’s somewhere in the middle of these two and involves liposuction and small incisions under the chin. Some doctors call it a “mini” neck lift.
- Sometimes, doctors perform a neck liposuction and a neck lift together. They may also suggest these procedures along with a facelift or chin augmentation.
- Doctors can perform chin liposuction under local anesthesia.
- Doctors can perform submentoplasty under local anesthesia with or without sedation.
- Doctors can perform neck lift procedures under general anesthesia or via sedation with intravenous (IV) medications.
- Side effects can include swelling, bruising, loss of facial sensitivity, pigmentation changes to the skin, infection, and facial asymmetry.
- Most people can return to work within one to two weeks.
- A person can usually return to normal activities faster with liposuction compared to a more invasive neck lift.
- Because there are several different approaches, double chin surgery varies in cost, from $1,200 to $12,700, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
- If a person maintains a consistent weight, the effects of chin liposuction are permanent, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
- Length of duration for neck lift results depend on a person’s skin quality and surgical approach. Your surgeon will discuss this with you before surgery.
When it comes to skin aging, the neck is one of the first places to show age, and, for some people, fat is more likely to collect under the chin. This extra fat and loose skin can affect their overall jaw and facial profile.
A plastic surgeon can correct a double chin using any of the following procedures:
- Chin liposuction. This procedure removes excess fat from under the chin.
- Submentoplasty. This surgery combines chin liposuction and smaller incisions under the chin to tighten muscles.
- Neck lift. This surgery, called lower rhytidectomy, involves removing excess skin or tightening the neck skin muscles to give the face a more contoured appearance.
All procedures can reduce the appearance of a double chin. However, you may not be a good candidate for liposuction or submentoplasty if your skin isn’t very elastic and has a loose or saggy appearance. When this is the case, a doctor will usually recommend a neck lift.
Costs for double chin surgery depend on the surgical approach. Liposuction is less invasive and time-consuming than a neck lift. Fees for the procedure include:
- surgeon’s time
- facility and staff fees
- medication and instrument fees
- anesthesia fees
Based on a national survey of member physicians, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery estimates the average cost for neck contouring procedures to range from $1,200 to $12,700.
Chin liposuction works by inserting a small tube, called a cannula, into the chin in different areas. Using gentle suction, small and strategic amounts of fat are removed from each location. The result is a smoother, more even profile with a reduced amount of fat under the chin.
A submentoplasty works by making small incisions under the chin, as well as using liposuction on the neck.
During a neck lift, your surgeon makes incisions behind the ear and sometimes underneath the chin, removes excess skin, and tightens neck muscles.
The following are some basic steps for chin liposuction:
- Your surgeon will examine the chin and neck and make markings with a pen to note areas where they’ll insert their cannulas.
- The skin is cleansed thoroughly with an antiseptic solution designed to reduce infection risks.
- The surgeon will then administer medications for sedation, if desired, or inject local anesthetic (numbing medication) into the skin.
- Then, they’ll make several small incisions in the skin just large enough to introduce the liposuction cannula.
- Next, they’ll insert a liposuction cannula and use a back-and-forth or fanning motion to remove excess fat. They’ll pay close attention to how much fat is removed from each area to ensure a smooth, even facial appearance.
- Finally, bandaging is applied as necessary. This typically includes a special chin strap to support the skin while it heals.
Submentoplasty and neck lift surgery involve making incisions in the skin. Some general steps of neck lift surgery include the following:
- Your doctor will mark the chin and neck with lines and arrows indicating areas of approach.
- They’ll then administer IV medications or put you under general anesthesia for the procedure.
- The area will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Depending on the anesthesia approach, your doctor may or may not inject a local anesthetic into the skin.
- Next, your doctor will make incisions, usually at the hairline and around and behind the ear. Then, they may remove excess fat and skin from the neck. They may also tighten the platysma, or neck muscle, to make the skin appear more toned.
- Finally, they’ll will close the skin incisions with glue or stitches (sutures). These sutures will usually heal and aren’t visible, due to a person’s hairline.
With submentoplasty, there are fewer incisions, and a doctor doesn’t remove excess skin as with a neck lift. Instead, a doctor tightens the neck muscles to give a more sculpted appearance.
Double chin surgery is intended for those with excess fat, wrinkling, or lack of a jawline due to excess skin tissue.
Any time foreign instruments are inserted into the skin, there are risks. A doctor should discuss these with you before the procedure to ensure you have all the correct information before proceeding.
risks of double chin surgery
- asymmetry of facial features
- complications from anesthesia, such as problems breathing
- decreased skin sensitivity
- nerve injury
It’s also possible that you may not achieve the results you’re hoping for after surgery. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about your goals for your appearance post-surgery to ensure they’re realistic.
You can expect some swelling and discomfort following the procedure. The skin on the neck and chin may feel very tight due to swelling and bruising. If you have facial drains to reduce blood and fluid buildup in your neck, a doctor will usually remove these after a day or two.
A doctor may recommend applying antibiotic ointment to any incision areas. They’ll usually recommend avoiding the sun or getting excess amounts of water on the face and chin for a few days.
The recovery time depends on what surgical approach your doctor used. For chin liposuction, this is usually a few days to a week before returning to work. For a neck lift, you may not return to work for about two weeks.
When preparing for double chin surgery, it’s important to have a realistic expectation of your results and recovery. You can do this by asking your doctor questions about the procedure.
questions to ask your doctor
- What types of results can I reasonably expect from this procedure?
- Is there anything about my health, skin, or facial appearance that makes you think this procedure might not work well?
- How much downtime can I expect after recovery?
- Am I more at risk for certain types of complications?
- How can I minimize my risks for complications?
- When should I call you with concerns during my recovery?
In addition to these considerations, you’ll likely want to find someone to drive you to and from the surgery center or doctor’s office. You’ll want to bring a bag of comfortable clothes to wear when you go home after surgery.
At home, you’ll want to have soft meals and snacks to eat once your doctor says it’s OK to do so. You’ll want to fill any prescription medications before the procedure so you have everything on hand for your recovery.
Kybella is a nonsurgical injectable medication that’s FDA-approved to treat excess fat beneath the chin. The medication is comprised of deoxycholic acid, which breaks down fat in the body.
Kybella differs from surgical approaches in a number of ways. Here are some key facts about this medication:
- It typically requires multiple treatments — usually up to six — on a monthly basis to see results.
- Topical local anesthesia is applied to the treatment area before Kybella.
- Side effects include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, pain, and numbness. Allergic reactions, injury to facial nerves, and problems swallowing are rare, but possible, complications.
- Kybella isn’t a good option for those who don’t have highly elastic neck skin or who have looser-appearing neck muscles. It’ll only correct excess fat under the chin.
- The average cost can range from $1,200 to $1,800 per treatment. If you need several treatments, chin liposuction may be less costly.
- Results are considered permanent because the fat cells are destroyed.
How to find a provider
If you’re interested in double chin surgery or other facial cosmetic procedures, a good place to start is finding a board-certified plastic or cosmetic surgeon.
help finding a qualified doctor
These organizations can help you find physicians who’ve gone through rigorous certifications to practice:
- American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: www.aafprs.org
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery: www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org
- American Board of Plastic Surgery: www.abplasticsurgery.org
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: www.isaps.org
You can usually search by your geographic location to find a doctor.