Frequently Asked Questions

What is chin liposuction?

Chin liposuction is removing and reshaping the fat under the chin to give a leaner and more attractive shape to the neck and face.

Is there another name for chin liposuction?

It is a misnomer to call it chin liposuction because no fat is removed from the chin itself. The proper name for this is submental liposuction.

What is the goal in submental liposuction?

Many people carry a disproportionate amount of fat in their necks, so that they look like they are more overweight than they really are. There are even some thin people with pronounced double chins. As the fat under the chin builds, it can obscure the lower border of the jaw, so that the natural border between the face and neck gets lost. It is very important for there to be a visual distinction between neck and face, and submental liposuction helps to restore that border. Whether in men or women, our beauty, weight, fitness, and energy level are perceived to a great degree by the shape of the neck, which is why submental liposuction is so commonly done.

What patients are helped by submental liposuction?

Patients with excess fat in their necks are potentially helped by liposuction, but other factors must be considered. The best situation is obviously the thin patient who just happens to have a double chin. But there are heavy patients whose chin is disproportionately thick compared to the rest of their body, or even heavy patients whose chin is not disproportionate, but who wish to have it reduced. These individuals can be good candidates, but it is important to recognize that if a lot of weight is lost, the neck can end up looking too thin.

What patients are not helped by submental liposuction?

Submental liposuction does not help with loose skin and it does not remove muscle bands in the neck. It is only a procedure for removing excess fat. Patients with loose skin or muscle bands will need some sort of a neck lift or facelift.

Will submental liposuction make me look younger?

Children and adolescents have full necks. When an adult removes fat in their neck they will typically not look younger; they should be doing it to look thinner and more vigorous. It can also make a man more handsome or a woman more attractive, though not specifically by virtue of making them look younger. In all of plastic surgery, it is important to recognize that removing fat makes one thinner and often not younger. It is skin removal procedures (eg facelift, beast lift, tummy tuck) that specifically tightens and rejuvenates.

How do you assess a patient for whether submental liposuction would be good for them?

Dr. Teitelbaum first assesses whether there is an excess of fat under a patient’s chin, and whether removal of such fat will actually make them look better. Next is to try to decide whether there is enough elasticity in the skin to snap back and create a nice contour after the fat has been removed. There is no exact way to do this, but with experience a plastic surgeon develops a good sense as to whether the skin will snap back.

Is the goal with submental liposuction to remove as much fat as possible?

No! Patients often ask the plastic surgeon to remove as much fat as possible, but nowhere is that as bad of an idea as with the neck. Patients need a layer of fat to cover over the underlying veins and muscles. Some fat is necessary under the skin to keep it plump and prevent any crepiness. Dr. Teitelbaum sees patients in their fifties who had liposuction ten or twenty years earlier. Many of them have more visible neck bands than they would have had, were more fat to have been left behind. So it is very important that whatever fat is removed from the neck is done judiciously.

Is submental liposuction the best way to get rid of "my turkey gobbler"?

Most people describe excess skin as a turkey gobbler. Liposuction only removes fat, and in people with a classic turkey gobbler, they need a removal of the skin through some time of a neck lift.

Can submental liposuction get rid of the muscles I see in my neck?

Submental liposuction would make muscles in the neck more visible rather than less visible. It is indeed the fat that most helps to conceal the muscles. The very risk of the muscles becoming visible is one reason why liposuction of the neck must be done carefully.

Can submental liposuction be done along with a facelift?

Submental liposuction is frequently done together with a facelift. Even though facelift patients often have loose skin under their necks, by virtue of the tightening of the facelift it is sometimes possible to do liposuction along with the facelift to improve the shape of the neck. A crucial part of a facelift is reshaping the jawline and liposuction with a facelift can help with this.

Why is submental liposuction sometimes done with a chin implant?

The chin obviously relates very closely to the neck. Liposuction under the chin can make a small chin look better. Some patients who need a chin implant have a short jaw, and doing liposuction in the neck can improve these aesthetic proportions.

Why is submental liposuction sometimes done along with a rhinoplasty?

One of the critical balancing features of the face is the relationship of the nose to the forehead and to the chin/neck area. When the distance from the chin to the front of the neck is short, then the nose will look larger. Sometimes the nose needs to be reduced, sometimes the chin needs to be augmented, and sometimes some fat needs to be removed in front of the neck to help balance the nose.

When is a facelift or necklift more appropriate than submental liposuction?

If there is loose skin or if there are visible muscle bands, then some sort of a lift procedure will likely be more appropriate.

What is the ideal age to get submental liposuction?

Most submental liposuction patients are in their twenties and thirties. Most patients in their sixties or later who get submental liposuction are getting it together with a facelift or neck lift. Many patients in their forties and fifties get submental liposuction, but in that age range the skin needs to be assessed on an individual basis to determine whether there will be adequate tightening of the skin after the fat is removed.

Is submental liposuction for men or for women?

Men and women are equally good candidates for submental liposuction. It will make both men and women look leaner and more attractive. In particular, a strong neckline is an important aspect of male attractiveness, making submental liposuction one of the most common plastic surgery procedures for men.

What kind of anesthesia is used for submental liposuction?

Submental liposuction can be done very comfortably with just local anesthesia, and it can also be done very safely with general anesthesia.

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