When it comes to unwanted fat, a “double chin,” or area of fat under the chin can make some people feel self conscious and less confident of their appearance. For patients who are at or near their ideal weight yet still struggle with fat under the chin, submental liposuction may be the ideal solution. Dr. Jessica Kulak, a board-certified plastic surgeon at The Naderi Center, offers submental liposuction in Reston, VA and Chevy Chase, MD, to help men and women feel more confident and look better in photos.
What is Submental Liposuction?
The submental liposuction procedure is a cosmetic surgery that is designed to sculpt the chin and neck area by removing excess fat that may be causing a double chin or creating the appearance of a “weak chin”. During a liposuction procedure, fat is removed from the chin area to create a slimmer, more youthful contour. It is a simple, straightforward surgery with minimal downtime but offering excellent results.
Why Patients Choose Submental Liposuction
Men and women alike struggle with unwanted fat cells under the chin and in the neck region. These stubborn fatty deposits often do not respond to diet and exercise, meaning that a person can be slim and living a healthy lifestyle, yet still have an aesthetic issue that they cannot solve without plastic surgery. Additionally, some patients are genetically predisposed to develop submental fat and may have lived with the issue for most of their lives.
Patients choose this procedure because it can provide excellent results quickly and remove any unresponsive fat that remains after weight loss. Most of our submental liposuction patients at The Naderi Center report feeling more confident and noticing a boost in self-esteem once they have healed and they are able to see their new, sculpted jaw and chin.
Are You a Good Candidate for Submental Liposuction?
You may be a good candidate for facial contouring if you are a healthy adult with unwanted fat in your chin, jaw, and upper neck area. Patients should have good skin elasticity to ensure that the skin will retract over the new contours in the chin area. Any medical conditions will be discussed during your consultation and may affect your candidacy.
If you are interested in submental liposuction, it is important to have realistic expectations. Looking at before-and-after photos of our surgeon’s former patients can help you decide whether or not submental liposuction is right for you.
Your Submental Liposuction Consultation
Each of our patients at The Naderi Center will need to attend a consultation with Dr. Kulak before scheduling their submental liposuction procedure. During this meeting, Dr. Kulak will assess your candidacy, explain the procedure, and invite you to ask any questions you may have.
Come prepared to talk about your goals during your submental liposuction consultation at our Reston office. You should also bring your medical records and a list of questions and/or concerns you have about any aspect of the plastic surgery process. Dr. Kulak may suggest complementary procedures, such as neck liposuction or a neck lift, to help you reach your aesthetic goals.
Preparing for Submental Liposuction
Our staff will provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions when you book your submental liposuction surgery. Prior to the procedure, you’ll need to stop taking certain over-the-counter medications and supplements that can increase bleeding risk.
You will also need to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before surgery and take an antibiotic as prescribed. Dr. Kulak will instruct you to undergo a medical evaluation and advise you on how to prepare for the recovery period.
The Submental Liposuction Procedure
Submental liposuction is commonly performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. In some cases, the procedure may be performed in office under local anesthesia.
Small incisions are made in discrete areas of the chin and neck, and a cannula (thin suction tube) is inserted into these cuts so that the fat can be suctioned out. As we age our skin begins to decrease in elasticity, meaning, solely removing the fat may leave one with loose skin under the chin area. Sometimes in patients 40 and older the surgeon will combine submental liposuction with a neck lift in order to tighten and better contour the neck and under the chin.
Dr. Kulak carefully sculpts the chin and jaw area, removing all unwanted fat according to the surgical plan. She then places dressings and fits the patient with a compression garment to help support the new contours. This should be worn at all times during the first week of recovery. The entire surgery should take about an hour.
Recovering from Submental Liposuction
Patients will usually need to take about 5-7 days off before they are cleared to return to work. Most activities can be resumed within a few days, but bending, lifting, exercise, and other strenuous activities will need to be postponed for several weeks. Patients may shower the day after surgery but will need to avoid submerging the area while it heals.
Some bruising and swelling can be expected. These side effects will fade gradually as the incisions heal and the new contours emerge. Prescribed pain medication and proper use of ice packs will help control any initial discomfort. Patients should sleep with their head elevated during the recovery period to help reduce swelling.
Risks & Side Effects of Submental Liposuction
As with any cosmetic surgery, submental liposuction is associated with some risks and complications. However, an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Kulak can reduce these risks during surgery and give you instructions for self-care that will help to further improve your results and reduce your risk for developing complications.
Some risks and side effects associated with this procedure include:
- Swelling and bruising
- Changes in sensation
- Anesthesia complications
- Poor aesthetic outcome/poor skin retraction
If you notice anything out of the ordinary following submental liposuction, it is important to contact The Naderi Center right away or call 911 in case of an emergency.
Why Choose Dr. Kulak?
Liposuction is an extremely popular procedure, and many surgeons offer it. Because of this, it is important to do your research and choose a highly qualified surgeon. Dr. Jessica Kulak is a liposuction specialist, offering natural-looking body contouring that helps patients look and feel their best. Dr. Kulak emphasizes safety and results, and helps customize a treatment plan for each patient & their individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Submental Liposuction
Though all surgeries leave some scars, the small incisions made during submental liposuction are usually less than a centimeter in length. They are hidden in inconspicuous locations and will usually fade well over time. Patients can rest assured that scarring will be minimal and nearly invisible.
Fat cells that are suctioned out during submental liposuction will never come back. They are removed permanently. However, remaining fat cells in the body can still expand and cause weight gain if patients do not stick to a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help preserve the longevity of the results.
Many patients are anxious to return to their normal exercise routines, which may include swimming. For optimal healing and to prevent complications like infection, we recommend waiting three weeks before resuming exercise, two weeks before swimming or taking tub baths, and one month before using hot tubs. Patients should take care to ease back into their normal routines after several weeks of only light activity.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Kulak
If you’re ready to say goodbye to your double chin for good, then it may be time to discuss your liposuction candidacy with an expert. Dr. Jessica Kulak and her colleagues at The Naderi Center offer a range of effective face and body procedures to help each patient reach their goals. To schedule a submental liposuction consultation in Reston, VA, call 703-481-0002 or 301-222-2020 for our Chevy Chase, MD location.