One time, while on vacation with my family, another man with his family offered to take our picture in a scenic hiking spot. When I returned the favor and took a picture of his family, he asked if I could provide a “No Double Chin Guarantee” with the pictures I took for them. His wife laughed and said, “Unless she’s in plastic surgery, I don’t think that’s a reasonable request!” Her comment was too hilarious and ironic for me not to respond to, so I explained that I was indeed a physician assistant in plastic surgery. And that brings me to our blog topic for today…submental liposuction!
Submental liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure which reduces fullness in the area under the chin and provides more definition to the jawline. This method of facial contouring can be an extremely effective ‘anti-aging’ procedure, as well as a procedure for younger patients looking for a slimmer and more defined lower face. Submental liposuction is very well tolerated and can be performed under local anesthesia with just one small incision site.
At your consultation, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the details of the procedure with Dr. Cynthia Diehl, board-certified plastic surgeon. She will examine you and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure based on factors such as your aesthetic goals, anatomical landmarks, location of fat deposition, skin quality, and more. On procedure day, you can expect to be at our clinic for about an hour and a half. The procedure itself consists of four steps: prepping, numbing, laser, and suction.
First, the treatment area will be analyzed and identified with surgical markings. We will then make sure you are as comfortable as can be in our on-site procedure room! The area will be prepped and draped in a sterile fashion, and you will be taught how to use the Pro-Nox machine if desired. Pro-Nox is a 50/50 mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen which reduces anxiety, (we get it, having a procedure like this while you are awake can be anxiety provoking), and changes the way your brain senses pain. Many patients choose to use this during our local liposuction procedures for maximal comfort.
Next, you will be numbed with anesthetic fluid. Typically, only pressure is felt during this portion of the procedure. However, if anything is uncomfortable, this is the time where Pro-Nox can be very helpful! Once you are nice and numb, Dr. Diehl will gently pass the SmartLipo laser through the tissue. This laser is used to heat and damage fat cells, as well as minimize bruising by cauterizing blood vessels. Additionally, the heat energy stimulates collagen production and increases tightening of the tissue!
Finally, a special (very small) liposuction cannula will be used to suction out excess fat. After having your small incision sewn up, and your compression garment placed, you will be on your merry way!
The most important things you can do during your recovery include wearing your compression garment. The most dramatic changes happen over the first month, as swelling and inflammation goes down. But…the process is not done for MONTHS as the subtle tightening continues.
Submental liposuction is a fantastic, minimally invasive procedure which can define the jawline and reduce fullness under the chin with a short recovery time. This procedure can be appropriate for men and women of many ages (depending on the other factors that will be discussed during a consultation). Our patients love how this quick procedure can enhance the whole face, and we think you’ll love it too!