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The Selfie Chin Solution: How Neck Liposuction Can Improve Your Profile


Before and after neck and chin liposuction in a woman

Liposuction Can improve the Selfie Chin.

Liposuction is Highly Effective

I have spoken quite a bit for the last few years about how Smartlipo™ neck liposuction has improved my New York patients’ profiles. While I usually call this neck liposuction, I find that many of my patients refer to it as chin liposuction. I think that’s because many of them have a “selfie chin”–and they all seem to hate it! In the end, it really doesn’t matter what we call it. The point is that nowadays, we can improve the profile of many patients using a relatively simple technique that can both contour the jawline and tighten the skin at the same time. Until recently, “experts” might have told patients that a face steamer lift was necessary to remove jowls–and sometimes it still is but NOT all of the time. A facelift takes hours to perform nicely and involves significant downtime, whereas a liposuction procedure on the chin or neck only takes about 45 minutes to complete (under local anesthetic in the comfort of my office), and the recovery time is just a few days.

Selfie Chin Can Be Easily Removed

Double Chin Removed with Smartlipo Liposuction of the Neck

Double Chin or “Selfie Chin” – Removed with Smartlipo Liposuction of the Neck

I find that a lot of patients come in these days because a FaceTime or Skype video showed their double chin. I also know a professional photographer who tells me that the first things she Photoshops for her clients are their neck and jawline because the subjects look so much better. She then pointed out that these people pay thousands for her pictures and even more for her Photoshop abilities to make them look better. In fact, for the same money, they can potentially have their real double chins removed and then not have to pay her for the computer morphing time.

It’s a Simple Procedure

The nicest part about Smartlipo™ on the neck or chin is that it can be done using a local anesthetic. We begin by making a few pinholes in the skin so that we can infiltrate the area with a local anesthetic. That’s right, no scalpel is necessary! I like to make the needle holes in the chin and behind each ear. Don’t worry, there are no perceptible scars when we are done. The local anesthetic injection might burn a little, but it only lasts for about 90 seconds to two minutes. Once this step is complete, patients don’t feel any discomfort.

Next, we treat the tissues with the Smartlipo laser. The Smartlipo device is actually a big box with a laser. We connect a small sterile fiber-optic cable to the device, and the cable slides into a cannula that is used to treat the area. The cannula is inserted into the pin holes we made earlier, and when we fire the laser, it melts the fat.

Skin Tightening is Remarkable

The best part about this procedure is the contraction of the tissues around the chin and neck. This is a topic that has received a lot of attention in the surgical literature because many of us are skeptical, but some studies are convincing.  There seems to be no need for the removal of excess skin in well-chosen cases. Even in the example below, I truly thought I was going to need to perform a neck lift operation to provide the patient with a nice result. But a neck lift wasn’t needed. I will admit that she still has a little loose skin directly behind the chin, but this is nothing compared to where she started. She was the original patient who made me believe that the laser energy from the Smartlipo really does help the skin to tighten a bit.

Smartlipo liposuction neck before after

I expected this patient to need a neck lift, but the Smartlipo Laser seems to have caused enough skin contraction to avoid that

Now, I should pause here to explain something about this technology: Plastic surgeons all agree that the laser helps to melt fat, but we disagree on whether or not it tightens skin. I am clearly a believer. In my experience, skin on the neck and arms truly seems to get more snug, and my results are better than they were a few years ago (before I had a Smartlipo machine). That said, I am not so convinced that it tightens skin on the abdomen or flanks–good thing this post is about the neck and chin!

Profile Can Improve Nicely

There is a very nice improvement in patients’ profiles, but there does seem to be a difference between the genders. In men, the results tend to be a little more subtle and can take a few weeks to develop. In some ways, that is good because they are much more secretive than women about cosmetic procedures. So small changes are sometimes better for men. You can read more about all neck lift options for men in one of our earlier blog posts.


Profile Improvement with Dr. Sterry's Selfie Chin Solution

Profile Improvement with Dr. Sterry’s Selfie Chin Solution

In women, recovery seems to take two forms: They either get results immediately, or it takes 3 to 6 weeks for the outcome to be apparent. Importantly, however, friends and family can’t typically figure out what has changed. They just notice that my patient looks good! If you want to see more double chin removal results from our NYC practice, browse through our photo gallery.

Patients Look Thinner

Neck Liposuction Mimics Weight Loss

Neck Liposuction Mimics Weight Loss

It’s a funny thing how such a relatively small amount of tissue removal can make such a significant change in the appearance of a patient. I typically take out only about 200 cc of fat and fluid (the tumescent fluid that is injected), yet the change in the appearance of the patients is remarkable, and patients appear to be impressively more slender. Patients tell me that the most common question they get from friends and family is whether they’ve lost weight. I repeat it’s only 200 cc of liposuction, but the area is noticeably slimmer. Again, I love the fact that patients look better, but nobody can quite tell why.

Additional Small Procedures Augment Results

Neck Liposuction with Filler

A little bit of Mid-Cheek injectable filler helped this patient regain her appearance from years ago.

Rather than having one big procedure that can dramatically change a patient’s look (e.g., a full facelift), sometimes the subtleties of multiple small changes can have a stealthy but impressive facial contouring outcome for my NYC patients. For instance, many times a patient who wants neck or chin liposuction will also be a good candidate for some facial fillers. Again, “subtle” is the operative word in my office.  I am not a fan of pumping gallons of filler or Botox® into patients’ faces and making them look strange. I just like to replenish some of their lost volume or play down some of the lines that may have developed over the years.

Patients Appear Younger

This is a matter of opinion, but in my mind, the majority of neck liposuction patients look younger. I know this is subject to interpretation, but looking at the examples I’ve presented here, I think most readers would agree with me.

Results in Male Neck Liposuction

Results in Smartlipo of the Neck for Men can take longer to mature, but are still significant

There is some science to theories of beauty, and I don’t think I’m completely off-base here. As people get older, they tend to develop a heavier neck and jowls. So even if a young person has a heavy neck or jowl, they look a little older because of the density around their jaw. When we take that heavy appearance away, the onlooker doesn’t interpret their appearance to be as old anymore.

How Long Will the Results of Chin Liposuction last?

We have no reason to think that these results are not permanent. I have stated in other posts that, once the fat cells are removed from an area, it is very difficult to re-gain fat in that region. That said,  the proof is in the pudding. I have had several patients return to my office years after having Smartlipo of the neck, and they all seem to maintain very nice results. An example is the woman pictured below who came in 3 years after her neck lipo and still looks great.

Patient Shown Before, at 3 months post, and 3 years after Smartlipo of the Neck and Chin.

Patient Shown Before, at 3 months post, and 3 years after Smartlipo of the Neck and Chin.

If you are interested in learning more about your options for neck liposuction and double chin removal, contact our NYC office at (212) 249-4020 or use our online form to request a consultation.

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Dr. Thomas P. Sterry

Thomas Sterry, MD, is a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience. At his inviting, boutique-style practice in Manhattan, he focuses on each patient's unique needs and aesthetic goals so that he can provide the most attractive and natural-looking outcomes possible.