Double Chin Surgery: Expectations, Risks, and Recovery

Double chin – which occurs in the presence of excess submental fat or loose skin under the chin – can be addressed in several ways, including surgical procedures like chin liposuction, chin tuck, or neck lift. The goal of these interventions is to make people look thinner or younger.

Key takeaways:

When surgery is used to correct a double chin, extra fat is removed from the neck, along with any loose skin. While a double chin is often associated with excess weight, it can also occur due to weight loss and as part of the aging process. Some people who are young and of normal weight may also have what looks like a double chin simply because of their genes.

Surgical interventions are the gold standard

Depending on the specific structure of the area under the chin and the desired aesthetic results, one or a combination of several procedures may be recommended. Though there are less invasive options available to patients today, surgery to correct a double chin remains the gold standard. Surgical procedures include:

  • Chin liposuction. Using liposuction, a surgeon can suck out excess fat under local anesthesia.
  • Submentoplasty. Also known as the chin tuck and involves removing chin and upper neck fat and tightening the skin.
  • Lower rhytidectomy. This procedure, also known as neck lift, is similar to submentoplasty but more involved. In this procedure, not only is the fat removed and the skin tightened, but muscles are tightened as well.

Double chin surgeries & patient satisfaction

The customization that occurs in treating double chin makes it effective and popular. People who have undergone surgical procedures to overcome double chins report looking younger and thinner following their intervention. In addition, they also report the appearance of smoother skin and more defined chins and necks.

The outcomes associated with double chin interventions depend on several factors, such as the specific approach chosen and the quality of the patient’s skin. For instance, the effects of chin liposuction may be permanent if the patient is able to maintain a consistent weight.

Risks of getting a double chin surgery

As with many surgeries, surgeries to address double chin are associated with long recovery times and risk of both aesthetic and health-related complications.

Cosmetic concerns to consider before undergoing double chin surgery include asymmetry, scarring, and skin discoloration. Infection, bleeding, blood clots, pain, swelling, and complications that arise from the use of anesthesia account for many of the health-related risks. In rare cases, damage to muscles, organs, nerves, or blood vessels can also occur.

Non-invasive ways to get rid of a double chin

For those who would rather not take on the risk or recovery that comes with surgical approaches to fix double chin, there are a couple of noninvasive options to consider.

  • Kybella injections. In cases where double chins are not accompanied by significant excess fat and hanging skin, Kybella injections can be used to help break down fat and achieve similar results as what can be accomplished with more invasive surgical procedures. Kybella injections have been shown to be effective in reducing chin fat and to be safe and well-tolerated, and the drugs in these injections were recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for fat reduction in the neck area.
  • Lasers. Several laser techniques have been proposed as potentially beneficial techniques for reducing double chin. Research has shown, however, that lasers used to treat the fat in an aging neck to reduce fat thickness and enhance skin tightening are not effective solutions on their own.
  • Cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is a cooling technique aimed at reducing submental fat. There is some evidence to suggest that this technique is safe and effective.

People who want to cosmetically address their double chins – regardless of the root cause of the chin or the specific aesthetic challenge – have several options to consider. While surgery remains the gold standard for treating double chin, less invasive approaches are advancing as well.

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