Addressing Concerns about Loose Skin Post-Procedure
A double chin can make anyone feel self-conscious. While genetics play a role, a double chin is often caused by excess fat under the chin.
Chin liposuction, also known as submental liposuction or chin lipo, is a popular cosmetic procedure that removes this fat to create a slimmer, more sculpted chin and neck area.
However, some patients are disappointed to find they still have loose, sagging skin after chin lipo. Here, we’ll explore why this happens and what can be done to address it.
What is Chin Lipo?
Chin lipo or Chin Liposuction uses small cannulas to remove excess fat from under the chin and along the jawline. It’s done under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure and takes 1-2 hours.
The entire neck area is numbed before thin tubes called cannulas are inserted via small incisions under the chin. The cannulas are moved back and forth to break up and suction out the fat.
Chin lipo is best suited for patients who have good skin elasticity and are closer to their ideal weight, but still troubled by stubborn submental fat. The goal is to create a more defined, V-shaped jawline and chin profile. Patients can see dramatic improvements in their facial contours after chin lipo.
Why Loose Skin Happens After Chin Lipo
Several factors influence how well the skin bounces back after chin lipo:
Age and Collagen Production
Collagen provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Our collagen production slows as we age, leading to looser, less elastic skin over time. Older patients are more prone to skin laxity issues after lipo.
Pre-Existing Skin Elasticity
The condition of the skin before lipo impacts how well it tightens afterward. Those with poor skin elasticity are more likely to experience sagging. Things like sun damage, smoking, and weight fluctuations can degrade skin elasticity. Genetics also plays a role.
Amount of Fat Removed
Removing larger amounts of fat leaves more space for the skin to shrink into. Significant fat removal combined with poor elasticity is a recipe for loose skin. Your surgeon should be conservative with fat removal if skin laxity is a concern.
Chin Liposuction vs. Other Facial Rejuvenation Procedures
Compared to a traditional facelift or neck lift, chin lipo only addresses fat. It cannot fully lift and tighten all the skin and soft tissues of the neck like a surgical facelift.
Non-surgical skin tightening treatments also will not produce the same dramatic fat reduction and contour changes that liposuction does.
But they may better support and tighten the skin during lipo recovery. Combining the two is ideal for many patients.
How to Prevent Loose Skin After Chin Liposuction
Choose an Experienced, Skilled Surgeon
An experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will have the necessary skill and technique to perform chin lipo in a precise, controlled manner. This helps avoid over-resection and trauma to the tissues. Proper incision placement also aids the skin’s snap-back.
Pre-Treatment Skin Tightening
Certain treatments like Ultherapy, Thermage, microneedling, or radiofrequency can improve skin laxity before lipo. Starting skin tightening treatments at least 4-6 weeks prior helps optimize the skin’s tone and elasticity.
Post-Lipo Massage and Lymphatic Drainage
Gentle daily massage starting a few days after chin lipo helps break up swelling and fibrosis. It also supports lymphatic drainage. This helps the tissues adhere properly during healing. Compression garments also encourage tightening.
Treating Loose Skin After Chin Lipo
Here are some of the most effective options for treating loose neck skin after chin lipo:
Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Treatments
Devices using ultrasound, radiofrequency, or laser energy can non-surgically heat and contract the skin tissues.
Surgical Neck Lift Procedures
For substantial skin laxity, a mini neck lift or lower facelift may be required to fully lift and tighten the neck. Incisions are made under the chin and/or behind the ears. Excess skin is then removed and tissues lifted. Scarring is very minimal.
Topical Skin Firming Products
Over-the-counter skin creams containing peptides, ceramides, antioxidants, and retinoids can also encourage collagen production for firmer skin. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, while polypeptides provide a mild ‘facelift’ effect.
Realistic Expectations With Chin Liposuction
While many patients see excellent contour improvements from chin lipo, the skin may still not be as taut and smooth as one would see with a surgical neck lift. Having realistic expectations is key.
The skin quality prior to chin lipo plays a major role in one’s results. Those with good elasticity can expect their skin to tighten considerably. But mild laxity may still persist.
More significant skin laxity makes contouring alone unlikely to create a smooth jawline. Additional skin tightening or lift procedures become necessary.
That said, the neck skin almost always appears vastly improved compared to the pre-lipo double chin.
What to Expect Cost-Wise
Chin lipo costs approximately $2,500-$4,500 on average. However, if skin laxity is a concern, additional treatments and procedures should be budgeted for:
|Non-surgical skin tightening||$750 – $1,500/session|
|(3-5 treatments needed)|
|Neck Lift||$5,000 – $15,000|
|Laser Skin Resurfacing||$1,500 – $3,000/session|
Careful Consultation Is Crucial
Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon beforehand is imperative to achieving your goals safely. Be very clear about the look you hope to achieve, and have realistic expectations set. Together, you can determine the best combination approach to both remove fat and support your skin.
The Future of Treating Loose Neck Skin
As energy-based devices continue advancing, there are always new options emerging for non-surgical skin tightening with minimal downtime. The future may also hold the ability to strengthen and regenerate collagen in a more permanent way to prevent laxity.
While loose skin remains a possibility after chin lipo, there are more ways to proactively address it than ever before. Seeking out a highly experienced surgeon and using a strategic combination approach are key to maximizing your results.