Call it what you want: double chin, waddle, turkey neck…… We all know what you mean.
Fullness underneath our chin is far from desirable and has never been put in the limelight as it has more recently, originally with “selfies” and lately through online and virtual calls. We learned to diminish its impact by taking selfies from “above”. This concept, while still valid for our online conferences is more challenging as most of us use our computers on a table where the camera can’t help but look “up”!
The causes of fullness in the area underneath the chin are many. Certainly, weight gain often is the primary cause and may be one of the first signs of the “pandemic” or “Covid” weight gain. Other causes may include aging, poor posture, or even a genetic predisposition to developing and maintaining fat in this region.
Most of the time when we refer to our double chin, we are talking about a collection of fat underneath our chin giving us less neck definition and more fullness in this area. It can present with a number of rolls, highlighting the fat even further.
If you have a “waddle” under your chin, the best thing to do is see a board-certified plastic surgeon like I am, so we can take a thorough history and perform a detailed exam and ultimately determine what you would be the best candidate for.
- The era of “non-surgical” options has created an even greater desire to treat things we want improved outside of the operating room, avoiding surgery. As with many other areas, fullness of the neck can be treated through non-surgical means. Kybella received its FDA approval for the treatment of submental fat in April 2015. It is a drug that is injected into this area, and causes disruption of the fat cells, relying on your body to remove it. Most patients undergo 3-4 treatments. Each treatment is associated with its own recovery, often 2-5 days but does seem to diminish with each successive treatment. The cost is approximately $1800 / session.
- Coolsculpting and its creators, developed a “mini” handpiece to treat the fat underneath the chin and received its FDA approval in September of 2015. As with its other handpieces, it relies on fat’s cold sensitivity and freezes it, and depends on your body’s ability to take away the debris similar to Kybella. Prices can vary but are typically around $1500 per treatment and requires several treatments.
While there is merit and certainly efficacy with the treatments described above in appropriately selected patients, I would say that neither of them can compare to the precision, efficacy and predictability of old fashion “liposuction” of the neck. While considered a surgical procedure, we perform liposuction of the jawline and neck in the office under a local anesthetic. One recovery is all a patient needs and the cost is nearly half of the other treatments described. It is extremely predictable and very well tolerated.
Now, as we introduced earlier, not everyone is a candidate for these procedures and each patient requires a thorough evaluation to determine the exact cause of the fullness underneath the chin. If it is due to fat, which is the most common reason to have fullness, then patients are a candidate for neck liposuction if they have reasonable skin quality. What does that mean?
If we remove fat from this or any other area, we create a “space” and rely on the overlying skin to tighten up and thus an improved contour change. If one has “saggy skin”, it will not have the ability to tighten after the procedure and may actually look worse. These subtle differences are easy to pick up by a board-certified plastic surgeon. The worst thing we can ever do as your treating physician is chose a procedure that you are not a good candidate for.
If a patient has a significant amount of loose skin in their neck, they may require a facelift, lower facelift or neck lift to accomplish their goals. In some cases, a patient may choose neck liposuction with the understanding that their skin may not be perfect, but their contour and shape will be improved. These options are all reviewed at the time of your consultation so you are very well informed and can choose the procedure that is best to allow you to achieve your goals.
Want to see more before and after photos of neck liposuction? Click here!
Lastly, if your double chin is due to weight gain, there is no question that an attempt at weight loss first makes the most sense. For some patients, even a change of 5-10 pounds may make a difference in this area. If this does not work, or if you are genetically predisposed to having fat in this area, liposuction may be a great option for you. It allows for a more rapid recovery and results with less cumulative downtime and most importantly better and more even contour changes. It also is about half of the cost of the other options!
I would love for the opportunity to review any concerns you may have and help develop a treatment plan that will allow you to look as good as you feel!
Want more info on neck liposuction? Contact us now for your consultation with Dr. Kenkel!