Neck Liposuction vs. Necklifts for Facial Contouring: Which One Is Right for You?

Neck Liposuction vs. Necklifts for Facial Contouring: Which One Is Right for You? featured image
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In the world of cosmetic enhancements, sculpting a refined and youthful neck and chin area has never been more accessible. Patients today are faced with a range of options, from less invasive treatments to more comprehensive surgical procedures. Here, we explore the distinctions between neck liposuction vs. necklifts to decipher the best candidate for each of these facial transforming procedures.

Neck Liposuction vs. Chin Liposuction

To begin, let’s demystify the differences between neck liposuction and chin liposuction. “Neck liposuction and chin liposuction are essentially the same procedure,” explains Kirkland, WA facial plastic surgeon Daniel J. Liebertz, MD. “Usually performed under local anesthesia, or in conjunction with other facial procedures, neck or chin liposuction uses small, hidden incisions to expertly remove pockets of fat from beneath the chin and below the jawline. The fat deposits targeted are located beneath the skin but above the platysma muscle.”

Neck Liposuction vs. Necklifts

Harrison, NY plastic surgeon Dr. Nicole Nemeth explains that neck liposuction involves the removal of fat beneath the skin across the entire neck region. This includes areas under the chin and along the jawline, potentially extending lower or toward the back of the neck. “A necklift requires tightening up the deeper supportive layer by direct suturing and redraping and removing excess skin,” she explains. “This requires an incision around the ear and into the hairline behind your ear as well as under the chin in some cases.”

Dr. Nemeth underscores the importance of selecting the right candidates for these procedures. “Liposuction on its own ideally suits individuals with good skin quality and elasticity, as these factors play a significant role in achieving a naturally contoured appearance during the healing process.” She also notes that this minimally invasive option, which can be performed under local anesthesia or sedation, is most appropriate for those with minor fat pockets.

The Artistry of the Necklift

When we delve into the realm of the necklift, we enter a more transformative territory, New York facial plastic surgeon Dilip D. Madnani, MD notes. A necklift encompasses much more than fat removal; it involves a multifaceted approach. “Often coupled with liposuction, the procedure addresses muscle tightening, skin removal, and may even include the excision of deep neck fat and glands,” he says. “Candidates for a necklift are often older patients with loose skin and weakened neck muscles, while those with primarily fat deposits and minimal skin laxity may be suitable candidates for neck liposuction alone.”

Younger Patients + Facial Reshaping

According to Palo Alto, CA facial plastic surgeon Jill Hessler, MD,  neck liposuction is most suitable for younger patients with stubborn fat pockets in this region, which may persist despite weight-loss efforts. “When performing neck liposuction, we typically target the submentum area, which is located under the chin. This area is the primary focus of neck liposuction, and we generally avoid treating the sides of the neck. The main objective is to address the fat under the chin to the region near the hyoid or larynx, forming a triangular area. However, achieving successful results requires patients to possess good skin quality. Older patients with significant skin laxity may experience increased sagging if only the fat is removed, making skin elasticity a crucial factor to ensure optimal outcomes.

“In my practice, I consider neck liposuction to be a minimally invasive procedure due to the small incisions required and the use of a quick local anesthetic,” says Dr. Madnani. “Other options such as injectables like deoxycholic acid, which necessitate multiple sessions, may not fully eliminate all the fat. There are also skin-tightening devices, but they may not address all skin laxity concerns. The choice of treatment depends on the patient’s specific appearance and needs. If nonsurgical options are not suitable, patients should be aware of the limitations of what can be achieved without surgery.”

Expert Tips 

Dr. Nemeth highlights that achieving natural-looking results hinges on both the surgeon’s skills and the selection of the right candidates. While liposuction is a powerful tool for reducing submental fullness in individuals with good skin elasticity, it’s crucial to recognize that it’s not a universal solution.

Dr. Madnani adds that advancements in technology that provide less-invasive alternatives. “For younger patients with good skin quality, liposuction alone may suffice. Combining liposuction with treatments like Renuvion or radio-frequency microneedling can enhance results while minimizing downtime,” he says.

Miami facial plastic surgeon Paul Afrooz, MD says while you may want to explore nonsurgical options with shorter recovery times and fewer risks, it’s important to note they do not deliver the same level of improvement as surgical procedures. “Particularly for those patients with significant skin sagging, deep fat, or muscle laxity, a consultation, either virtually and in person, can help evaluate and determine which patients are the most suitable approach based on their specific goals and anatomy. Surgical procedures remain the gold standard for comprehensive neck and chin rejuvenation with lasting and transformative results.”

To embark on this transformative journey, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in facial aesthetic surgeries. Remember, the road to a natural and stunning outcome is paved with expert guidance and careful patient selection. 

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