Do you have submental fat or a double chin? If you do, then I’ve got some great solutions in this article.
Let’s get started by talking a bit about the anatomy of the submental fat and the double chin.
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Causes of Fat Under Chin
There are two causes of submental fat. There are two layers of fat in this area. We’re talking about this area below your chin and above the Adam’s apple.
There’s fat that is in the subcutaneous layer and this is fat below the skin and above the muscle layer. We have a muscle called the platysma. That’s a sheet like muscle that comes up the neck. Subcutaneous fat is fat below the skin but above that muscle.
The deep fat is fat that is below that muscle and that fat can be around certain inner organs of the neck as well.
How do you tell what type of fat you have?
Some people have mainly subcutaneous fat, other people have a mixture of subcutaneous and deep fat. They’re treated very differently.
The best way to tell if you’ve got subcutaneous or deep fat is to do what I call the “grimace test”. It is when you are relaxed and you pinch that skin and the fat under your neck and take a mental note of how much is there.
Then I want you to grimace real tight. What you want to do is you really want to tighten up that neck. What you’re doing when you tighten the neck up is you’re tightening and lifting platysma muscle up.
When you are tight, then take a pinch of the neck skin and see how much fat is there.
If when you pinch it when you’re relaxed, you have a lot there, and then when you grimace, you pinch it and there’s the same amount, then that’s a good sign, because that means that what you’re pinching is just skin and subcutaneous fat. That’s much easier to treat than deep fat.
If however when you grimace, you can’t pinch a whole lot, but when you relax you can pinch a lot, then that means that when you relaxed you’re pinching a combination of skin, subcutaneous fat, but you’re also pinching muscle and potentially even the deep fat.
When you grimace, that muscle tightens and if you can’t pinch a whole lot, it means that most of what you are grabbing there when you’re relaxed was muscle and deep fat. That’s much harder to treat.
The grimace test will tell you whether it’s going to be an easy way to get rid of that fat or whether it’s going to be hard. If it’s mainly subcutaneous fat that’s much easier to treat than if it’s mainly deep fat.
How to Lose Fat Under Chin
If you’ve got an issue with subcutaneous fat, then that’s what liposuction can get for you. This is called submental liposuction.
It’s so simple. They put you typically under a general anesthesia and then they make a little neck incision right in the crease underneath your chin.
Then they inject an anesthetic solution into that area that will limit bleeding, give it a few minutes and then using a liposuction cannula, they just suck that fat out.
Sometimes they’ll also make a little incision behind each ear lobe, so that they can liposuction from the side. But they only typically do that in people who have quite heavy necks. Usually that’s not necessary to give you those scars back there.
Most of the time just a little neck incision and they use that liposuction to get rid of that fat. Afterwards there’s typically one little stitch.
The procedure takes about 45 minutes. After surgery you go to the recovery room for about a half hour to an hour and then you head home.
This is typically not a painful surgery. Most patients don’t take any pain pills. You will have some swelling and you will probably have some bruising right afterwards.
You should wear a facial wrap the first week. You come back to see them after a week and they take the stitch out and make sure everything looks good.
At that point you will be a bit swollen and it may last one to two weeks. You may even look at and say I don’t even think they did anything because it looks the same as how I started. But that’s just swelling that will go away.
After one week you don’t have to wear the facial wrap. It will take about six to eight weeks for most of that swelling to go away. It takes about two to three weeks for the bruising to go away.
But keep in mind that it can take a total of four to six months for all that swelling to disappear. Even though the procedure is real simple, you can see results very quickly.
The risks with the liposuction are pretty minimal.
There’s always a risk of bleeding, not common but always possible. It’s much more higher risk of that in men than in women.
There’s a risk of scarring. You’re going to have that scar and it’s possible a scar could turn into a little keloid or a little thick scar. Pretty unlikely, but you just never know.
They recommend scar creams over that starting about two to three weeks after surgery.
There’s risk of unevenness under your chin. This is because liposuction is not the most accurate surgery.
There’s risks of infection, which is extremely small.
There’s risk that you may have some loose skin afterwards. That’s why liposuction is really best done in somebody who has good skin tone. For people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, it works well.
They do it sometimes in people in their 50s, but then you start worrying about loose skin. It can make loose skin even looser as you take that fat out.
There’s always a risk that one area may look a little bit smoother or a little fuller than the other side. There’s always a risk of some minor asymmetries there.
It’s very common to get some initial numbness, although that typically goes away in just about everybody.
There is also a risk of damage to a motor nerve called the facial nerve that comes right along the jaw line and goes to the corner of the mouth. Because of that they stay down underneath the jaw line when they do the submental liposuction.
Chin Liposusction Before And After Results
Let’s take a peek at some results.
You can see this patient had liposuction, a really nice improvement.
This is another patient before and after.
You can see a real nice change.
We find that double chin makes people look and feel heavier. What you find, if you do lipo is people afterwards don’t say you had your neck lifted or you had plastic surgery, most likely what they’re going to say have you lost weight.
A lot of times getting rid of that puffiness, that double chin, makes you look like you lost weight, your face looks thinner and lighter.
Another example of somebody who had a bit of a heavier neck and did some liposuction to get rid of that excess fat.
So lipo is a great treatment, literally takes about 45 minutes.
If you’re looking for a quick thing, get it done and be done with it, then that submental liposuction can be very effective.
The group it doesn’t work for are people who have looseness. So if you’ve got fat there but things are also sagging, then there is another solution.
You can get rid of that double chin fat without having surgery. Kybella is a great treatment to get rid of the double chin.
This is a FDA-approved injectable substance that’s composed of deoxycholic acid. This is a naturally occurring substance in our GI tract that will actually dissolve away fat.
It’s been formulated as a commercially or physician available injection to inject into the fat underneath the chin to melt away that fat.
The treatment is very simple.
It’s done in the office, we measure the area out, there’s tiny little dots that we put there and it’s multiple tiny injections, typically anywhere from ten to twenty injections, with the tiniest needle, to melt that fat away.
There is some burning right after the treatment and because of that I will inject anesthetic around the area that we inject the kybella so hopefully you don’t feel any of that burning.
The actual injections take literally three minutes and you’re done.
There’s a little bit of a burning sensation potentially, unless you’re completely numbed up, which happens quite often. We put some ice there and then you head home.
The area will swell a bit because kybella is inflammatory, it does destroy that fat, so the area then will swell for a couple of weeks, up to a month.
Then you come back typically anywhere from one to two months later for another treatment. It does take anywhere from two to four treatments to get maximal results with kybella.
What we have seen is a vast majority of patients will see some change after one treatment. Everybody will really see things working great after two. And then it just depends on how much of an improvement you need whether you need three or four treatments.
The great thing with Kybella is it’s non-surgical and it really does work to dissolve away that double chin fat.
The negative is it does take multiple treatments and that can get somewhat expensive. But if you’re the type person that has double chin and you want to get rid of it, but you don’t want to go into the knife, you don’t want to take time off of work, you don’t want this general anesthesia, then kybella is a great option for you. A lot of men are having it done.
What are the risks with kybella?
The main risks are more side effects than anything.
You’re going to get some swelling, you can get some numbness, the area can get some bruising. That typically all goes away.
Kybella also does not tighten up the skin, although I do believe that the inflammatory process of kybella can cause that skin to retract a bit better than liposuction. So if you’ve got a little bit of loose skin, I would probably choose kybella over the liposuction because you get the benefit of that inflammatory process that may cause a skin to retract and tighten up a little bit more.
Kybella Before And After Results
You can see here a nice before-and-after picture of somebody who’s had the kybella injections:
Let’s take another look at before and after:
You can see a nice improvement with the kybella injections.
A lot of men are having kybella done:
This is really a game-changer in the field of plastic surgery, because now we can melt fat away using a simple injection. At this point it’s FDA approved just for the double chin area.
What if you’ve got a double chin but you’ve also got some loose skin that comes with it?
In that case I don’t necessarily recommend kybella or liposuction. Unfortunately you got to consider a lower facelift.
If you are in your mid to late 40s or older and you’ve got the double chin but now things are starting to droop as you get older, then the better option is to do a lower facelift.
It does create permanent scars around the ears, it’s about a three to four hour operation.
If you’re more along these lines, then don’t waste your money on kybella or lipo, you’ve got to consider going straight to a facelift.
If your issue mainly is a double chin and submental fat and your skin is good, then you’ve got two options: you can do lipo, which is a one-time, get it done surgery, or you can go with the kybella, which is two to four treatments in office. It does cost some money but it really saves you from going under the knife.
I hope this has been very helpful for you in your quest to get rid of that double chin.
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.