What is the Procedure and Recovery Time (Incision Healing) That Will Remove Excess Fat from the Neck? (photo)

I'm 26 years old and have always been a healthy weight (5'6, relatively fit, 130-140lbs) but ever since I was a teenager have excess fat under my neck. It runs in my family and I know it will only get worse as I age. When I take photos I have to be careful or I get the appearance of a double chin. I would love to have an defined chin/neck! I'm primarily concerned about recovery time and at what point the incisions would heal since I'd like to return to work without needing bandages, etc.

Doctor Answers 15

What is the Procedure and Recovery Time (Incision Healing) That Will Remove Excess Fat from the Neck?

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     Submental liposuction is probably more reasonable given your age.

Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, California

Liposuction of the neck

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Cervical / submandibular liposuction

Some individuals have 'sagging' necks primarily due to fat accumulation below the jawbone (mandible). In some cases, liposuction alone can significantly improve the neck appearance. Liposuction is also frequently combined with surgical neck rejuvenation, and in selected cases some direct excision of fat (through a hidden incision below the chin) is performed. The reduction of fat in the area below the jawline and in the anterior neck almost always makes the neck appear longer, and makes the patient's profile appear more elegant or refined.

Most people are back at work within a week, occasionally even sooner

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Procedure & healing time to address excess fat in neck.

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A neck lift procedure involves a ¾ inch incision in the submental area and 2 incisions the same length behind the ears.  Fat removal is performed with direct and indirect liposuction along with manual sculpting of fat above and below the platysmal muscle.  The double chin area usually involves congenital subplatysmal fat that is not addressed by traditional liposuction alone.  Once the fat has been removed above and below the platysmal muscle, a platysmaplasty is performed to give a new jaw angle.  The healing time is usually 2 weeks with some degree of swelling and bruising, but no bandages.  Patients have Jackson-Pratt drains underneath the skin that are removed two days after the procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

At 26, Liposuction Of Your Neck Is The Treatment Of Choice For Submental Fat

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Liposuction of your neck should give you the definition to your neck that you desire.  It is hard to tell from your frontal view, but you may in fact benefit from a chin implant at the same time.  These two surgeries can be done simultaneously and under local or general anesthesia.  The chin implant is put in through an intra oral incision, therefore leaving no visible scars.  The liposuction can be done through a 3 mm incision just below your chin.  The way to avoid bruising is to spray your neck every 30 minutes after surgery with DMSO.  This opens choke vessels which allows extra white blood cells to come in and remove any heme from the area, i.e. gets rid of bruising fast.  The DMSO is the world's best anti inflammatory, therefore decreasing swelling as well.  Liposuction creates some tightness of the tissue which can be relieved by ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles).  If you have the surgery done on Friday, you should be able to return to work on Monday with no bruising and minimal swelling. 

Correction of excess fat in the neck

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You are at a good age to have liposuction of your neck.  This procedure can be done as an outpatient, and sometimes in an office setting.  Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, certified by the American Sociey of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) to discuss your expectations.  You will be wearing a neck compression garment after surgery while you are healing for the best result.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Neck: correction of excess fat

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Neck: correction of excess fat

  • the simplest procedure will be liposuction or microliposuction using
  • small canulasthrough a tiny incision
  • you will be able to do all activities the next day
  • some bruising may last a few days
  • improvement will continue for several months

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

What is the Procedure and Recovery Time (Incision Healing) That Will Remove Excess Fat from the Neck?

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 Micro-liposuction through a small skin entry site would decrease the excess fat under the chin.  The procedure is minimally invasive, takes 30 minutes to perform and has a recovery time of several days.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat in Neck in the Young

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At your age with excess fat under the chin in the neck, the most likely thing to correct the problem is liposuction. This can frequently be done in the office under local anesthesia and minimal sedation. You will need some elastic support for some time, but can generally go without this when in public. Otherwise, most people are back to normal non stressful activities by the next day. You can return to exercise and other similar activities by day three. There is usually some bruising, but this can be covered with make-up immediately. Since your picture is inadequate to tell if this will work for you, see a Plastic Surgeon with significant experience in liposuction.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction Improves Neck Contour

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Considering your young age, your skin is probably elastic enough to redrape upward after simply removing neck fat under the chin with liposuction.  This can be easily performed using local anesthesia in the office, through 1-3 tiny incisions.  It's best to wear an elastic neck/chin support for 3 days to minimize swelling and help re drape the skin to the new, sharper neck angle.  In younger patients, neck liposuction creates a very nice improvement in neck contour, and you can return to work or social activities in just a few days.

However, if part of your problem is loose neck muscles or even fat behind the muscles, then a slightly longer incision under the chin would be necessary to remove that deeper fat and to tighten the muscles.  Finally, if your neck skin is loose, then you might actually benefit from some skin tightening in addition to the other techniques mentioned above.  This then becomes an actual necklift, which is more extensive than just the neck liposuction, but is the only way to tighten the neck.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Submental liposuction

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Based on your photo and description, submental liposuction could provide you with an excellent result if your skin contracts as expected.  This could even be done under local anesthesia if you desire with a rapid recovery and little discomfort.  A side view photo and examination of your skin texture would be helpful to be certain.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.