Yale Medicine calls it the “Quarantine 15.” Working from home during the pandemic, many find themselves packing on the pounds. Dr. John Morton, MD, Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital said he has patients who have gained 5, 10 – even 30 pounds in the past few months. You may now find that excess neck fat is an issue you’d like to resolve.
Neck fat can do more that hide your jawline and give you a double chin. Too much can narrow your airway, increasing your risk of sleep apnea. The long-running Framingham Heart Study found that excess neck fat, more than other kinds of fat, increased men’s and especially women’s risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Getting rid of that thick neck and double chin can be good for your looks and your health.
Is Kybella the answer?
You’ve probably seen TV commercials touting Kybella as the best non-invasive solution for excess neck fat and a double chin. I don’t recommend it. Here’s why: Kybella reduces neck fat by dissolving it. Your body will then absorb it. But this method can produce inflammation at the injection site. This causes scar tissue nodules to form. They pull and tighten your neck skin. If Kybella is not injected properly, those scar tissue nodules become larger and more noticeable. Nurses often do the injecting, but Kybella shots require a highly skilled doctor to avoid these problems.
Most people need three Kybella treatments to achieve results. Your costs start adding up. Each injection will cause inflammation and redness. And Kybella doesn’t do anything for a major factor in neck aging – loose muscles. For these reasons, at my practice – STC Plastic Surgery in Inland Empire, California – we don’t offer Kybella.
Removing excess neck fat in your 20s and 30s
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, removing excess neck fat may be all you need to look and feel great. Frequently, most extra fat is just below the skin. If that’s the case, neck liposuction is what I’d recommend.
Progressive plastic and facial plastic surgeons often start with safer local anesthetic plus oral sedation. You can see why in “How to Make a $16,000 Beverly Hills-Quality Facelift Cost Much Less.” Neck liposuction requires, at most, minimal incisions in front of your ears and under your chin. The result will be a streamlined, more attractive neck.
When excess neck fat starts to hide your chin and jawline
Sometimes neck fat accumulates to the point where it obscures your chin and jawline. This often means that fat is not just above your platysma muscles, but below them as well. You will need more than just liposuction to get the strong, clearly defined jawline and chin that looks best. Here’s why:
Your neck contains structures that are vital to life. These include your trachea, through which you breathe, as well as blood vessels that provide oxygen and food to your brain while removing cellular waste. All these structures are under your platysma muscles, which protect them.
It’s safe and effective to remove fat above your muscles with liposuction. But you cannot safely suction fat out a place full of critical structures like the area under your platysma. This must be done surgically.
Your surgeon will make a small incision under your chin and remove fat under the skin. Then he or she will make another incision in the fascia membrane, between the platysma muscles, and look directly under them. The doctor will then remove the fat below the muscles. Next, he or she will tighten the platysma muscles on the sides and in the center of your neck. Finally, your surgeon will remove excess skin.
You’ll have fewer reasons to worry about the medical consequences of too much neck fat. And you’ll get a slimmer, more attractive neck and a stronger jawline and chin.
Excess neck fat from your 40s to early 50s
But what if you don’t have a large amount of neck fat, but want to get rid of a double chin and too much neck fullness? By the time you reach your 40s, lax neck muscles often become part of the problem. Along with neck liposuction to remove fat, you’ll need a neck lift to get the desired results. After performing liposuction, your surgeon will tighten your platysma muscles and remove excess skin. You’ll get a slimmer neck that looks years younger.
Excess neck fat in your mid-50s and up
Besides extra neck fat, people in their mid-50s often have sagging in the lower face. Due to anatomy, some younger patients experience this as well. If that’s your situation, you’ll often need to add a lower facelift to your neck lift in order to truly improve your looks. It will be worth the effort. That lower facelift will tighten up your jawline, removing jowls. It will also smooth your nasolabial folds and reduce or eliminate marionette lines around your mouth. This procedure will firm up your lower face to go along with your firmer, streamlined neck.
How much downtime? CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA
You should recover well from a neck lift, even with a lower facelift, in 7-10 days. Following your surgeon’s instructions closely can shorten the process. If you’re working from home, this could be an excellent time to substantially improve your looks. As you can see in “Is Now the Best Time for a Facelift?” there are economic, aesthetic and emotional advantages to getting the work done now.
You’ll want a highly experienced facial plastic surgeon, or a plastic surgeon who specializes in the face and neck. If you’re in Inland Empire, California, you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario.