The neck is one of the hardest working parts of the body. Physically, it serves two functions. It acts as a pedestal for your head, holding it erect, and it is also what allows your head to move in all directions. Your neck also serves a critical function aesthetically. A long, lean neck with a crisp jawline is one of the defining features of youth. Often referred to as a “swan neck” for women and a “chiseled jaw” for men, this contour can make you feel more poised, vital, and confident. However, the daily multi-directional movement of your neck exacts its toll on the skin and tissues. This has been exacerbated by the fact that most of us spend much of the day looking at screens, further weakening the supporting structures of the neck and making any excess fat more apparent. Neck liposuction, with or without a radiofrequency (RF) procedure for skin tightening, can be an ideal treatment for any patient who desires more definition in the jawline and neck but who is not yet ready or does not want a surgical neck lift.
Board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sean Doherty has devoted his career to helping his Boston area patients look and feel like the best versions of themselves. As a cornerstone of his practice, liposuction is one of his areas of expertise. His approach with the neck is both delicate and precise. The goal is to deliver a natural-looking contour that fits your unique anatomy. This always begins with an in-person consultation.
Neck Liposuction Consultation
As screen use has continued to proliferate, the neck has become a focal point for many patients. Looking down and/or jutting your chin forward to stare at your laptop can wreak havoc on the skin and tissues of your neck. Furthermore, both of these positions will emphasize any excess fat. This does not necessarily mean that neck liposuction is the right procedure for your needs, which is why it is critical to book an in-person consultation.
During your meeting, Dr. Doherty will listen closely to what bothers you about the appearance of your neck. He will ask about your medical history, family history, and any other aesthetic procedures you have had done, including injectables, as well as your body’s reaction. Then, he will conduct a thorough physical exam to assess:
- Skin tone & texture
- Degree of laxity or looseness in the skin
- Areas of excess fat
- Definition at chin/neck juncture
- Muscle tone
Together, you will discuss the best procedure or procedures for addressing your specific anatomy and needs.
Ideal Candidate for Neck Liposuction
The ideal patient for neck liposuction is any man or woman in good overall health, who does not smoke, and who is at or near a maintainable goal weight. The latter is important with any aesthetic procedure, particularly liposuction. The fat that is removed during your procedure is gone for good. However, if you gain more than 10 pounds after surgery, the remaining fat cells can expand, which will throw off your contour, adversely affecting your results.
Neck liposuction is best for younger patients with mild to moderate sagging. The skin needs to have enough elasticity to reform over your new contour. A radio frequency (RF) procedure such as Renuvion® can significantly improve skin tone in the treatment area, but if you have a:
- Turkey neck
- Loose skin following significant weight loss
- Retruded chin
You are probably going to be a better candidate for a surgical neck lift. All of these options will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.
What is Renuvion®?
Renuvion® is the latest in cutting-edge radiofrequency (RF) technology. What makes it different from other RF procedures on the market is that it utilizes cold plasma energy to markedly lift and tighten the skin in your treatment area. Exposing helium gas to RF energy gives it the stability to rapidly convert to plasma at a lower temperature. Only a very small percentage of this helium gets converted while the rest flows over your neck, cooling the skin while the plasma beam generates enough heat to your tissues so they contract and tighten. Renuvion®’s ability to heat and cool the tissues simultaneously allows it to deliver significant improvement without damaging your tissues. While there are a number of RF procedures for skin tightening, the combination of liposuction and Renuvion® is a particularly powerful one.
Advantage of Liposuction with Renuvion®
Liposuction is the ideal procedure for precisely removing excess fat in order to recontour your neck. The downside of neck liposuction is that it does not address loose, lax skin. In fact, removing fat can exacerbate the appearance of sagging skin. If you think of your neck as a balloon, letting some of the air out can cause the surface to wrinkle. In younger patients who still have a high degree of collagen and elastin in their skin, this is not an issue. Unfortunately, with every passing year, the levels of both of these powerhouses of youth in your skin drop. The advantage of liposuction with Renuvion® is that it allows Dr. Doherty to remove the excess fat and tighten the skin at the same time. The result is not going to be as robust as what he can achieve with a neck lift, but this combination can produce a significant improvement in the right patient.
Neck Liposuction Procedure
Neck liposuction is typically performed in the office under local anesthesia. You will be given a prescription pain medication and something to help you relax about an hour before surgery. Then, Dr. Doherty will thoroughly numb the treatment area before making a series of small incisions through which he will place the cannula. This is a hollow metal tube that is attached to a suction pump that removes the fat. The benefits of neck liposuction under local anesthesia are:
- Less risk of complications
- Shorter recovery time
- Reduced incidence of post-op nausea
- May be less expensive
During your procedure, Dr. Doherty may remove fat centrally above the platysma muscles, which are the two muscles that run down the front of the neck, as well as laterally, in order to sculpt your ideal neck contour.
Recovery from Liposuction to the Neck
One of the key components to a satisfying, happy result is realistic expectations. Dr. Doherty prides himself on being extremely honest about what you can expect after your procedure. Every patient’s recovery is unique, as it will depend on how your individual tissues respond to surgery. This is one of the reasons why he takes considerable time during your initial consultation to discover how your body has reacted to trauma in the past in order to establish a baseline.
In general, you can expect some post-op bruising and swelling. It means that your body is healing. Bruising typically resolves within a few weeks, while the swelling may take up to 3-6 months to fully resolve. You will be prescribed a compression garment to wear 24/7 for the first 1-2 weeks. This will help to reduce the swelling, improve your recovery, and deliver an exemplary result. Most patients are back to their daily routine within a day or two, though Dr. Doherty asks his liposuction patients to refrain from strenuous exercise for at least three weeks. While patience is required, most patients are so happy with their end result that even the compression garment is well worth it.
To find out more about neck liposuction with Renuvion® or any other surgical or non-surgical procedure with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call 617-450-0070 to schedule a consultation.
FAQs about Neck Liposuction
Without examining you in person, it is impossible to say. Some people are born with a retruded chin. However, if your lack of definition at the chin/neck juncture has developed over time, you may be a good candidate for neck liposuction. Chin filler can also be paired with a liposuction procedure to help elongate the jawline. My best advice is that you schedule an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who specializes in liposuction.
The advantage of the injectable Kybella® is that it is a non-surgical procedure. The disadvantage is that it will require anywhere from 3-5 treatments, spaced 6-8 weeks apart, and the end result is never going to be as good as what I can achieve with neck liposuction. There is also a recovery period of 3-7 days of swelling with each treatment. Generally, I only advise Kybella® for those patients who are truly surgery-phobic.
Probably not. If you have a significant amount of loose, sagging skin, your best option is going to be a neck lift. It allows me to excise loose skin, remove excess fat, and tighten the muscles of the neck if necessary. Furthermore, it’s going to improve the appearance of your lower face.
A crisp, defined jawline is something that most men desire. It’s not only youthful but also classically masculine. Neck liposuction with or without Renuvion® may be the ideal procedure for getting rid of excess fat under your chin, which is what is causing your “overhang.” Schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. In general, I find that men are more averse to surgery than women. But keep in mind that neck liposuction is a one-and-done procedure. So, while it might require more recovery than a nonsurgical treatment like Kybella®, you will not need to do it again unless you gain weight.
The cost of your neck liposuction is going to depend on whether or not we combine it with Reunion® as well as your anesthesia choice. Generally, neck liposuction with Renuvion® in one of my Boston area offices will cost anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000.
Most patients find this procedure to be extremely tolerable. About an hour before your surgery, I will have you take a prescription pain medication as well as something to make you relax in the office. This will help reduce any pain, anxiety, and/or discomfort that may ensue when I inject the treatment area with the local anesthetic. The latter will prevent you from feeling anything during the procedure itself. You can expect some postop discomfort, but most patients manage this with an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Advil.