Neck Liposuction

 As we age, certain areas of the body can accumulate fat that is hard to lose, in spite of a healthy diet and vigorous exercise. The neck is one such area. Fatty deposits in the neck can detract from the appearance of the entire body, making a younger person seem older, or a fit person seem out of shape. Liposuction can give this area a new streamlined contour, enhancing the effect of facial features and improving the profile. Liposuction in this area produces consistently good results, and has a particularly high satisfaction rate.

The face and neck are usually the first features we notice when we meet someone new, so improvements in this area can create a dramatic change. A firm, trim neck gives the face a more youthful look. Sometimes just having this procedure done provides an incentive to make healthier lifestyle choices, and maintain fitness in the rest of the body. Patients who have been self-conscious about their bulging necklines often feel more comfortable wearing a range of clothing and jewelry styles after liposuction.

Facial and Neck liposuction removes excess fatty tissue in the face and can help tighten skin in treated areas. Facial liposuction can be used on its own or in conjunction with other plastic surgery treatments. Potential facial liposuction patients usually wish to eliminate problems such as double chins or saggy jowls, while some facial liposuction candidates are attempting to alter the overall fullness of their faces.

Ideal candidate: In general, the best candidates for neck liposuction:

  • Have specific fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise.
  • Do not have frequent fluctuations in weight.
  • Desire reshaping and not weight loss.
  • Have relatively firm, elastic skin.
  • Have had no previous surgery in the area where liposuction is desired.
  • Are psychologically stable.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Are well informed about the procedure.
  • Are accepting of any limitations, as discussed with surgeon.
  • Hold realistic expectations about the outcome.
  • Tell us about any allergies you have (to foods, drugs, environmental elements)
  • Tell us if you have any serious medical condition(s).
  • Tell us about all medications you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription)
  • Carefully follow any instructions surgeon gives you regarding eating and drinking, smoking, and vitamins.
  • Avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing medicines for two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.

Will I need to stay in a hospital?

If you have no medical problems, the procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, either in your doctor’s office or in an outpatient clinic. It may be performed under local anesthesia with light sedation, local anesthesia and deep sedation, or general anesthesia. The longer the procedure is expected to take, the more likely that general anesthesia will be recommended. You may be allowed to return home within a few hours of the surgery, and spend the night in the comfort of your own home. If you have other medical problems, concurrent procedures, or a lengthier procedure performed under general anesthesia, it may be necessary to spend the night in the hospital so your recovery process can be monitored by a medical staff.

In neck liposuction, as is the custom, tiny skin entrance wounds are made with a scalpel just under the chin and just in front of the ears. Usually the surgeon will pass (use) a spatula-type cannula that is relatively flat at the tip. A spatula is usually the most desirable type of cannula to use in the neck. A bullet-shaped cannula would tend not to track as easily along the proper plane or path in the neck. In the neck, unlike most of the rest of the body it is best to keep the cannula very close to the underside of the dermal (leather layer) of the skin. The cannula opening may point into the fat layer below or may scrape the dermis above in order to cause tightening. The face and neck are the only parts of the body in which this cannula superficial scraping process may be accomplished with some safety. The platysma is a sheet-like muscle that extends from the lower jawbone all the way to the collarbone of the neck. It is thin and spread like a sheet. The platysma is usually fairly tight in younger people. However, the noticeable thin bands in older women, which also give the turkey-gobbler look, are usually the result of the platysma. Platysma bands eventually become thick and cord-like, which causes them to tent the skin of the neck as they contract, tether or dangle between the jawbone and the collarbone. The combination of platysma and fat is the primary concern if a patient is just to have a neck liposuction without any surgery to improve the platysma. Take, for example, a 40-year-old woman with a lot of fat in the neck, which is covering or hiding what would normally be (if they were thin) bands or cords of platysma. If the fat is sucked away via liposuction alone, unsightly bands of platysma may be left behind especially if they do not respond by self-tightening or dermal tightening related to the liposuction. It is best to have a surgeon who is capable of tightening the platysma or of anticipating platysma problems (if these arise along with the liposuction); several special stitch techniques usually improve platysma bands with good success.

Occasionally, it may be very difficult to detect some platysmal bands, since they are soft, floppy muscles and can be easily hidden in fat. It is much easier to detect a protruding hyoid bone or an outstanding laryngeal cartilage, or Adam’s apple. It is easy to feel the solid, relatively firm muscle of the tongue and sometimes the submandibular glands or salivary glands under the angle of jaw. None of these hard structures, including muscle or bone, can be removed by liposuction; liposuction simply removes fat. If a patient has large tongue muscle or a big hyoid bone, sucking overlying fat away may simply allow those structures to be more easily seen by the public. It is important to consider that before you have neck liposuction that your surgeon should touch and feel the underlying structures of the neck. If the structures of the neck are found to be uniform and are lying deep within a soft fatty layer, then removing that fatty layer should leave none of these structures standing out, none that are prominent or unsightly. Remember that digital photography and imagery can be very unrealistic, especially when we are dealing with body areas that are made of several layers

Liposuction of the neck can have one benefit; in fact, it is desirable for the liposuction of the neck to cause a hidden, sheet-like scarring in the neck. The sheet-like scarring in the neck is brought about by the diffuse trauma (controlled and spread-out damage) caused by the liposuction cannula in the fatty layer. Remember that wherever the liposuction cannula passes, it may suck out and remove some fat, but in its wake it leaves a tunnel, which eventually scars and therefore possibly contracts. The tunnel will collapse back and respond to injury by forming fiber cells, which make up scar tissue. This very desirable net-like arrangement of scar tissue caused by the interconnecting tunnels of the liposuction cannulae will contract and give one a tighter neck. Many times the contraction following neck liposuction is strong enough to prevent the platysma bands from being seen, because the contraction forms a sling of tight neck skin and dermal tissue. Unfortunately, this does not always happen; and generally the younger the patient, the better result of neck liposuction. Still, remembering the structures we just talked about; no matter what your age, if those structures are not proper for the neck liposuction, the final result may leave something to be desired.

Many patients will choose to combine their neck liposuction with additional procedures such as chin implants, neck lifts, and repair of the neck muscles. Neck liposuctions involving multiple procedures can result in more noticeable improvements and longer lasting effects, and neck liposuction surgeons performing multiple procedures in one session may be able to offer reduced rates.

AnesthesiaLocal with sedation, or general.
Surgery Length3 – 4 hours
Side EffectsTemporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; tight feeling, dry skin.
Recovery PeriodBack to work: 3 days. Bruising: 2 to 3 weeks.
Stay in Hospital1 day (For General)
Stay in Thailand7 days
  • Most of the bruising and swelling should subside within three weeks. You should be able to return to work within a week or even within a few days if your work is fairly sedentary. Remember that you will be wearing the compression band for several weeks after your surgery to ensure that your neck stays firmly shaped.
  • Most people are pleased with the new contour of their necks and often feel a boost in energy and self-confidence. Although liposuction cannot alter skin quality or muscle tone, and should not be a substitute for regular exercise and a balanced diet, your neck will always be slimmer than it would be if you hadn’t had this procedure.
  • Even though the neck size has been reduced, there may be extra skin once the fat has been removed. Although wearing the compression band will help to firm the area, this extra skin may sag, especially if your skin elasticity is poor. It may be necessary to perform a neck lift or face lift, either concurrently or after this procedure.