Submental (neck) Liposuction

Submental or neck liposuction is a procedure involving liposuction of the neck and jaw line to remove localized fat deposits. This procedure can improve the contour of the neck for a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.


Submental liposuction procedure for individuals who have excessive submental fat but good skin elasticity. Patients are generally forty to forty-five years of age or younger. As with all types of surgeries, good health and realistic expectations are also important.


Dr. O’Mara will often perform submental liposuction in the office procedure room under local anesthesia. When combined with other procedures, it may be performed in an outpatient surgery center under IV sedation or general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia is administered, Dr. O’Mara will make a small, inconspicuous incision beneath the chin. A narrow liposuction instrument called a cannula is then placed beneath the skin and the fat is removed, shaping the jaw line and neck.

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The recovery after submental liposuction takes approximately five to seven days but the cosmetic result may not be fully realized for up to three months. During this time, patients may experience some minor bruising and swelling. Discomfort is generally mild. Most patients find that they can return to non-strenuous work the next day, though strenuous work and activities will need to be postponed for about three weeks.


I’m a 42 year-old, relatively fit mother of three. I lost a significant amount of weight after I had my last child. While I have done a good job of getting into shape and I’m generally happy with how my body looks, I do have some sagging skin around my neck and jaw areas that I’d like to address. Would you recommend a mini facelift for someone in my situation?

It sounds like you have excellent health and take pride in maintaining it. Most patients your age start to see that small amount of skin sagging beneath their jawline and chin, and that can be very distressing to someone who has never had that before! Nevertheless, I try to counsel my patients to start rejuvenation strategies of the face with conservative measures…good consistent skin care, minimization of lines with injectables, and adequate hydration. However, in patients with isolated neck aging, I will possibly recommend submental liposuction or a limited neck lift to correct their problem.

What is the difference between a facelift and a mini facelift? I’m 60. Will a mini-facelift do anything to reduce sagging in my neck and chin area?

I get this question very frequently. There are many variations to a facelift, from the placement of incisions to how you dissect and suspend the deeper structures, to attain and maintain a long lasting youthful appearance. A mini facelift usually has shortened incisions and less dissection of the soft tissues of the face that you want to have lifted for a very long time. My general philosophy is mini facelift-mini result…unless it is a younger patient with isolated areas to treat. I would probably recommend a standard lower facelift, which would give you a more comprehensive, long lasting result. Many patients try to cut corners and do less, while expecting the same result, but I always say “if you don’t want to do it right the first time, you will need to set aside more time to do it right later.”

I recently noticed that my neck is wrinkly and saggy. Which procedure do I need, a neck lift or a neck liposuction?

Liposuction of the neck is a good procedure in individuals that have excess fat beneath their chin and also have good skin tone or elasticity. Patients who get good results from submental and neck liposuction are usually in their thirties to early fifties. Patients who have excess skin sagging in the neck usually will require a neck lift or lower facelift to tighten the deeper soft tissue laxity and remove the excess skin to achieve the desired result.

I am really interested in neck liposuction but I am really nervous after hearing horror stories about liposuction. What can you tell me to reassure me that the procedure is quite safe?

Liposuction of the neck, also termed sub mental liposuction, is a very safe and easy procedure. I usually perform it in conjunction with other procedures, such as lower facelift. However, in young healthy patients who have only an excess of sub mental fat, this procedure alone is very effective. I usually perform neck liposuction in an office based setting under sedation, and the procedure usually lasts approximately  thirty minutes. As with any procedure you are considering, research your surgeon and their credentials. To this date, I have not experienced any serious complications from liposuction of the neck.

I’m 50, female, and I have a great body for my age. My only problems are my face and neck. I’m considering having neck liposuction and a facelift. Can these procedures be performed at the same time?

The nomenclature of these procedures can be confusing. Neck liposuction can be performed as an isolated procedure. A facelift can be performed as an isolated procedure as well, but a facelift operation includes addressing the neck in one way or another. Depending on the patient, I either perform neck liposuction or direct fat excision with platysmal muscle tightening as part of the facelift surgery. It is not a matter of can they be done at the same time. They should be done at the same time.

I’ve heard that during neck liposuction, the incision is sometimes made in the mouth. If this is done, will I have to be cautious about what I eat after neck liposuction? If so, how long?

I have always used an external incision under the chin for neck liposuction. The resulting scar is often hard to find, once healed. I do not see any benefit in making an intraoral incision. Nevertheless, I ask my patients refrain from vigorous chewing for one week to limit movement beneath the chin.

I have a lot of extra skin and fat on my neck. I definitely want to do something about it, but I’ve been having trouble finding the clarity I need: What is the difference between a neck lift and neck liposuction?

Liposuction of the neck is a procedure in which a very small incision is made under the chin and sometimes under the earlobes. The liposuction instrument can be inserted and the fat removed. I recommend this procedure in individuals who have a small to moderate amount of sub mental fat excess and good skin elasticity. Patients who have more substantial fat and skin excess in the neck require a neck lift. During this procedure, an incision is made under the chin and behind each ear in the post auricular crease. Through these incisions, fat is removed, the platysma muscle is tightened, and excess skin can be removed. Physical examination will determine which operation will best suit you.

I’m a corporate lawyer and wear a tie on a daily basis. Will I have to go without a tie post necklift?

If you have a direct neck lift performed, there will be an incision line down the midline of the front of your neck.  You will probably want to wait 3-4 weeks after your surgery to wear a buttoned shirt with a tie.  Soon after this, you will certainly enjoy wearing a tie because of your new neck contour and younger look.

Short of a full neck lift, will anything get rid of a “turkey gobbler” neck where there’s loose skin?

There is a very effective procedure called a direct neck lift in which the loose skin is removed at the site of the “turkey gobbler”.  This is more appropriate for the male patient who doesn’t mind having an incision under the chin and neck in the front.  Most patients are tired of the loose skin interfering with shirt and tie wear.  The incision heals with minimal scar visibility and avoids incisions around the ears.