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Will Breast Density Limit My Plastic Surgery Options?

Getting good news about breast density and plastic surgery options

The last time you got your mammogram results, did you notice a little note about your breast density? If you are like 40 percent of women, it might have said something like, “Your breasts are heterogeneously dense, which may obscure small masses and may put you at greater risk of developing breast cancer in the future.” Though this may sound a bit scary, it’s actually a normal reading.

Normal breast density exists on a spectrum from not dense at all to extremely dense. Knowing this information is important; it helps women and their doctors decide which breast screening methods are best, and how often they should get them. According to the American Cancer Society, whether a woman has dense breasts or not, regular screenings (mammograms in particular) are still the best way to find cancer early.

Because of the relationship between breast density and cancer risk, it is now the law in many states that breast density information be conveyed to each woman who has a mammogram. You may have seen talk of this newer legislation on the news.

What this means is that more women than ever before know that breast density matters, and many can tell you just how dense their own breasts are. Knowing this has also left some women wondering if their breast density will affect their options when it comes to cosmetic breast surgery.

To help answer this question, it will help if we first explain what doctors mean when they talk about breast density.

Breast density is a radiologic (mammogram) finding that has nothing to do with how breasts look or feel from the outside. The classification of density has to do with the ratio of fat (not a dense tissue) to everything else that makes up the breast, including glandular and fibrous tissue. On a mammogram, the fat shows up dark and the other stuff shows up white. The more white seen on a mammogram, the more dense the breast classification. The breast density classifications that may be assigned are – from least dense to most dense – the following:

  1. Fatty
  2. Scattered Fibroglandular
  3. Heterogeneously Dense
  4. Extremely Dense

Only about 10 percent of women are categorized as having extremely dense breast tissue. You can learn more about these breast density types, and see images too, at the American Cancer Society.

Here at North Texas Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Slack performs a wide range of cosmetic breast procedures including breast implants, liposuction, breast lifts, and breast reductions. In some cases, he may perform a combination of one or more of these procedures, depending on the goals of the patient. Here is how breast density may come into play with each of these procedures:

Augmentation

Breast implants are placed underneath the breast tissue not within in. This means that the breast tissue itself, no matter how dense, sits on top of the implant and therefore has little bearing on whether a breast implant is possible.

Liposuction

Liposuction alone is sometimes an option for women who are looking for a mild reduction in breast size. It is possible that a woman with extremely dense breasts, which means they have a lower ratio of fat to other tissue, may have a limit as to how much fat can be successfully removed using this method.

Breast Reduction or Lift

A breast reduction or lift sometimes includes liposuction, and the limitation just mentioned may come in to play to some degree. However, because these procedures also include an open surgical component, the goal of the reduction usually isn’t limited by breast density.

Here is the big takeaway: None of these procedures are off limits to a woman simply because she has higher breast density.

There are many factors that will limit a person’s plastic surgery options, including poor health, weight instability, and a bad smoking habit, but breast density usually isn’t one of them. That said, every person who walks into our clinic has their own unique anatomical identity, and that includes breast density. Dr. Slack takes all of this (and more) into consideration when advising each patient and planning their surgery.

If you have more questions about breast density and which breast procedures might be right for you, call our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Slack.

Liposuction and Your Weight: Clearing up Common Misconceptions

Woman taking body measurements around the hips.

In 2018, more than a quarter million liposuction procedures were performed in the United States. That makes it the second most common type of plastic surgery, after breast enhancement. Combine this with the fact that more than two-thirds of all Americans are classified as overweight or obese, and it’s easy to imagine that liposuction is a tool for weight loss.

It is true that the goal of liposuction is fat removal, and whenever any part of the body is removed, there is a small amount of weight lost. But liposuction is used for shaping or contouring the body, not for weight loss. In fact, the ideal candidate for liposuction is near or at their ideal weight.

According to Dr. Slack, “A good candidate for liposuction has one or more deposits of fat that are out of proportion with the rest of the body and can’t be eliminated with diet and exercise.” This includes “love handles” or stubborn areas of fat on the thighs, hips, belly, arms, chin, neck, and cheeks (face and buttocks).

Liposuction is best done in areas with good skin elasticity, and it does not address loose or sagging skin. For this reason, liposuction is often used in conjunction with other body contouring procedures like breast reductions, tummy tucks, arm and thigh lifts, and mommy makeovers.

During a liposuction procedure, a thin, hollow needle, called a cannula, is inserted through a small incision in the skin. For larger areas, several incisions may be made. The inserted cannula is connected to a vacuum pump which sucks out deposits of fat underneath the skin. Liposuction cannot be used to remove visceral fat, that is fat around the organs in the abdomen, common in people who are overweight or obese.

There is also a limit on how much fat can be removed at one time. “Large volumes of liposuction can cause significant fluid shifts inside the body. In certain circumstances this can be dangerous,” says Dr. Slack. “The American Society of Plastic surgeons recommends anyone having liposuction over 5 liters stay overnight in a hospital or ambulatory care center for observation and fluid management.”

With liposuction, fat cells are permanently removed, but that does not mean you can’t still gain weight. The more weight gained, the less effective the liposuction results.

According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons:

“If the patient gains a small amount of weight after their procedure, say 5 pounds, fat cells throughout the body will get a little bigger. While this slight weight gain can diminish results, the overall improved body shape provided by a liposuction procedure will still be visible as treated body areas have less fat cells (and thus experience a lower enlargement rate) compared to surrounding areas.”

If someone gains more than about 10 percent of their body weight after liposuction, in addition to the remaining fat cells in the body getting even bigger, new fat cells can develop. This can happen even in the area that was treated. However, because there are still fewer fat cells there, the body contouring effect of the liposuction may still be visible. In other words, you may still have the body shape you desire, even if you are heavier.

Issues of body weight are complex, entangled with issues of health and body image, and they are not always easy to solve. There are tools that can help like building self-esteem, diet, exercise, and even bariatric surgery, but liposuction shouldn’t be considered one of them. If you are thinking about having liposuction, make sure you see a plastic surgeon who understands this.

If you want to learn more about liposuction and whether you are a good candidate, contact our office today and set up a consultation with Dr. Charles Slack. He can help clear up any misconceptions you may have.

The Three Things You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

The new year is right around the corner, which for many of us means it’s the time we start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you want to lose weight, stop smoking, or save money. Whatever it is, the new year offers a kind of reset button on life. For some, plastic surgery also offers this opportunity for a reset. Though it can’t fix everything, it can give you the confidence boost to start making other changes.

In this post we will be talking about plastic surgery after weight loss, which is an especially good example of this kind of reset. But, unlike many other changes you might choose to make in the new year, plastic surgery requires an especially large amount of thought, research, and preparation. It’s surgery, after all.

Plastic surgery after weight loss can feel like a huge reset because, for many, it is the last step in a long journey to remake their lives. Losing a large amount of weight (say, 50 to 100 pounds or more) takes time, effort, and in some cases weight-loss surgery. It is arduous, no matter how you get there. Weight loss alone changes lives in a big way, giving people more energy, improved health and self-esteem, and greater mobility. But, like most things in life, it isn’t always a perfect solution.

After significant weight loss, some people are left with excess loose skin. This affects people differently; for some it is a minor cosmetic issue and for others the loose skin itself diminishes mobility, causes rashes and infections, and impacts their sense of wellbeing. This 2018 study of nearly 1200 people (80% were women) who underwent gastric bypass surgery, found a link between excessive skin and poorer psychosocial functioning.

Unfortunately, the loose skin that follows a large loss of weight won’t go away no matter how many sit ups you do or expensive creams you buy. For this reason some people turn to plastic surgery for a permanent solution.

This kind of surgery is generally referred to as body contouring, and it can include a whole host of different procedures including the following:

While these procedures can restore a more youthful and toned appearance to the body, they come with some risk, especially when more procedures are performed at once. For this reason there are three things you need to consider if you are thinking about plastic surgery after massive weight loss.

It’s not an option for everyone

Obesity is a well known health risk and the medical conditions (called co-morbidities) that can go along with it include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other breathing problems. These are serious health issues and they are often the reason someone undertakes an extreme weight loss effort. Sometimes those co-morbidities don’t completely go away, even after a large weight loss, making it too risky to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Plastic surgery for weight loss also won’t be an option for you if you are unwilling to change unhealthy habits. For example, you have to be willing to quit smoking, as it can get in the way of healing.

You have to wait a while after weight loss

Most plastic surgeons will require you to wait at least six months after reaching your goal weight before considering plastic surgery. This gives your body time to stabilize. Many of the health conditions associated with obesity will improve or go away during this time, and good long term eating and exercise habits will get established. This waiting period also gives some of the extra loose skin time to shrink down on its own.

It isn’t a panacea

Plastic surgery is the only permanent way to remove the large amount of loose skin that follows significant weight loss. It can improve your appearance and mobility and even your health. But it will not turn back the clock to a time before you had any weight to lose, to the body you had, say, at 16. Your body will also continue to be subject to the effects of aging after the surgery.

Though there are ways to minimize the appearance of scars, scarring is inevitable as well. (Learn how Dr. Slack keeps scar visibility to a minimum). Take a look at our before and after gallery so you know what to expect, at least in the first months after surgery as scars will continue to fade.

Also, it is important to know that no plastic surgery is a panacea for all of life’s problems; it won’t save your marriage, make you smarter, or get you that promotion. Being realistic and specific about the problems you want to solve will take you a long way toward a more satisfying result.

If you are considering plastic surgery after weight loss, it is important to take your time thinking about it, do your research and find the right surgeon for you. It has taken you a while to get where you are so a little more won’t hurt. Call our office today and make an appointment with Dr. Slack to get that process underway.

The Belly Bulge that Won’t Budge: Diastasis Recti

Mom holding here daughter with her legs: Can't do this with Diastasis Recti

You have a couple of kids, you’ve gotten a bit older, and despite diet and exercise, that belly pooch won’t seem to go away. Sound familiar? Sometimes it is just a cosmetic issue (which can be bad enough), but other times that belly bulge is a sign of damage to underlying muscles. More specifically, it can be a sign of a condition called diastasis recti.

To understand this condition, it will help to break down its name: Diastasis is the Greek word for “separation” and recti refers to large abdominal muscles called the rectus abdominis. These muscles run from the rib cage down the center of the abdomen to the pubic bone. There are two of these muscles on the left side and on the right side. They are responsible for the “six pack” abs you see in magazines. The two sides of the muscles meet in the middle of your abdomen and are held together with a strip of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Diastasis recti is a condition where the linea alba has widened and become weak. As a result, the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscles have moved farther apart and the weight of the internal organs causes the tummy to “pooch” out. This is not a hernia, as the tissue is still intact, but it can essentially function like one in extreme cases.

Diastasis recti sometimes occurs in newborn babies who typically grow out of it. It can also happen in people who develop a large beer gut or overwork their abdominal muscles, but it is most common in women following pregnancy. During the second and third trimester the growing uterus puts increased pressure on the linea alba, stretching it out.

For many women, the condition goes away after pregnancy, but for some the diastasis recti remains. The problem is more likely to occur as a woman ages and has more children, especially if the pregnancies are close together.

Though you might not like the way it looks, diastasis recti is not an inherently dangerous or painful condition. However, the more severe it is, the more the rectus abdominis muscle can be compromised. This muscle plays a large role in protecting the internal organs, supporting posture, and facilitating movement. When it is not working properly, it can cause problems like,

  • low back pain,
  • constipation,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • and difficulty lifting, sitting, or standing.

So, what can you do about it?

When the condition is mild, it is quite common for women to just chalk it up to pregnancy or age and move on with their lives. However, when it causes symptoms or its appearance is overly bothersome, the first line of treatment is usually physical therapy. The American Physical Therapy Association has a comprehensive guide that explains the problem and their treatment approach in detail.

When this doesn’t work or the problem is too severe to be corrected with exercise, surgery may be the best solution. Here, a surgeon folds over the loosened connective tissue (linea alba) and sutures the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscles back together, into a more normal position. The reason you are reading about this on a plastic surgery website is because this procedure is often done as part of a tummy tuck or a mommy makeover.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of tummy tucks in the United States has more than doubled since 2000. Though fixing a diastasis recti can be a component, the tummy tuck may or may not also include liposuction and skin removal. Below is a photo of a woman with a diastasis recti before and after a tummy tuck procedure with Dr. Slack.

Before and after of a mommy makeover.

It is not uncommon for women to need more than just a muscle repair to regain a more youthful appearance to their belly. That decision is best made following a physical exam by a qualified plastic surgeon.

Only an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can truly confirm which procedure would best achieve your goals – and for this, there are key variables we assess to formulate an individualized surgical plan — American Society of Plastic Surgeons

If you are concerned about the appearance of your abdomen or have questions about diastasis recti, contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Slack today.

Heads up on the Brazilian Butt Lift: Urgent Warnings Issued

Perhaps you are proud that you have your great grandma Sylvie’s slender ankles or your dad’s jet black hair. But maybe you also inherited … something you aren’t so fond of. For a lot of women, that something is a flat butt. There are lots of reasons (like celebrity trends) that make people want to change a part of their body, and a flat bottom has women turning to plastic surgery more and more for a procedure called the Brazilian Butt Lift. In 2017, about 20,000 were performed, a number that has doubled in the last five years, with some deadly consequences.

Experts estimate that the death rate after a Brazilian butt lift is as high as one in 3,000. No other cosmetic surgery procedure is associated with such a high death rate. Few surgeries of any kind have such a high death rate. These startling statistics have prompted the world’s prominent plastic surgery societies to come together to form a task force and to issue warnings to plastic surgeons and patients alike. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a press release about the task force just last month (August 2018).

The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), also called gluteal fat grafting, isn’t actually a lift procedure at all; rather it involves taking fat, via liposuction, from one part of the body and injecting that fat back into the buttocks. While this may sound simple enough, it is actually a technically difficult procedure, requiring special training.

The fat that is removed has to be processed carefully before it is re-injected, and the method of injection is critically important. The amount of fat, the exact location, and the depth of the injection are all factors that can affect whether blood vessels are damaged in this area. If this happens, even the tiniest piece of injected fat can enter the bloodstream and cause a life threatening clot, called a fat embolism.

In a study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, of nearly 200,000 Brazilian Butt Lifts performed, this kind of fat embolism formed and was fatal in 32 cases and non-fatal in another 103. Experts believe these numbers are likely much higher in reality because of under-reporting. Further, because of the increase in popularity of this procedure, many more unqualified practitioners are offering to perform the procedure in poorly equipped settings.

For these reasons, if you are considering this procedure it is more important than ever that you do your homework: understand the risks and verify that whomever you choose to do the procedure is properly trained and licensed. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified and has legitimate hospital privileges. Learn more about how to do that in our post How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon.

It is also a good idea to make sure the surgeon you choose is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This ensures that he or she is board certified and will be kept up to date on this critical issue. The ASPS is a member group on the newly formed Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting that is focused on studying the Brazilian Butt Lift and making it safer.

“The Task Force continues to review and share additional information on this topic to ensure that ABPS board-certified plastic surgeons and patients are up-to-date on the latest statistics and practices and can make informed decisions with patient safety as the goal.” — American Society of Plastic Surgeons Press Release

Choosing any kind of plastic surgery is a very personal decision. Doing your homework and going in with your eyes open is the best way to get the best possible outcome. If you live in Allen, Texas and have questions about the safety of any procedure you are considering, please contact our office and make an appointment with our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles T. Slack.

What Exactly is a Breast Reduction?

No two breasts are alike–even the ones side by side on the same chest. Some are big and some are small. Some stand at attention and some hang low. If you want to even yours out or make them both smaller, a breast reduction can get the job done.

And just as no two breast are alike, neither are any two breast reductions. A breast reduction, also called a reduction mammaplasty, can involve a number of different procedures, depending on the needs of each patient.

There are many reasons people have breast reductions, including physical symptoms like headaches and back pain and cosmetic issues like uneven breasts, enlarged areolas, or stretching from weight loss or breastfeeding.

The right procedures depend on the goals of the patient: how much of a change in size and shape is desired; whether they are looking for a more feminine or masculine result (Breast reductions are the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures among men in the US); or whether a woman wants to be able to breastfeed.

Depending on these goals and on the initial size, shape and position of the breasts, the surgical approaches will vary. 

Here are the surgical terms to know:

Reduction Mammaplasty
This is an umbrella term used to describe the surgical removal of breast tissue that can include excess fat, skin, and/or glandular tissue. This may be accomplished by surgical excision (cutting out) of breast tissue or with liposuction. mastopexy (breast lift) is a part of most breast reductions.

Mastopexy
This procedure is also called a breast lift, and it is usually a component of a breast reduction. The procedure can also be done on its own. The surgery entails removing excess skin around the nipple and lower aspect of the breast to decrease droopiness.

Liposuction
This is a minimally invasive procedure used to reduce the breast by removing fat. Liposuction alone does not lift the breast however. 

Some patients with smaller breasts may only need a little liposuction to reduce their breasts. Others will need more tissue removed and a lift (mastopexy).

Dr. Slack explains, “With any reduction technique, except liposuction-only, the breast is lifted, meaning the droopy lower pole of the breast is elevated so that the breast starts at the breast fold and moves up from there. The nipple/Areola complex is elevated along with the breast and is typically made smaller.

The extent of the breast lift and scar pattern varies depending on the location of the nipple, the elasticity of the skin, and the amount of tissue to be removed.

Here are the three general types of breast lifts used during a breast reduction:

Periareolar “doughnut” mastopexy
An incision is made around the areola and excess skin is removed. With this technique the areola is repositioned and reduced in size. 

Circumvertical “lollipop” or “keyhole” mastopexy
A keyhole incision is made around the areola and then vertically down to the crease of the breast. Excess skin, fat and glandular tissue are removed. The areola can be reduced in size as well.

Extended circumvertical  “wise-pattern” or “anchor” mastopexy
Using an inverted “T” incision pattern, this procedure does all of the above but skin is also removed horizontally leaving a scar along the breast fold. This allows for the removal of more skin, fat, and glandular tissue and relocation of the areola. The horizontal incision along the breast fold is extended out toward the armpit.

During a breast reduction, the nipple is usually left attached to the breast tissue below. With extremely low placed nipples or larger breasts, the nipple may need to be completely removed and replaced as a skin graft after the reduction is complete. This possibility should be discussed with your surgeon before hand, particularly if you are concerned about breast feeding. 

All breast reductions are performed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. Because of this and the many choices that go into any breast reduction, it is important to choose a qualified plastic surgeon. Preferably one with special training in surgery of the breast, like Dr. Slack. Take a look at his breast reduction before and after photo gallery of patients seen in Collin County, Texas.

As with all plastic surgery, there will be some scarring, the extent of which depends on the procedure performed: there is little scarring with liposuction alone and more if extra tissue needs to be removed. In most cases, your surgeon will do his best to hide incisions within the areola and in the breast crease. Some scarring is likely to remain visible but will fade over time. Most patients report it is a worthwhile tradeoff for all the benefits of the breast reduction.

Recovery time after a breast reduction will also vary depending on the amount of tissue removed and the extent of the incisions. Your results will be apparent immediately after surgery. You will need to take it easy for at least a week and it is important to follow your doctors instructions. These instructions will help minimize scarring and lead to the best possible results. It may take a few months for all the swelling to subside and your final results to be fully realized.

If you are interested in a breast reduction, and you want to learn more about the options available to you, call Dr. Slack’s office and schedule your consultation today.

Tummy Tuck with Liposuction on the Side (Literally)

Muffin Tops? Tummy tuck with liposuction may help.Have you ever put new carpet in your house only to realize that, next to the new carpet, the paint looks faded and the light fixtures appear dated?

Well, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can sometimes have the same effect – suddenly that muffin top is more obvious when your belly is nice and flat. This is a situation where liposuction can work well with your tummy tuck.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a process where the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the skin and inserts a cannula, or small tube, through the incision into underlying fat deposits. By moving the cannula up and down in the fat tissue, the surgeon is able to break up the fat, and then suction it out through the cannula.

Liposuction can be performed on many areas of the body from the thighs to underneath the chin. It may also be used in conjunction with a tummy tuck to give an improved overall appearance. A tummy tuck with liposuction can make the newly tightened stomach look more natural and proportional to the rest of the torso.

Doesn’t the Tummy Tuck Remove the Fat? Why Do I Need Liposuction, Too?

Though its primary function is to tighten the belly, some fat will likely be removed during a tummy tuck. But, if you have a full tummy tuck, in which the incision extends from hip bone to hip bone, you may still find you have fat on your sides or “flanks” and even along the lower back—those pesky muffin tops.

In some instances an extended or full tummy tuck, in which the incision extends around the sides or all the way around, may be most appropriate to deal with excess fat and loose skin in these areas.

But for many, liposuction of the flanks and lower back may provide the desired results without the more extensive surgery.

What About Liposuction On the Front of the Abdomen?

If you are concerned that a tummy tuck will tighten your abdomen but leave too much fat behind on the front (anterior) of your abdomen, your surgeon may recommend two separate procedures. He can advise you on whether liposuction alone, abdominoplasty alone, or a combination of the two will help you achieve the results you are looking for.

Be aware that liposuction in the area of the tummy tuck – the anterior of the abdomen – may need to happen in a separate procedure from the tummy tuck itself. This is called “staging” the procedure and your specific anatomy will determine whether you should have liposuction then tummy tuck, tummy tuck then liposuction, or both procedures together.

Liposuction and Tummy Tucks are Not Weight Loss Procedures

Remember that both liposuction and a tummy tuck – together or individually – are meant to “fine tune” your appearance. They aren’t weight loss procedures.

Liposuction works best on trouble spots – those fat deposits that won’t seem to budge no matter how many crunches you do. Similarly, a tummy tuck will help tighten up a loose abdomen, particularly loose skin that persists after weight loss or pregnancy.

Nature working the way she does, many people have a combination of excess fat and skin. Liposuction and tummy tuck combined can often provide the best results.

Will a Tummy Tuck Combined with Liposuction Work for You?

Dr. Slack offers a free consultation to patients in the Collin County area who would like to discuss their cosmetic surgery options. Take a look at his before and after galleries for tummy tuck and liposuction. Some women may also consider a Mommy Makeover, in which breast surgery is done at the same time as the other procedures. Once you are ready to discuss whether a tummy tuck with liposuction can help you achieve your goals, please get in touch. Dr. Slack will be pleased to chat with you.

Reframe your Face with Under-Chin Liposuction

under-chin liposuction

Not since the invention of mirrors, has anything made us more face-conscious than the “selfie.” Beside the ability to document our presence in the world at any given moment, the beauty of the selfie is that with it, you can look up, tilt your head just right, and make your double chin disappear.

Of course, that has also made many of us more conscious of our double chins to begin with, and that may be one reason under chin liposuction has become so popular. Another reason is that it can be done with local anesthesia as a fairly quick procedure. One of the biggest reasons people opt for it, though, is how much bang for your buck it can give.

While liposuction is not a good weight loss solution, its use to sculpt the area under the chin can give the appearance of weight loss. Without doing anything else to your face, minimizing jowls and creating a more defined chin area also creates a more distinct frame. This can bring out all the beautiful features of your face and make you look years younger.

We need to be clear though; liposuction, whether performed under the chin or on any other part of the body, is a serious medical procedure, and not everyone is a candidate.

Who is a Candidate?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an ideal candidate for liposuction should:

  • Be within 30 pounds of their ideal weight,
  • Have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone,
  • Be healthy with no life-threatening illnesses or medical conditions that can impair healing, and
  • Be a non-smoker or quit at least two weeks before surgery.

Even if you are a good candidate, to get the best result, you need to know exactly what you are getting into and have realistic expectations. And most of all, you need to find a qualified plastic surgeon, who you can be honest with, and who you feel will listen to you.

How is it done?

Under chin liposuction is often done in combination with other plastic surgery procedures, like a face lift, chin implant, or a full neck lift. But It can also be performed as a stand-alone procedure, using local anesthesia. The procedure takes about 40 minutes and starts with one or more tiny incisions under the chin.

A combination of saline solution and medications that further numb the area and help to minimize bleeding are then injected into the area. A small metal tube, attached to a vacuum extractor, is then moved around under the chin between the skin and muscle to break up and remove fat.

Liposuction can also be performed with the assistance of radiofrequency waves, ultrasound, or lasers to help liquefy the fat and stimulate the formation of collagen. As a word of warning though, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states:

“You should be aware that these techniques are still considered to be relatively new and there are few studies to prove the end results are better than traditional liposuction. It’s important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your plastic surgeon.”

Depending on the method you and your plastic surgeon decide is right for you, results may be seen immediately after the procedure. You will likely go home with an under chin sling to lessen swelling and keep the skin in contact with your newly contoured chin. Most people return to work within a week. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions during recovery for best results.

If you are interested in learning more about under chin liposuction and want to know if you are a candidate, call our office today and schedule your consultation.