Liposuction of Head and Neck

Some people who otherwise are not overweight are distressed because of a double chin, saggy jowls or a very round face. Fat deposits in these locations may be due to heredity or the natural aging process. Unfortunately, these conditions are usually resistant to exercise and weight loss and, until recent times, could not be changed. Recently, however, several surgical procedures have been developed to eliminate fat deposits in the face. One such technique, facial liposuction, was perfected over twenty years ago by a French physician and is now available for men and women who want to correct these facial flaws.

Facial liposuction surgery involves the removal of specific areas of localized fat deposits and may be performed alone or in conjunction with other facial surgeries such as chin augmentation and facelift.

Men and women in good physical condition with good skin elasticity are the best candidates for this surgery. When the procedure was first introduced, only younger people were considered to be good candidates; however, recent improvements in the technique have made it possible to treat patients of all ages. Each person seeking this treatment, regardless of age, must be personally assessed by the physician to determine if he or she is suitable for facial liposuction.

Before Surgery

A complete medical history is acquired prior to surgery in order to evaluate the general health of the patient. The patients face will also be carefully examined; paying particular attention to skin tone. After the examination Dr. Graper will explain the type of anesthesia that will be used, the procedure, the expected results, and the possible risks and complications. The next step will be to take photographs, which will allow both the patient and Dr. Graper to evaluate the degree of improvement. The patient will then be given their preoperative instructions which may include a prescription of antibiotics to take a few days prior to surgery to prevent infection.

The Procedure

Liposuction can be performed under general anesthesia with the patient asleep or a light sedation. The areas to be treated are carefully marked before the procedure begins.

Dr. Graper will make very small incisions along the jaw line, in the cheeks or in the neck below the chin, depending upon which fat deposits are to be removed. A tube (cannula) attached to a high pressure vacuum suction, or to a syringe system, is inserted deep in the fat. The fat is loosened from surrounding tissue by moving the tube back and forth. It is then removed or vacuumed from the face with the suction device. Dr. Graper determines the amount of fat to remove by feeling the skin and pinching the tissue.

After the incisions have been closed, a compression dressing or bandage is applied to the area to prevent bleeding, reduce swelling and support the affected areas. The procedure can last from thirty minutes to several hours depending upon the extent of surgery.

Following Surgery

The dressing, which remains in place for a day or two, may be replaced with an elastic bandage placed under the chin and tied over the head. It may be necessary to wear this chin strap for several days. Because the surgery does not involve large incisions and extensive cutting, pain is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed.

Most patients are completely ambulatory immediately following surgery, but rest is recommended for the initial postoperative period. Patients are usually able to return to normal activities within a week, although vigorous physical activity is discouraged for several weeks. Chewing may be difficult for a few days, particularly if a chin strap is worn.

Some swelling can occur and sometimes there is bruising around the treated areas. Swelling can be reduced by keeping the head slightly elevated when reclining. Scars which fade significantly in time are, for the most part, inconspicuous because they are made within the natural creases of the face whenever possible complications of this surgery are rare; however, possible complications include uneven skin surface, numbness and discoloration which are usually temporary, and infection. There are certain inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure which should be thoroughly discussed with Dr. Graper. Patients can minimize complications by carefully following the directions given by Dr. Graper.

Facial liposuction surgery is an excellent procedure that can benefit those who want to remove unsightly fat deposits from localized areas of the face. If you are interested in learning more about facial liposuction, please call our office and we will be happy to answer your questions.