Plastic Surgery 101

What’s the best way to get rid of the fat under my chin?

Dr. John Leikensohn of the Plastic Surgery Center holds a cannula, which is used in liposuction, in an operating room at the HealthSouth Surgery Center in Bradenton.
Dr. John Leikensohn of the Plastic Surgery Center holds a cannula, which is used in liposuction, in an operating room at the HealthSouth Surgery Center in Bradenton. MCT file

Q. I have a little bit of fat under my chin and my skin is hanging. Is there anything I can do that will get rid of that without having to do it multiple times? I just want to get rid of it.

A. Back when we had few non-invasive procedures, liposuction was an effective way of getting rid of your problem.

I still believe liposuction works with little downtime and patients get excellent results. Like any procedure, you have to pick the right doctor for it.

With the advent of non-invasive procedures, non-core physicians and non-physicians began performing procedures that they sometimes shouldn’t be. If you don’t have the training, you may not treat the patient with the right procedure.

There are many ethical physician extenders and nurses who do perform these procedures, and when they are unable to do so, they refer the patient to the appropriate physician for treatment.

When a patient has fat deposits under the neck and in the jowl area and has reasonable skin tone, liposuction is a great alternative. Liposuction is performed by making a small incision behind each ear and under the chin, and then using a small cannula to suction out the fat, allowing the skin to retract.

If the patient has excess skin, it may be surgically removed with a small incision under the chin. The recuperation for this is approximately one week with maximal results occurring over three to six months.

Alternative treatments such as Kybella and Ultherapy may require multiple procedures with not nearly the same result as liposuction.

Remember when you talk to a doctor or a physician extender, it is imperative they have all the tools so you get the best possible results. Before having any procedure, ask your provider what training they had, what alternatives there are and ask whether the procedure is the best one for you.

Carlos Wolf is a clinical assistant professor at FIU Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine and a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery. Follow him on Instagram @Carloswolfmd.

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