Saturday, 8 December 2012

What are the risks with liposuction to the chin and neck?

Updated 3 October 2015

Liposuction can be used to redefine the jawline removing jowls and double chins. Newer techniques such as VASER lipo offer a more delicate form of liposuction with less blood loss. However there are risks to the procedure which your surgeon will discuss with you. These relate to the underlying anatomy as the head and neck has important nerves which run along the jawline and also below the ear.

Non-surgical options to reduce appearance of double chins and tighten the jawline include Ultherapy which also use ultrasound energy but without any cuts or surgery. This option will also be discussed during the initial consultation with me.


During the surgery, your surgeon will use the best techniques to avoid permanent injury to these important nerves and it is extremely unlikely that permanent injury will occur. However, some temporary complications can occur and these are due to inflammation and the healing process, and only occur in a few patients.

Complications after liposuction to the chin and neck include:

1. Numbness around the mouth and or jaw
2. Bruising
3. Skin tethering
4. Fibrosis

I will try and explain these in more detail now:

The numbness can occur if the marginal mandibular nerve is injured during the surgery. It can become inflamed or irritated by the passage of surgical instruments. I have even seen. Occur when no surgical instruments have been near it, but the has been some prolonged inflammation. The numbness is temporary and usually settles within a couple of weeks. Occasionally it can cause temporary drooping of the mouth.

Mild bruising is to be expected after surgery but occasionally it can be extensive or worse on one side. This is probably due to a haematoma or a collection of blood which developed after surgery. In rare cases it will need further emergency surgery to drain. Thankfully this is rare.

In sun damaged or lax skin, once the fat is removed, the skin retraction can be incomplete and so one can get uneven tightening of the skin. Sometimes post operative carboxytherapy can resolve matters.

In over aggressive liposuction to the neck, there may be prolonged inflammation which can lead to hard scar tissue forming (fibrosis) and this can cause lumpiness as well as all of the above complications. This may take several months to resolve.

All of the above complications can be managed with thorough post operative aftercare using ultrasound and manual lymphatic drainage straight after surgery. Thankfully, these complications are unusual and temporary.

For all of our patients who have received VASER liposuction to the chin, we offer aftercare as routine. This real is a life changing procedure for the right candidates. For more information on Riverbanks Clinic call +441582762877.

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