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Melissa Hu, MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

It's natural to take steps to look your best
  • Dr. Melissa Hu

Chin and Neck

Updated: Jun 20, 2018

There are various options to rejuvenate the neck and chin region. Procedures range from non-invasive forms such as Kybella which dissolves fat, CoolMini which freezes fat, or radiofrequency tightening of skin with ThermiTight to more invasive procedures such as liposuction, surgical neck lift, and laser resurfacing.

If fat is the main problem, Kybella, CoolMini and liposuction are your most effective options. Kybella and CoolMini require a series of in-clinic treatments with minimal to no down time. Whereas, liposuction requires a one-time visit to the operating room and a 1-2 week period of healing. Treatment recommendations are largely dependent on the extent of fat needing to be treated. Kybella is better for small volume fat deposits whereas CoolMini and liposuction are more effective for a greater girth of chin and neck fat.

If skin looseness and quality are your main problems, other options such as a formal tightening with a surgical neck lift or laser resurfacing are your better options. Each person is different and often times, procedures are combined to best address the desired outcome. To better assess your needs, make an appointment with Dr. Hu to provide an unbiased assessment of your individual needs.

Kybella is an injectable drug that causes direct lysis or rupture of fat cells. Kybella can be used to sculpt the area of the chin and neck by dissolving fat. Each treatment session requires 1 to 3 vials. Results are typically permanent, not requiring retreatment. Kybella is best for people with hereditary forms of chin fullness, mild or moderate fullness under the chin. Although this considered a noninvasive procedure, some people can develop significant swelling in the first 3-4 days as the product causes the fat cells to swell and rupture.

CoolMini is smaller version of Coolsculpting which is used for reduction of abdominal and thigh fat. This is a truly noninvasive procedure as the device is applied to the surface of the skin. However, to work effectively, you have to have enough fat for the device to grab, pull into and seal off the suction cup. Once fat can no longer effectively fits into the device’s suction, you can no longer effectively treat the fat. CoolMini may effectively bring a neck down from severe to moderately severe.

ThermiTight is also a noninvasive device applied to the skin. It uses radiofrequency waves to disrupt collagen bonds in the skin. This disruption is then supposed to stimulate the collagen to reorganize and realign in a manner that strengthens the elasticity of the skin. This will help the tighten the skin and improve skin elasticity. However, it will not treat excess skin or fat. Effects are mild, long lasting but not permanent.

Laser Resurfacing is an effective means of treating pigmentation, skin textural problems and mild skin laxity of the neck. It is typically a single treatment but may be spread out into a series particularly if pigmentation is being treated. There is often some mild redness, swelling for up to 5 days following treatment. The key is to find a technician who can perform the procedure well as complications may cause scarring permanent pigmentation problems. Results are long lasting for several years.

Liposuction is the gold standard for fat reduction in the neck. It is considered minimally invasive, but is still a surgical procedure and typically requires a visit to the operating room. Results are permanent, but recovery is about 2 weeks with swelling, bruising, and a dressing that has to be worn 24/7 for a week.

Neck Lift is the most invasive approach and may involve removal of fat, skin and tightening of muscles. The skin may be indirectly affected with liposuction which has shown to stimulate collagen reorganization and improve skin elasticity. Recovery is generally 2 weeks, similar to liposuction, but swelling may persist up to 6-8 weeks. Because this incision is longer, there is greater risk of scar, infection.

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