Your face is one of the first things people notice about you. For some, having a contoured face shape is more desirable. It helps one feel more attractive, inviting, and presentable. You can target multiple areas of the face at once with face liposuction to achieve your desired results in just one procedure. While some people naturally have a chiseled face or easily lose fat through diet and exercise, some people may have difficulty achieving their ideal facial contour. Some people naturally hold more weight in the face, making it harder to achieve a slimmer look. And others may hold pockets of fat in their face due to genetics, which diet and exercise may not help.
The natural aging process can also contribute to an unfavorable distribution of fat in the face. As we age and gravity takes its toll, we’re more likely to end up with extra fat in the lower face, along the jawline, chin, and neck, creating a rounded, sometimes even sagging, look to the face.
Luckily, due to the technological advancements in today’s cosmetic procedure industry, any patient can achieve a slim-looking facial appearance. There are many different treatment options for achieving a more contoured face depending on what your concerns are, what specific results you want, and how invasive you do or don’t want the treatment to be. For patients whose main goal is to achieve a slimmer, more contoured-looking face through fat loss, facial liposuction is an excellent treatment option.
Facial liposuction is an immediate and permanent solution to unwanted facial fat, no matter the cause. Patients who undergo facial liposuction experience reduced facial fat, a more contoured look, and permanent fat loss. Whether you want to remove extra facial fat due to weight gain, aging, or genetics, facial liposuction may be the right treatment option for you.
Below, we’ll go over what face liposuction is, how to determine if you would be a good candidate, and five things you need to know if you’re considering the treatment.
What is Face Liposuction?
Just like any other traditional liposuction treatment performed on the abdomen or thighs, face liposuction permanently removes fat cells from the face. It’s very common and typically performed in a single procedure, but can also be combined with a facelift or other face rejuvenating treatments, if desired. This is a minimally invasive treatment, doesn’t require extensive downtime, and is a great way to remove pockets of fat that aren’t responsive to typical diet and exercise.
Types of Face Liposuction
Unlike other facial fat loss treatments that often only target one area at a time, resulting in multiple procedures, face liposuction can target multiple areas of the face to get your desired results in just one procedure.
The chin, or submental area, is one of the most common treatment areas for face liposuction. This area is often referred to as the “double chin” and is an area of concern for many patients. Additional fat in this area can be caused by weight gain, genetics, or aging and greatly impacts the jawline and profile. Chin liposuction helps get rid of a stubborn double chin and can also help enhance the jawline and profile.
Cheek liposuction is good for those who carry a lot of weight in their cheeks and want a more contoured look to their face with a more pronounced bony anatomy. Excess fat in the cheek area can hide a patient’s natural cheekbones, leading to a more rounded face shape over a structured appearance. Removing fat from the cheeks can give you a more sleek, attractive face shape.
Sagging jowls can cause a drooping appearance, interrupting the defined, angular appearance of the jawline. This issue is most commonly seen in mature patients experiencing unwanted facial fat due to aging. This can end up creating the appearance of an aged, heavy lower face. However, face liposuction can rejuvenate the appearance of the face by removing the excess fat in this area, restoring the “inverted triangle” of youth.
While neck liposuction isn’t exactly face liposuction, it is another option that perfectly complements face liposuction and helps patients get their desired result. Some patients find themselves with a small pocket of fat reaching from the bottom of their chin toward their neck. Typically, an aesthetically pleasing cervicomental angle, or angle between the chin and the neck, is a concave curve. As we age or gain weight, this angle becomes blunted due to fat accumulation or skin laxity and becomes convex. Liposuction in this area restores the natural concavity, making the entire face, chin, neck, and decollete look defined and rejuvenated.
Who is a Good Candidate for Face Liposuction?
Face liposuction, like any other liposuction procedure, is a fat removal treatment, not a weight loss treatment. It’s typically recommended that candidates first achieve or are close to their desired weight before undergoing face liposuction to get the best results possible. This procedure is also best suited for non-smokers; if you smoke, you’ll be asked to quit before your procedure.
Ideal candidates for face liposuction are those who have stubborn subcutaneous fat in areas of the face that haven’t responded to regular diet and exercise. Additionally, a surgeon will evaluate the current condition of your skin to ensure you have good skin elasticity. You’ll also do a medical evaluation to ensure you don’t have any conditions that would disqualify you from being a healthy candidate for face liposuction.
5 Things You Should Know Before Face Liposuction
With any procedure, it’s important to do your due diligence. You should be as informed as possible before going through with face liposuction to make sure it’s the right option for you. Below, we’ll go over five key things for you to know about face liposuction before moving forward with your procedure.
- Preparing for Face Liposuction
Before making any decision about moving forward with face liposuction, it’s essential to have a consultation with a licensed surgeon to evaluate your concerns, go over what you can expect, and ensure you’re a good candidate and that the procedure will meet your expectations. During the consultation, your surgeon will also provide you with information on how to properly prepare for your procedure.
You may be asked to stop taking certain medications beforehand, especially any that contribute to bruising or slow recovery. All smoking should be stopped before the procedure and throughout the recovery process to avoid complications. You may be advised not to eat or drink several hours before the procedure. Although the pre-operative process for face liposuction is not extensive, it’s important to be aware of the requirements and follow them for a safe procedure and smooth recovery.
- The Face Liposuction Procedure
During your consultation, your surgeon will also go over what you can expect during the procedure. A face liposuction procedure involves having the treatment areas marked before the procedure begins. Then you’ll receive either local or general anesthesia to numb the specific area being addressed. The majority of patients opt for a local anesthetic and are completely awake and comfortable during their face liposuction procedure. General anesthesia is typically only used for face liposuction if another treatment is performed simultaneously, such as a facelift or necklift.
Your surgeon will then make a small incision in the skin at the treatment area to access the fatty tissue under the skin. In some cases, the fat may need to be broken down beforehand with a laser or ultrasound, especially in the case of any prior surgeries in the area or a revision surgery. The surgeon will then inject the area with a solution of saline, pain medicine, and epinephrine to numb the area and minimize bleeding or bruising in the area.
A small cannula will be inserted into the incision for the actual fat removal, and the fat will be removed via suction. Liposuction is often described as “vacuuming under the rug.” In its entirety, the procedure generally takes between 30 minutes to an hour.
- The Recovery Process
While each patient’s recovery experience varies, recovery from face liposuction generally takes a few weeks. The day after the procedure, patients should feel little to no pain at all. Swelling and soreness are normal and will subside. Any dressings placed in the operating room may be removed the following day, and you’ll need to wear a compression garment for about a week and possibly at night for a few weeks depending on your surgeon’s aftercare instructions. Most patients can return to their full daily routine within a few days after the procedure and can take over-the-counter pain medication for any remaining discomfort. However, it usually is recommended not to undergo any vigorous physical activity for a few weeks after your surgery.
Full recovery takes about 6-8 weeks for the swelling to go down fully and for you to start seeing the final results. Your skin will continue to tighten over the weeks following the procedure. Afterward, you’ll see the full effects of the face liposuction procedure, and your skin will continue to contour over the new shape for the next several months.
- The Benefits
Face liposuction has many benefits compared to other procedures for face fat loss or facial contouring and rejuvenation. Benefits of face liposuction include:
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Quick recovery time
- Minimal pain and discomfort
- Permanent results in most cases
- Pairs well with other facial procedures
- Natural-looking face contouring
- More dramatic results than other nonsurgical skin tightening or fat loss procedures
- Potential Risks and Side Effects
Like all surgery, there are possible risks and side effects associated with face liposuction. It’s important to be aware of any potential complications before deciding if the procedure is right for you. Risks and side effects associated with face liposuction include the following:
- Bleeding during the procedure
- Persistent skin laxity
- Contour irregularities or asymmetry
- Skin discoloration
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Nerve damage or numbness
- Fluid collection beneath the skin
- Blood clotting
- Fat embolism
- Infection at the incision site
To minimize potential side effects, it’s important to have the procedure performed by a quality, licensed, board-certified surgeon and follow all pre- and post-procedure instructions.
The Bottom Line
Face liposuction is an excellent procedure for eliminating unwanted and stubborn fat cells from various facial areas. It’s minimally invasive and provides permanent results. This specific treatment is more than just removing fat from the face–it also will help provide a rejuvenated and sculpted look to the face, neck, and skin.
Now that you have an overview of the important things to know about face liposuction, your next step is to have a consultation with a surgeon to ensure you’re a good candidate and that this is the right procedure for you. Ready to get started? Dr. Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in a variety of cosmetic procedures, including face liposuction. If you’re considering face liposuction, reach out to his team today to schedule a consultation.