People sometimes accumulate a focal deposit of fatty material in the area between the chin and neck that detracts from the profile contour. This often happens as a result of aging. However, the deformity can also be seen in younger faces as well, long before other signs of aging have begun. Under these circumstances, patients are bothered by the rounding influence and lack of definition along the jawline and neck.
In submental lipectomy, the surgeon removes this fat by suction techniques or by excision, and often tightens the underlying neck muscles. When sufficiently resilient, the skin then can recoil and have a more toned appearance. For some patients the procedure is a less extensive precursor to a formal face-lift perhaps done at a later time. Younger patients generally have good skin elasticity which permits a more focused approach to the problem without formal face-lifting.
Fat removal from under the chin can result in irregularities of the facial contour or "dimpling" that appears unnatural. Temporary numbness or weakness in the chin and mouth can result from the procedure, but permanent problems are very unusual. Submental lipectomy causes swelling and bruising that can extend into the front of the neck and requires two to three weeks to resolve.