Neck lipo becomes a popular procedure

November 9, 2011 12:06:16 AM PST
An increasingly popular form of liposuction is giving patients a thinner look, with a minimal amount of time at the doctor's office, but this type of lipo doesn't focus on hips or thighs.

Terry Herrell sees a problem with her look, but she says the issue isn't her face itself, rather her neck.

"My neck bothered me, because I was getting this long sort of fat part of it here I didn't care for," said Herrell.

San Francisco Surgeon Randall Weil says extra weight in the neck can make a patient's face appear heavier than it his.

"In someone that has a fatty neck, the angle is what we like to have a right angle, is obscured," said plastic surgeon Randall Weil, M.D.

In a half hour outpatient procedure, Weil is going to re-contour Herrell's neck, removing fat and restoring her jaw line. He says the technique, known as lipo-sculpture, is a less invasive form of liposuction.

"Basically, what it's like, is if you take your hands and pull on both sides, and you have more of a right angle to the neck," said Weil.

After applying anesthetic, he'll use a series of different sized cannulas to syphon out the fat, first removing larger amounts, then using much narrower tips for more delicate adjustments around the jaw line.

"That's been a nice change. Things are smaller now," said Weil.

He says a key is that the patient must have enough elasticity in her skin to allow it so snap back into place. Before and after photos show the results that are possible under ideal conditions.

"So when I pull back, I almost can't pull back anymore because her skin is right where it wants to be," said Weil.

Herrell is awake through the entire procedure and after several days her neck fat went down considerably -- a look that she believes makes her face look thinner.

"I like my face, I really do," said Herrell.

Weil says side effects can include a temporary bumpiness under the skin. The procedure costs about $3,500 and like most cosmetic procedures, it's usually not covered by insurance.

Written and produced by Tim Didion

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