(First Area)


Procedure Time: 1-3 hrs

Recovery Time: 1 week


For adult patients, extra face fat can cause a child-like appearance, throw off facial symmetry, or be a point of self-conscious feelings. There are various plastic surgery procedures that can reduce or eliminate facial fat. Depending on the patient, a facelift, buccal fat removal, or facial liposuction procedure may address concerns about fat collections in the face. However, in many cases, liposuction is used to remove fat. Dr. David Santos of Seattle Plastic Surgery is a facial plastic surgery specialist that often uses liposuction during his procedures. He also performs facial liposuction on its own. Dr. Santos at Seattle Plastic Surgery offers facial liposuction in Seattle and Tacoma.


Liposuction is a minimally invasive plastic surgery procedure that uses gentle suction and movement to remove fat. Sometimes, it is assisted with ultrasound, tumescence, lasers, or skin tightening procedures. Liposuction is utilized on nearly every part of the body that can collect extra fat. Occasionally, the fat that Dr. Santos removes can be repurposed for transfer. For example, fat transfer to the lips or cheeks.

In general, the surgery uses incisions only large enough for insertion of a liposuction cannula. Unless performed as part of or alongside another procedure like a facelift, there are no larger incisions. It is among the top five plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States.

History Of Facial Liposuction

The concept of liposuction as a body contouring procedure began in the 1920’s. However, it did not take off until 1974. At that point, two doctors created the blunt liposuction cannula still used today. Less than a decade later, a French surgeon used fluid to break up fat before using suction techniques to remove it. This evolved into the modern tumescent technique used today.

Liposuction of the face developed concurrently to body lipo techniques. All types of liposuction are utilized for facial fat removal, however, ultrasound assisted and tumescent are the most frequent. This is because fat taken out with these methods is more viable for transfer than fat using laser liposuction.

With surgical experience spanning over three decades, Dr. Santos has refined and perfected facial surgery techniques, including liposuction.

Most Surgeons Require General Anesthesia, Dr. Santos is so Skilled at Facial Procedures He is Able To Perform Under Local Anesthesia, reducing Patient Risk and Cost

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    Fat in the face is normally visible and heavily contributes to facial appearance. Compared to other parts of the body, the face carries little fat. This makes the procedure delicate and requires a precise facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Santos to perform.

    Facial liposuction can change the contours of the face and lead to a sleeker, thinner face and profile when done well. It can help define your natural bone structure and reveal strong features underneath, such as the cheekbones and jawline.

    Among this main advantage of facial liposuction, other benefits include:

    • Eliminating or reducing the appearance of a double chin
    • Improvement of facial profile
    • Creation of a more defined cheekbones and jawline
    • Treatment of heavy jowls
    • Reduction of chubby cheeks

    Is It Safe?

    Liposuction–of both the face and body–is an extremely safe procedure. Although, you should find a qualified surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery to promote a good result. 

    Every surgical procedure comes with some inherent risk. Dr. Santos uses advanced techniques such as local anesthesia instead of general. As well as, minimally invasive methods to reduce risk of facial liposuction. Most ideal candidates for the procedure respond well and have no major complications from facial lipo in Seattle.


    Dr. Santos is a facial plastic surgery specialist who chooses to operate solely on the face and neck. This makes him an expert in facial aesthetics and procedures. Due to this, Dr. Santos has refined his techniques through his multiple decade career. He was one of the pioneers of using local anesthesia during facial surgeries. 

    Additionally, his mini facelift technique uses a smaller incision that can lead to better healing, little scarring, and similar results to a traditional facelift. When it comes to liposuction, Dr. Santos typically uses lasers to heat and break up the fat. He then uses a cannula to suction it out. This reduces trauma to surrounding structures and tissues.

    Benefits Of Local Anesthesia

    Local anesthesia is a type of anesthesia where you remain awake, but not fully aware during surgery. Usually, a light oral sedative combined with local anesthetics keeps you comfortable and pain free during the procedure.

    For many patients, general anesthesia can cause side effects during recovery and can be more dangerous for patients with certain conditions. Since local anesthesia does not require full sedation, this method reduces risk during Tacoma facial liposuction. Most patients who are candidates for the procedure can often choose local anesthesia. 

    In some cases, Dr. Santos may favor general anesthesia, such if combining multiple procedures together, or for patient preference. He will evaluate this during your consultation.

    Generally, local anesthesia comes with many benefits and advantages during Tacoma facial liposuction, such as:

    • Less likely to experience complications from anesthesia like nausea, vomiting, and sore throat, as well as more serious complications
    • Often leads to a quicker recovery
    • Lowers cost
    • Associated with reduced blood loss
    • Can last for a few hours following surgery, reducing pain immediately following surgery

    Your Seattle Face Liposuction Procedure

    Once properly anesthetized, Dr. Santos will begin your facial liposuction in Seattle. He will first use a laser to heat the skin and underlying fat. This liquefies the fat and can promote skin tightening. After this, he will make small incisions to insert the liposuction cannula. Dr. Santos may use tumescence as part of your local anesthesia and to aid in fat removal.

    In most cases, facial liposuction takes around 1-2 hours to complete. If you are combining it with other procedures, it can take longer. However, Dr. Santos performs all of his facial plastic surgeries as outpatient procedures in our Seattle surgical center. This means that patients typically go home the same day.

    Even if you do not undergo general anesthesia, you will still need someone to drive you home following the procedure. This is because the oral sedative can leave you groggy, even after the procedure.


    As mentioned above, liposuction is performed on areas all around the body. The face has a few areas that hold more fat. In people with a genetic disposition to facial fat, the below areas are the main places it collects.


    Many people find themselves dissatisfied with the appearance of a double chin. Whether caused from genetics or weight fluctuations, excess submental fat can be treated with chin liposuction. Among one of the most popular liposuction of the face cases, Dr. Santos can perform this procedure in around an area. 

    Depending on your age and health, other non-surgical options can reduce fat underneath the chin. A popular one is the injectable treatment Kybella that uses multiple injections to melt fat. For some, however, submental fat is best treated with liposuction or other surgical procedure like a facelift. You can also add skin tightening with chin liposuction.


    Everyone carries some natural cheek fat. In fact, this fat naturally reduces with age and some people turn to dermal fillers or implants to restore cheek volume. However, other people carry chubby cheeks well into adulthood. A rounder face is perfectly normal through childhood and adolescence, you should see your face thin out in your twenties.

    Cheek liposuction can address stubborn chubby cheeks and define the cheek bones. Some patients may also benefit from cheek implants to further improve their results. Alternatives to liposuction of this area is another procedure known as buccal fat removal. This procedure also removes fat from the cheeks. Dr. Santos can discuss which procedure would best benefit you and your cosmetic goals.

    Jowls / Jawline

    As we age, the distribution of fat changes over time. While most adults lose fat along the jawline, some may hold onto it, much like cheek fat. However, aging can also cause fat to deposit in these areas. This can drag down the lower face and age the face prematurely.

    Dr. Santos will evaluate this area carefully. Sagging along the jowls and jawline can have one or many causes, of which excess fat is one. For patients with good skin elasticity and who only have extra fat in the area, liposuction may be a good choice. If extra skin is contributing, a facelift may better address sagging in this area.


    Like the jowls, fat tends to deposit in the neck with age. Weight fluctuations or some rare medical conditions can also contribute. Neck liposuction frequently removes uneven fat deposits and Dr. Santos often utilizes it during a neck lift procedure. 

    He will also determine the cause of neck sagging to ensure that liposuction will benefit you. Some patients may need a neck lift or a combination of both procedures. Regardless, in the right candidate, neck lipo can achieve a thinner looking neck.


    After a Seattle liposuction procedure, most patients require between a few days and a week to recover. Depending on the specifics of your procedure and medical history, you may find yourself back on your feet within a day or two. Others may need a full week off work. Dr. Santos and the Seattle Plastic Surgery team will ensure you understand the full scope of your recovery process.

    Side Effects

    Experiencing minor side effects after facial lipo is perfectly normal. More major side effects or complications are rare when choosing a qualified surgeon like Dr. Santos. Before and after undergoing surgery, you will be instructed on how to avoid complications and the best practices for preparing and recovering during surgery. 

    The side effects most commonly associated with facial liposuction include:

    • Pain
    • General discomfort
    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Temporary loss of skin sensation
    • Redness

    The majority of these side effects should resolve or become unnoticeable within one to two weeks. Swelling after liposuction can last up to two months. Generally, it becomes easy to hide with clothing or makeup in seven to ten days.

    Dr. Santos and Seattle Plastic Surgery team will answer questions you have after surgery to ensure a safe and comfortable recovery. Additionally, attending your post-operative appointments and staying in contact with Dr. Santos and the office will allow you to know when you can return to work and exercise.

    Standard Recovery Directions

    Every patient will have slightly different post-surgery instructions based on their specific procedure and medical history. Yet, Dr. Santos provides a standard protocol for most patients following Seattle facial liposuction. 

    His primary instructions for almost every patient includes:

    • Prescription of pain medications and an antibiotic
    • Restriction on exercise and strenuous activity for around two weeks
    • Cold compresses and ice applied to treatment areas for two days after surgery
    • Elevating head of the bed to a 30 degree angle for two weeks
    • Attend post-operative appointments


    Seattle Plastic Surgery offers the gold standard of facial plastic surgery with face plastic surgery specialist, Dr. David Santos. With surgical experience spanning over three decades, Dr. Santos has refined and perfected facial surgery techniques, including liposuction. He performs over 200 liposculpture procedures of the face and neck every year. 

    Seattle Plastic Surgery offers a private and cozy environment for your facial liposuction consultation, surgery, and appointments. Offering amenities like hot and cold beverages and warm cookies, our office aims to provide for all your needs and desires.

    During your consultation, Dr. Santos will determine if you are a candidate for facial liposuction in Tacoma. He will review your goals, expectations, and medical history. Then, he will examine the targeted areas to decide if facial liposuction will benefit you. To schedule a consultation at Seattle Plastic Surgery, call us at 206-324-1120 or contact us online. 

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