Kybella Vs. CoolSculpting: Which Non-Surgical Double Chin Treatment Is Best?
Originally published on December 19, 2016. Updated on July, 12, 2021 with additional information.
While surgical procedures (like liposuction and neck lift) have long been used to get rid of extra fat under the chin, there are two relatively new non-surgical options that are quickly becoming popular options to eliminate double chins – Kybella and CoolSculpting CoolMini.
A double chin (technically known as submental fullness) may be caused by genetics, weight gain, or age-related skin sag. A double-chin results from unwanted pockets of fat which hang underneath the jawline. It may be the result of loose, sagging skin, excess fat deposits, or some combination of both factors. Whatever the cause, submental fullness can negatively affect the symmetry for the face, with severe double chins resulting in an unwanted older and heavier look.
Fortunately, double chins of any severity can be corrected. Surgical procedures like neck lift surgery or liposuction used to be the only effective option for removing fat underneath the chin to restore a natural firm shape to the neck. However, now there are two highly effective non-surgical options with the ability to permanently eradicate even the most severe double chins: Kybella and CoolSculpting.
Read on as we compare these two non-surgical treatment options.
Kybella is the only injectable to gain approval by the FDA for eliminating unwanted fat under the chin. Developed through a synthetic version of dexoycholic acid, Kybella causes the rapid destruction and absorption of fat cells while also preventing future fat accumulation. The destroyed fat is cleared via the body’s natural metabolic processes. Only fat cells are targeted; all other cells and tissue are not affected.
(We recently compared Kybella to liposuction and neck lift surgery in this blog post).
What Can I Expect During Kybella Treatment?
Before treatment, the area under the chin will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The injector then makes a series of small injections into the fat under the chin. The quick in-office procedure takes no more than 15-20 minutes.
Does Kybella Hurt?
Thanks to the numbing agent, patients should feel no pain with Kybella injections. It’s common to experience slight bruising or minor discomfort at the injection sites immediately after treatment, but this should quickly subside. No downtime is necessary, as with CoolSculpting patients are able to return to your daily activities right away.
How Soon Will I Notice Kybella Results?
To achieve their desired end results man patients, need approximately 2-6 Kybella treatments, each scheduled one month apart. Since the body needs time to dissolve and remove the broken-down fat cells, final results are visible several weeks after the last treatment.
The FDA has recently expanded its approval of CoolSculpting to smaller treatments of the body, including under the chin. A new applicator called the CoolMini is allowing patients to freeze their double chins right off.
CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses cryotherapy to eliminate unwanted fat. The procedure uses a non-invasive applicator to deliver controlled cooling to the surface of the skin in order to freeze fat cells to the point of destruction. Destroyed fat is expelled from the body naturally through metabolic processes.
CoolMini is a special CoolSculpting applicator designed to fit the contours under the chin. CoolMini has been approved by the FDA for the reduction of submental fullness, also known as a double chin.
What Can I Expect During CoolSculpting?
During a CoolSculpting treatment, a smooth gel is applied to the area underneath your chin for additional protection during the cooling process. A specialized cooling attachment will then be slowly drawn over your skin to freeze your fat cells.
Because fat cells freeze before skin cells do, this CoolSculpting damages fat cells without negatively impacting the skin. After treatment, a brief massage further damages fat cells, preventing the body from attempts to repair them.
Does CoolSculpting Hurt?
Patients may feel slight pulling, tugging or stinging at the start of your CoolSculpting session. As the area numbs with cold, these sensations will subside. After treatment, it’s common to experience redness, swelling or discomfort in the treatment area. Since CoolSculpting is non-surgical, no downtime is required. Most patients are comfortable returning to their daily activities right away.
How Soon Will I See CoolSculpting Results?
While individual results may vary, each individual CoolSculpting treatment session reduces fat in the targeted area by an average of 18-20%. After the initial treatment is complete, further reductions can be obtained with additional treatments. Most patients benefit from 1-3 treatments, with final results occurring within 3 months of the initial treatment.
There are few similarities between the treatments. Both Kybella and CoolMini can dramatically improve the chin area, getting rid of excess fat to leave behind a smooth defined jawline. Both treatments are also non-surgical and require no anesthesia or downtime. Side effects are minor and include swelling, bruising, redness, or lumpiness; all of which resolve on their own a few days after treatment.
While improvements are possible after a single treatment of Kybella or CoolSculpting CoolMini, most patients will require a series of treatments in order to achieve their final desired result.
For those who dislike needles there is one notable difference between the two treatments: Kybella is performed through a series of injections. However, the benefit of the injectable nature of Kybella is that it can treat smaller more isolated areas. This gives Kybella an advantage in treating individuals with a lower quantity of under-chin fat.
Kybella treatments are normally recommended for those with a minimal double chin, or for petite individuals for whom the CoolSculpting applicator may be too wide. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is generally recommended for those who wish to remove a larger area of submental fat.
With CoolSculpting there are no needles involved. During the procedure the targeted area is treated by the applicator. As such, CoolMini is great for patients with loose or mature skin. CoolMini treats the whole area that the applicator engages with, rather than smaller targeted areas.
The two procedures also work well in unison. Kybella can be injected in the central area of submental fullness then CoolSculpting can be performed on the lateral bulge of the chin bilaterally.
Which Treatment Is Better?
So which treatment option is best? The answer depends on a myriad of factors including the unique characteristics of the patient’s skin and their desired end result. Also, it’s important for perspective patients to realize the main tradeoff when it comes to surgical vs. non-surgical submental fullness treatments: How soon end results are achieved. Kybella and CoolSculpting both allow patients to avoid the necessary downtime of surgery, but multiple treatment sessions are required to completely eliminate a double chin (which liposuction or neck lift yields final results in a single procedure).
Ultimately, the best way to find out which option is best for your induvial needs it to have an in-person consultation with a trained, experienced provider who has experiencing doing both Kybella and CoolSculpting treatments. A skilled provider will help you understand if a non-surgical method of fat removal is best for each patients’ individual needs and desired end result.