Is Kybella Better Than Chin Liposuction?
Kybella is the new FDA-approved injectable that melts the fat in your neck to remove the dreaded double chin. Studies performed by Kybella were very promising, and we are seeing some nice improvements in our patients as well. The question that arises, however, is whether Kybella will replace chin liposuction as the preferred double chin removal treatment for our NYC patients.
Neck or Chin Liposuction for Neck Contouring
Neck liposuction (typically performed as Smartlipo™) has been available for years with a proven track record of reliably appealing outcomes. It is a brief procedure that takes only about 40 minutes, including the laser portion to help melt fat and tighten skin, and it requires only a local anesthetic. Because this is a minimally invasive procedure, I ask my patients to wear a chin/neck compression garment for about 4 days to help ensure a satisfactory result. While I don’t use a scalpel, there is one stitch in the chin that needs to be removed about 5 days after the procedure. Results are sometimes seen within days, but it’s more typical to see full results within 4 to 6 weeks. As you can see in our neck and chin liposuction photo gallery, patients can expect a profound improvement in the jawline as well as reduction or removal of the double chin. Many patients also note that their neck skin seems tighter as a result of the laser portion of the procedure.
Kybella for Double Chin Removal
Treatment with the Kybella product requires no “surgery,” and it takes just a few minutes for an experienced injector to perform the treatment. Kybella injections can be repeated up to 6 times about one month apart until the patient gets the result they want. It is also performed with a local anesthetic, but it’s a much more simple process than laser-assisted liposuction. The improved contour created by Kybella is strictly limited to the double chin area. Unlike liposuction, Kybella can be used only in the region just behind the chin crease down to the Adam’s apple and between the jowls, but NOT including them. I’ll explain why below.
Chin Liposuction vs. Kybella: Which Is a Better Option?
The answer depends on the patient, their anatomy, and what they want to achieve. First, Kybella is a quick and easy injection that is specifically designed to remove a double chin. However, the results can’t be extended past the double chin, and it will not treat an entire neck as liposuction can. That’s because Kybella is deoxycholic acid which dissolves everything it comes in contact with – whether fat, blood vessel, or nerve. As a powerful solvent, Kybella treatment that wanders beyond the FDA-approved area can hurt patients and cause nerve damage and other problems. Don’t worry though, it’s quite safe when used in the center of the double chin.
Second, liposuction requires the use of a compression garment to be worn around the head/neck region for 4 days to ensure against the formation of a “seroma” (a collection of benign fluid). With Kybella, there is essentially no postoperative care at all.
Third, the cost is a consideration. The cosmetic results of Kybella are largely dose-dependent, meaning that the doctor’s skill has little to do with the outcome. The financial expense for two doses of Kybella is roughly 85% of what double chin liposuction would cost in New York City. However, if you need more treatments, this will present additional costs to the patient for the product, and there is potential to spend more on Kybella and get a less-impressive result.
Do You Recommend Kybella or Neck Liposuction?
We examine our patients carefully to assess the outcome they may expect from each facial contouring treatment in our NYC office. The way I see it is if I can get an equally good outcome from a less-invasive procedure, that only improves my reputation. So it’s in my best interest to advise patients of what I honestly believe is best for them. On the other hand, I do have the occasional patient who refuses any “cosmetic surgery” and opts only for the injection. There is an equal number of folks who will NOT allow me to inject what they see as “poison” into their bodies and would rather have the fat removed with a small procedure.
My job is to inform patients of the facts, offer my own experience, and let my patients know what I would do if they were a part of my family. We are always happy to discuss your double chin removal options at our NYC practice. To schedule a consultation, call us at (212) 249-4020, or request a consultation online.
Plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas P. Sterry, serving Manhattan and the surrounding area of New York City