Kybella® vs. Double Chin Liposuction: Running Neck and Neck

chin and neck liposuction before and after photograph

Chin liposuction improves neck contours dramatically and removes a double chin. Dr. Sterry wants you to have the best chin liposuction possible with an elegant neck.

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.

Getting a Slim, Youthful-Looking Neck With Liposuction

Neck liposuction (typically performed as Smartlipo™) has been available for years; it has 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. (Learn more in our related blog post.)

SmartLipo before & after image
SmartLipo under the chin dramatically improves jawline and neck definition.

Because neck liposuction 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 my patients’ neck and chin liposuction before and after photos, you 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.

Kybella Patient Side View
Kybella injections can improve the double chin appearance without “surgery”. Note: Company Photo

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.

Before and After Kybella Treatment
Double chin before and after KYBELLA treatment.  Note: Company Photo

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.  However, if you need more treatments, this will present additional costs to the patient for the product, and there is the 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. 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.

People who’ve had liposuction or KYBELLA seem to have greater satisfaction with liposuction, with RealSelf reporting a 57% “Worth It” rating by those who’ve had KYBELLA compared to a 91% “Worth It” rating for those who had chin liposuction.

Results in Male Neck Liposuction
Kybella can NOT produce the strong jawline we obtained for this patient.

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 options for facial contouring at our practice. To schedule a consultation, call us at (212) 249-4020, or request a consultation using our online form.

19 Responses to Kybella® vs. Double Chin Liposuction: Running Neck and Neck

  • David says:

    Hi Dr Sterry. My question is, lipo and it’s resultant skin tightening impact the contour of the mouth by pulling it downward or by increasing it’s width? As by pulling down on the skin that I’m guessing would occur with neck liposuction, i notice these changes appearing. Thanks very much

  • Pingback: How to Deal with Common Kybella Side Effects | Moore Beauty

    • I’m not sure what we charge for Kybella, but there are a lot of variables. How wide is the double chin (measured in centimeters) and how many repeat treatments you may need. It’s not so straight forward. Honestly, I’ve been working on a follow up blog because I’ve really gone back to liposuction only nowadays. Patients have one recovery and they know what they’re getting.
      Good Luck!

  • Lynn Butler says:

    Have always had a chin, even at 110 lbs. Runs in the family. Gained weight during menopause and know it will never be the same. I am 52 and look younger than stated age, except for the chin. I am disabled and live on a tight budget, but this would change my life ! Can you help? How much is the cost?

    • Patients in their 50’s sometimes need more than just a little kybella or liposuction. You should find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your neighborhood and have an evaluation.
      Good Luck!

  • Jane says:

    Hi Dr. Sherry,
    A friend recommended you.
    I’m in my 50s. My question is this: how well will my sagging skin and jowels tighten? I’m afraid I’ll end up with loose skin under my chin.

    • Yes, I’m in my 50’s too. For people our age your concerns are valid. Although the neck skin doesn’t really get “saggy” it can look rather aged if suctioning is performed in the wrong patient. It really depends on your anatomy. In my experience, the jowls do pretty well, it’s the neck skin under the chin that is my concern. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many fantastic results on people in their 50’s – but I’ve also steered clear of some who I just know wouldn’t have done well. For those folks I recommend something like a formal neck lift or even a facelift.
      Good Luck!

  • Maria says:

    I would love to have a chin lipo, I had 3 Kybella treatments and honestly I think it was a waste of time and money because every time you do it you swell like a frog and then you don’t see any difference, at least for me. I also have chubby cheeks but don’t want buccal fat removal because a lot of people complain they get a weird wrinkle after a while that actually makes you look older. I gained a little weight now, do you recommend you lose it before doing a chin lipo? Do you charge for the consultation?

    • Since the time of that blog post I had ZERO luck with Kybella. Sorry you went through that. We do not charge for chin liposuction consultations because they tend to be fairly quick. And, while I have not had such a complaint about buccal fat removal, you might want to consider lower cheek liposuction – see my other blog about it:
      hope to see you soon!

  • Jenna says:

    Oh no, I’ve watched so my YouTube videos of kybella with great results, and had my first round last week. I’m 34 and naturally thin, with a generic double chin. I had kybella injected to my jowls and under chin. I know it is too soon to see results, but now I’m scared I won’t see them at all!! I plan to do my next treatment in January, and was looking forward to it, but this will be awfully expensive to not see any improvements?? I don’t understand how if kybella is proven to break down the fat, why doesn’t it work for everyone? So far, everything is going according to plan for me, I just hope I come out of this with a slimmer face. I went to a dermatologist for the procedure as I did not want to be talked in to surgery, maybe that was a mistake on my part.

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