Kybella is the latest breakthrough in cosmetic surgery for addressing a double chin, and we have seen significant improvements and exciting results in our patients. However, in some cases, liposuction, a tried and true method for unwanted fat removal, may be the better choice for achieving a more youthful jawline contour. In this article, we’ll detail key differences between the two procedures and identify the perfect candidates for each.
Kybella is a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps to absorb, metabolize and destroy fat. When Kybella is injected in the chin area, it has the power to destroy fat cells without harming healthy surrounding skin cells. In the past, those with a mild to moderate double chin were without significant options since chin liposuction is usually recommended for more severe cases with sagging skin in the neck area. Kybella is the perfect solution for reducing the appearance of a small to moderate double chin where loose skin is not an additional concern.
Kybella injections are performed in a series of two to four treatments spaced about a month apart, and many patients enjoy noticeable results after just two or three sessions. During the procedure, a numbing solution is applied and the Kybella drug is administered in a pattern of 12-20 pinpoint, tiny injections in the chin area. The treatment takes about 15 minutes, and because side effects are mild, there is little to no downtime. Most patients experience minor to moderate swelling, redness and bruising that disappears quickly or may be easily covered with makeup. While it can easily be done without taking time off of work or play, there can be significant swelling, so it’s best not to do it before major social engagements. Usually, swelling resolves in three to seven days.
Kybella is approved solely for the removal of unwanted fat in the chin area and it is not recommended for tightening loose skin, but future research may be done on its usage for other areas of the body. Costs can vary greatly, depending on how many sessions are needed and how many injections are performed during each session
A moderate to severe double chin accompanied by sagging jowls and/or a loose neck are stubborn issues that may be difficult to address through diet and exercise alone. For over 20 years, chin liposuction has been performed to address these areas, with new advances being made all the time.
Using a combination of tumescent liposuction and SmartLipo, physicians are able to achieve excellent results in the chin and neck. During the procedure, treated areas are thoroughly numbed with local anesthesia, making the process virtually pain-free. A thin, wire-sized laser is used to destroy fat and tighten skin. Then, a sippy-straw-sized cannula is used to drain the liquefied fat away. The entire process can take between three and five hours with a short recovery period of one to three days before normal activities may be resumed. Side effects include minor swelling, and patients will need to wear a chin strap for three days to ensure optimal healing.
As with all forms of liposuction, chin liposuction carries a low risk factor of bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation and uneven fat removal. These risks are greatly lowered by choosing an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Costs can vary significantly depending on region, individual, duration and extent of surgery.
Choosing the Right Procedure
While many assume that choosing between Kybella and liposuction comes down to cost, it really comes down to the type of chin you have and which procedure is more convenient for your lifestyle. Those with a small to medium double chin qualify for Kybella, while those with a more severe double chin accompanied by loose skin should choose liposuction. Those with a moderately severe double chin who would benefit from either procedure may prefer Kybella for its ease and lack of downtime if they lead a busy lifestyle that does not allow for chin liposuction recovery. Each allows you to enjoy permanent fat removal and a younger-looking, more defined contour, and both Kybella and SmartLipo are considered less-invasive options.
Choosing the wrong physician presents a major risk, no matter which procedure you elect to have. It’s crucial to select an experienced, board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to give you the best care. Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his staff at Skin Specialists P.C. of Omaha helped to complete eight years of extensive research that culminated in Kybella’s release. They have more experience performing the procedure than any other clinic.
Dr. Schlessinger also studied with the inventor of tumescent liposuction, Dr. Jeffrey Klein and has been performing liposuction treatments at his Omaha, Nebraska clinic since 1996. The state-accredited, ambulatory surgery center at Skin Specialists P.C. features the latest equipment, and the experienced staff is trained to offer you superior individual care.
Do you have a question about choosing between Kybella and liposuction? Let us know in the comments section.