Kybella vs. Chin Lipo: Which is Better?

Are you considering chin liposuction and Kybella, wondering which is the better option for you? You’re not alone. Many patients come into my office and would like to create a more defined jawline and remove the fat that causes a double chin. With diet and exercise, many areas of the body can get tightened and toned. The chin area however doesn’t have a similar solution. Stubborn fat here can cause an imbalance in appearance and many patients feel they will look more refreshed and younger with a more sculpted jaw and chin. Oftentimes a “double chin” is hereditary and these fat cells may require a procedure to remove them for the slimming of the chin to occur.

Two options exist for minimizing the volume of fat below the chin and around the neck. They are a non-surgical injection, Kybella, and chin liposuction. Here we’ll compare Kybella and chin lipo, so you can see why one is preferred by Dr. Cat and her team over the other.

What is Kybella?

Kybella is the brand name for an injectable that breaks down fat cells. The actual active ingredient used in Kybella is deoxycholic acid, an acid that naturally occurs in the digestive system. The body uses deoxycholic acid to break down fat during digestion. So it makes sense that this same acid could be used to dissolve fat in other parts of the body, like the chin. Deoxycholic acid initially was used for destroying non-cancerous tumors. However, the FDA has approved the solution for the cosmetic purpose of breaking down fat cells that occur under the chin.

Kybella injections

When an injection is used to destroy fat cells, like with Kybella, it’s called Injection lipolysis. With Kybella, multiple injections occur in strategic places under the chin, and around the jawline to begin dissolving fat cells. Although there is a topical anesthetic typically applied, some patients report stinging or pain during this process. Kybella typically requires two or more sessions, spread out over several weeks or months. It’s extremely important that these injections are placed properly as they can cause serious nerve damage with just a small difference in placement.

What is recovery like after Kybella?

Patients who opt for Kybella injections should expect swelling, bruising, numbness, and discomfort around the chin area. This can last anywhere from a few weeks to over a month or more. In addition, some patients report a feeling of difficulty swallowing due to swelling and a “Kybella jiggle” that occurs post-injection which makes the area feel oddly gelatinous.

Another side effect may be the formation of scar tissue under the chin, which can feel like knots. Because Kybella does not remove fat cells from the body but instead attacks them with this acid solution, this can cause an immune response from the body. These “knots” can be the result and are known as granulomas. They are caused by scar tissue forming around the destroyed fat cells. They can take anywhere from four to six weeks to disappear.

What happens during chin liposuction?

Chin liposuction is a quick and safe surgical procedure that permanently removes fat cells from under the chin and around the jawline.

While surgery might sound like a much more significant procedure, new techniques in liposuction make it quick and safe, requiring minimal downtime. The procedure uses an extra tiny tube to gently suction away fat cells. Recovery usually only takes a few days of no activity before patients can return to their normal routine. Many times chin lipo can be performed using local anesthesia in Dr. Cat’s office, but it can also be done under general anesthesia in our surgery center.

neck liposuction before and after

It’s important to know the difference between fat removal and a neck lift. With Kybella and chin liposuction, excess fat is removed or destroyed. Neither procedure can address saggy or excess skin (which is common in older adults). However, a neck lift, which can help smooth sagging skin on the neck, can be easily combined with a chin liposuction procedure. A neck lift cannot be done with Kybella.

What is the price difference between Kybella and Chin Lipo?

It’s important to remember that with Kybella, multiple visits are required. The cost of each visit varies depending on how many vials of Kybella are needed. Kybella sessions can range from $500 to $1,000 per vial, but this is just an estimate. The final cost can be anywhere from $1500 and up depending on the number of sessions required. Chin liposuction on the other hand only required one visit. In Beverly Hills, you can expect the cost of chin lipo to range from $2,500-$8000.

Kybella or chin liposuction? Which is best?

chin liposuction

Kybella does not remove fat cells from the body. Only chin liposuction physically removes fat cells from the body. Because Kybella destroys fat cells, but they remain in the body, the immune system is triggered. This can result in scar tissue forming around these cells. This scar tissue can get in the way of the smoothed-out look of the chin. With chin lipo, once the fat cells are surgically removed, they cannot come back again. Scar tissue is also not an issue with chin liposuction.

Recovery times for Kybella can also be much longer than with a chin lipo. For these reasons, Dr. Cat does NOT recommend Kybella. She believes it’s unpredictable and leaves scar tissue. She says it can also be very painful for patients.

At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, Dr. Aric Park is our expert facial plastic surgeon and can provide safe, natural-looking chin liposuction that permanently removes fat cells without the dangers associated with Kybella injections. With his decades of experience in facial surgery techniques, you can expect a gentle procedure and meticulous attention to detail. With a chin liposuction procedure from Dr. Park patients can expect quick recovery with little to no pain or bruising. If you would like to know more about a chin liposuction procedure, reach out to schedule a consultation with our expert team who is happy to answer all of your questions.