A double chin or its medically-appropriate term submental fullness occurs due to several factors. It can be caused by excessive calorie intake, lack of exercise, a slow metabolism, aging, or even genetics.
A lot of individuals undergo various types of treatments and activities to achieve a tighter and more defined jaw and neck shape. One of the fastest ways to achieve this is via liposuction or chemical lipolysis.
In this article, two cosmetic treatments for submental fullness will be compared – kybella vs coolsculpting. They will be compared based on the cost, process, duration of treatment, as well as the pros and cons of each. Read more to find out.
What is Kybella?
Kybella is a trademark for the procedure (or the complete set of procedures) used to remove or treat submental fullness. Kybella’s patent belongs to its parent company Allergan. Allergan was founded in the 1950’s as a pharmaceutical company.
Allergan’s founder Gavin S. Herbert helped the company develop cortisone eye drops and other ocular treatments, with a main focus on allergic reactions, hence the name of the company.
What’s in Kybella?
Kybella is a 10mg/ml deoxycholic acid treatment used to remove submental fat. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally-occuring substance in the human body that helps remove fat. Deoxycholic acid is also known by other brand names like Celluform and Belkyra.
Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occuring substance in bile acid. Bile acid dissolves dietary fat. It’s FDA approved and is safe for moderate-to-severe cases of submental fat accumulation. It’s not indicated for pregnant or lactating women as there is no confirmatory study for related side effects.
Patients are also advised against undergoing Kybella procedures if they have previous cosmetic surgeries on the neck area, or if they are experiencing any infection or inflammation in the surrounding area.
Overview of Kybella Procedures
Administration of Kybella is not an overly complex process. It does involve some steps prior to injection though.
Kybella injections give the patient a more defined jawline, and long-lasting results. Losing the submental fat is easy and should provide a quick relief for people suffering from obvious double chin. They can maintain the appearance by modifications to their diet and by keeping an exercise routine.
The results of Kybella are not instantaneous since it relies on endothermic processes. Chemical lipolysis takes a while in comparison to manual fat removal procedures like liposuction. The sessions for Kybella.
Compared to liposuction, Kybella is less invasive. Since Kybella is only 10 mg/mL, the medication will be absorbed faster. There is an initial fullness to the submental fat due to added volume, but this will subside once the acid removes the fat membranes and eventually degrades later on.
Kybella is only indicated for soft submental fat. If the area is rich in cellulite deposits, the injections will not be able to remove it and other treatment options such as Sonobello’s cellulite reduction might be more appropriate.
Recently, doctors and cosmetic surgeons are exploring the possibility of injecting Kybella into jowls but there’s no approval from FDA, so patients should err on the side of caution and refuse any offers for jowl fat reduction. The other brand, Coolsculpt, is a safe alternative since it doesn’t follow the same rules as Kybella has with the FDA.
The results of Kybella injections are already visible after three weeks. It may take an additional 2 to 3 months to see a drastic improvement from the original. The body will need at least 4 to 6 months before it can flush out all the dissolved submental fat from the system.
Post Treatment Considerations
The Kybella procedure does not guarantee that submental fat will never develop again. The body can still produce fat cells and this is affected mainly by diet and/or genetics.
With this in mind, patients should strive to keep an active lifestyle and a balanced diet. This works in favor of the patient since no additional submental fat will be added between treatments, significantly cutting the number of sessions needed to remove the double chin.
Before and After
Kybella Submental Injections, Before and After, Side Profile
Kybella Submental Injections, Before and After, Front Profile
Kybella Submental Injections, Before and After, 45 degree Profile
How does Kybella work?
- Drawing the lines
This is an important part of the Kybella administration procedure. The cosmetic professional will be marking the areas that need localized injections. This is important because a) it’s efficient and b) it gives the least amount of damage to the skin
- Anesthetizing the area
Since a series of injections will be made instead of one or two, it’s necessary to make the patient feel as little pain as possible, if not, none at all. Puncturing skin is already painful in itself, and topical anesthesia or its equivalent helps the patient endure the procedure.
- Injecting Kybella
The marked areas are now then injected with the deoxycholic acid. Direct injection of Kybella to fatty areas of the submental regions will dissolve the membrane surrounding the fat cells. The body will remove the dissolved fat from the area with the help of the lymphatic, immune, and cardiovascular system.
Kybella can have side effects. These include
- Tenderness in the area of injections
- Loss of sensation at injection sites
- Ulcerations and necrosis
- Possible nerve injury
- Patient’s swallowing may be affected
These risks and side effects are discussed by the Kybella professional prior to starting the treatment, and the patient may be required to sign waivers by default to make sure they understand the possible risks.
What is Coolsculpting?
Coolsculpting is a trademark brand from the company Zeltiq Aesthetics. Zeltiq was founded in 2005 under a different name as well. Mitch Levinson changed the name of the company to the current one known today in 2007.
Zeltiq Aesthetics invented their cryolipolysis device and branded the process Coolsculpting. Zeltiq Aesthetics coolsculpting involves placing the targeted area of the body between two paddles and holding it in position for at least 30 minutes. The fat cells are cooled below freezing, resulting in numbness that can persist for more than 2 months.
Overview of Coolsculpting Procedures
Coolsculpting has two specific treatments available. Coolsculpting Elite and Cooltone.
What is Coolsculpting Elite?
Coolsculpting Elite is a noninvasive procedure that can permanently eliminate at least 20% fat cells in the targeted areas. Coolsculpting Elite targets areas including the neck, under the chin, abdomen, thighs, along bra lines, below the glutes, and upper section of the arms.
What is Cooltone?
In addition to using cryolipolysis, Cooltone uses AMP technology. Active Magnetic Pulse is used to stimulate muscles to contract, resulting in stronger and firmer muscles.
Cooltone is used post-cryolipolysis for active recovery. Cooltone targets areas like the abdomen, thighs, and glutes. It’s a noninvasive treatment similar to Coolsculpting Elite.
Before and After
Coolsculpting Results, Chin
How does Coolsculpting Elite work?
1. Getting ready
The Coolsculpting professional will put a protective barrier called a gel pad between the patient’s skin and the cooling panels. There are two applicators that simultaneously reduce fat in target areas.
2. Letting the Coolsculpting happen.
At this point the patient will initially feel a slight vacuum from the applicators. Throughout the procedure, the patient may experience pulling, pinching, aching, and a variety of sensations that eventually go away once the skin goes numb.
Due to the noninvasive nature of Coolsculpting, the professional can let the patient use their phones, talk with relatives, and do other activities. A massage is done after removing the applicators to help break down the cells and speed up fat reduction.
Where to Get Kybella?
Address: Use the “Find a Provider” tab on the right side of their webpage to check the nearest locations.
Phone Number: 1 (800) 678-1605 (Allergan Customer Service)
Email: no email available
How to Setup An Appointment
Setting up an appointment for Kybella treatments is easy. By using the “Find a Provider” button on their website, they can get details on the nearest clinics for a Kybella treatment. The Kybella professional will explain some of the details surrounding the treatment. Standard procedures prior to starting the treatment include
Assessment of medical history, including medicines taken
Setting expectations about the treatment, including explaining risks
It’s very important patients disclose any preexisting conditions that affect their neck or jaw as these may interfere with the Kybella injections and may result in serious nerve injury.
What contraindications the patients may hear during the consultation:
- Prior plans for neck or jaw surgery
- Medical conditions primarily affecting the neck and jaw
- Clotting problems including medicines that affect the blood’s ability to clot
- Esophageal issues (i.e. difficulty swallowing, acid reflux)
- Lactating or pregnancy
Where to Get Coolsculpting?
How To Set Up Appointment
The Coolsculpting official website hasn’t set up a dedicated consultation tab yet, but several locations are offering consultation upon walk-ins. Use the locator above to check the nearest branch. The professionals at the selected branch will explain the procedure. Minor paperwork will be involved, and assessments for any or existing medical conditions will be standard procedure.
Some branches have offered consultation via video chat. The doctor will simply require the patient to upload a photo of the target areas that will undergo Coolsculpting. The Coolsculpting professional will answer questions related to the treatment, expectations about the treatment, including the costs and risks associated.
Coolsculpting for the chin and neck involves the use of smaller cold panels to induce cryolipolysis. Much like their bigger counterparts, they will induce pain that will subside once the skin in the chin area numbs.
How much are the procedures for Kybella?
Prices below are for Kybella injections.
Kybella injections are spaced a month apart. Each session costs the amount indicated above. The whole treatment may reach up to 8 sessions, totalling over $6400.
Patients don’t need to worry about spending over thousands of dollars since the Kybella professional will give an estimate of how many treatments are ideal and efficient to get rid of the double chin. Patients can discuss payment options during the consultation. Insurance does not cover Kybella treatments since they’re not classified as medical emergencies or medical necessities.
Depending on the amount of submental fat present, patients can have 2 or 3 maximum sessions. The Kybella professional will maximize each session to help patients save money.
The first treattment for Kybella may be priced higher than the rest of the treatments due to consultation costs.
How much are the procedures for Coolsculpting?
Prices below are for Coolsculpting Elite
Cool Sculpting Estimates
Pros and Cons
|Makes use of naturally occurring substance to remove fat|
|Procedure is relatively shorter than Coolsculpting|
|Fast acting fat removal|
|Doesn’t involve overly -complicated steps|
|Lower average cost|
|Lower upfront payment|
|Needs multiple sessions|
|Might be painful for most individuals|
|Doesn’t guarantee complete fat removal|
|Doesn’t need multiple sessions|
|Lesser risks compared to Kybella|
|Doesn’t involve needles|
|Uses physical, not chemical, means of removing fat|
|Doesn’t have contraindications|
|Higher average cost, higher upfront payment|
|Doesn’t guarantee complete fat removal like Kybella|
|Treatment sessions are longer|
While Kybella may be an “all-natural” treatment option for submental fat reduction, Coolsculpting has lesser risks in comparison to Kybella. Deoxycholic acid in Kybella is found in bile acid, and is an effective way to instantly melt fat cell membranes so the body can work on removing them.
Coolsculpting takes some time to break down fat cells and lessens skin damage by not making any puncture wounds. It uses temperature to “necrotize” fat cells, similar to how frostbite occurs. Although it sounds serious, coolsculpting does not damage the skin owing to the fact that a protective barrier is placed between the skin and the cold panels.
Overall, Coolsculpting may be a better option for losing a double chin. But for instant results, Kybella is a better option.