Neck to Neck Comparison of Double Chin Treatments

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Before and After Kybella

Let’s face it: no one wants a double chin. In these days of constant selfies, videos, snapchats, and everything else, if you’ve got one, the world is going to see it! But what probably matters to you most is that you are going to see it.

First of all, you don’t know what to wear. It feels like nothing looks good anymore, because unless you’re into fashions that cover everything but your eyes, that double chin is front and center—and I don’t know about you, but the last time I wore a ski mask out shopping I had a lot of trouble with security guards.

Fortunately, there’s great news for people like us who are not ready to cover ourselves completely and still need to leave the house at times: there are multiple options for getting rid of that double chin. Each option has its upsides and downsides, so the right choice is up to you.


Kybella (also called ATX-101) is an injectable cocktail of modified deoxycholic acid that dissolves fat. This is a molecule that occurs naturally in the body to break down fats taken into the body from foods. The blend was introduced in July 2015 after being developed specifically to target the infamous double chin. Kybella works by disrupting fat cells: the acid dissolves the cell membranes and the fat cells burst.

before and after kybella

So first, let’s go over the benefits of Kybella. First: no surgery! That’s a big one. The procedure is quick. Your practitioner draws a series of dots beneath your chin based on where your fat is located, and in this way they target your fat cells. The injections themselves take only minutes. Your recovery is quick; it takes two or three days to heal, no bandages or downtime needed. Finally, it is a permanent solution. Kybella actually destroys fat cells, which means it’s a one shot deal. Once it bursts the walls of your fat cells, they are history.

Okay, so that sounds pretty amazing! Still, let’s be fair and cover the drawbacks of Kybella. To get the full benefits it takes more than one session—usually two to four. It isn’t cheap, running about $600 to $1,000 per vial for each session, and unless you have some kind of miracle insurance we’ve never heard of, it won’t be covered. Kybella isn’t painless, and some patients feel that it really hurts, although many feel that the discomfort is mild. Some patients also report lasting swelling and numbness where they were treated. Last drawback: sometimes Kybella doesn’t work as well, for example, when your primary problem is too much skin. In those cases the fat burning qualities of this treatment aren’t as useful.

The verdict: A great non-surgical option for burning fat.

Submental (neck) liposuction

Submental liposuction is the suction removal of fat. Liposuction, as you probably know, is a standby in cosmetic surgery and has been for decades. Although the “vacuum” aspect of this procedure may make it sound like a blunt instrument, it’s definitely not; in the hands of a talented surgeon, this technique can re-sculpt your neck in a single session.

Before and after liposuction

So here are the benefits of submental liposuction. This is the true blue one-shot deal: in one procedure with a single, small incision for the vacuum cannula to enter the area, you will see dramatic results. You’ll receive local sedation, so it won’t be painful at the time. The end product here is really amazing; if you’re a good candidate for submental liposuction, you are going to love your results.

Downsides to this procedure? Well, it is a surgery, which means there is an incision, some sedation, and the risks that are associated with those things. There is also some recovery time, although in most cases this is minimal in terms of actual downtime. In terms of your appearance, you’ll experience some bruising and swelling as you recover, and you may need to wear a chin strap after the procedure to ensure your skin doesn’t sag down as you heal. Finally, the surgery will cost about $3500 although costs vary from surgeon to surgeon and as hospital and sedation costs change.

The verdict: An ideal way to end your double chin in one fell swoop.

Radio-Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL)

Radio-Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL) combines a fat removing power similar to liposuction with skin tightening effect to smooth out problem areas. This produces results that appear surgical in magnitude without as much downtime or pain. The technique uses radiofrequency energy to contract subcutaneous tissue and skin with heat. The very narrow, needle width cannula goes into the skin and creates an electrical current with the external electrode which produces a contained thermal field. It is this thermal area that targets and coagulates fat and then shrinks the skin to fit smoothly over the area.

Before and After RFAL

The upsides of RFAL are that it is completely safe, and minimizes downtime by eliminating incisions—while still producing results that look surgical. Furthermore, with proper aftercare and attention to ongoing diet, you will experience even more skin tightening in the time after this procedure; in other words, your results actually get better as time goes on.

The downside of RFAL is that it is more costly than other methods and in fact, because of the new technology, costs similar to a surgical neck lift. Like the classic liposuction, there is some recovery time. You’ll also experience some bruising and swelling as you recover, and your doctor may advise you to wear a chin strap for a short while after the procedure.

The verdict: An excellent option for surgical results without an incision.

The best news about all of this is that there are plenty of options when it comes to banishing the dreaded double chin. Surgery is a possibility, but it’s not the only one. If getting rid of the double chin is your goal, the best thing you can do for yourself is to consult with a plastic surgery professional. Each case is different, so only an expert who understands your needs can help you determine the best option for you.

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