submental liposuction vs kybella

Kybella vs Submental Liposuction: Treatments for Submental Fat

Having a double chin can seriously impact self-confidence. Thanks to modern cosmetic procedures, eliminating it has become a more accessible option for many. The two most popular methods for tackling this issue are Kybella and Submental Liposuction. Let’s dive into the specifics of these two treatments, comparing their effectiveness, cost, and side effects.

Understanding the Issue: Submental Fat

Before discussing the treatments, it’s essential to understand the problem at hand. The excess fat that forms beneath the chin is known as submental fat. It’s often associated with aging, weight gain, or genetics. While diet and exercise can help, for some, this area of the body can stubbornly retain fat. That’s where Kybella and Submental Liposuction come into play.

Submental Fat: Subcutaneous vs Subplatysmal

When we talk about submental fat, it’s essential to understand that it is classified into two types: Subcutaneous and Subplatysmal. Each type contributes to the appearance of a double chin, but they are located in different areas and may require different treatment approaches.

Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the fat layer lying directly beneath the skin’s surface. It is responsible for the cushioning effect you feel when you press on your skin. When an excessive amount of this fat accumulates under the chin, it forms a prominent layer known as a double chin. The subcutaneous fat is typically the target area for both Kybella and Submental Liposuction treatments, as it is easily accessible and responds well to these procedures.

Subplatysmal Fat

Unlike subcutaneous fat, subplatysmal fat lies deeper beneath the platysma muscle in the neck. Excess fat in this region can also contribute significantly to the appearance of a double chin. However, it is harder to reach and may not respond as effectively to treatments like Kybella. Submental Liposuction, being a surgical procedure, is more capable of accessing and reducing subplatysmal fat.

It’s crucial to identify the type of submental fat you have before deciding on a treatment option. An experienced practitioner can help differentiate between the two types and guide you towards the most effective treatment. The right approach could bring about significant changes in your facial contour and help you regain your confidence.

Kybella double chin treatment

What is Kybella?

Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment used to eliminate moderate to severe fat below the chin. The active ingredient in Kybella is synthetic deoxycholic acid, a molecule that naturally occurs in the body and aids in breaking down and absorbing dietary fat.

How Does Kybella Work?

When injected into the fat beneath the chin, Kybella works by destroying the fat cells, thereby hindering their ability to store or accumulate fat. This process is known as lipolysis.

Benefits of Kybella

Kybella comes with numerous benefits. It’s a non-surgical procedure, meaning it may have less downtime compared to surgery. Patients often see visible contouring of their chin profile in two to four treatments. There is, however, a period of swelling as the lipolysis causes inflammation. The area under your chin may look more swollen for 2-4 weeks.

patient with neck fat had double chin reduction surgery

What is Submental Liposuction?

Submental Liposuction, also known as neck liposuction, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat beneath the chin through small incisions. It’s a popular choice for those desiring a more dramatic transformation.

How Does Submental Liposuction Work?

This procedure works by inserting a cannula (a thin tube) through the incisions to suction out fat. It may also involve tightening the underlying muscles and skin to provide better contouring.

Benefits of Submental Liposuction

Submental Liposuction is known for its immediate and significant results. It offers a one-time solution, unlike Kybella, which might require multiple sessions for optimal results. Moreover, if executed correctly, the results are permanent.

Submental Liposuction Double Chin Treatment

Kybella vs Submental Liposuction: A Comparison

Now that we understand these treatments, let’s compare them.


When comparing the cost, Kybella might seem cheaper initially. However, considering it usually requires multiple sessions, the total cost can accumulate. In contrast, Submental Liposuction is a one-time procedure with a higher upfront cost.


Both treatments are effective in their own ways. Kybella is excellent for those who want a less invasive procedure and are willing to wait for the results, as it can take 3 or more months for 2-4 treatments. On the other hand, Submental Liposuction provides immediate and dramatic results.

Recovery Time

Kybella has a shorter recovery time, with most patients returning to normal activities within 48 hours. Conversely, Submental Liposuction, being a surgical procedure, requires a longer recovery period of about 7-10 days for return to normal activities.

Side Effects

Kybella may cause temporary swelling, bruising, or numbness under your chin. On the other hand, Submental Liposuction carries typical surgical risks such as infection, bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Submental Liposuction Double Chin Treatment

Making the Right Choice

Choosing between Kybella and Submental Liposuction depends on various factors, including your health, desired outcome, and tolerance for recovery time. It’s always advisable to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to make an informed decision.

Whether you choose Kybella or Submental Liposuction, it’s crucial to remember that both procedures have their own sets of benefits and considerations. Kybella may appeal to those seeking a non-invasive, gradual approach, while Submental Liposuction might be suitable for those desiring a one-time, significant transformation.

Ultimately, the choice between Kybella vs Submental Liposuction boils down to your personal preferences, health condition, and consultation with a medical professional. Schedule a consultation with double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Diana Ponsky, to discuss the best treatment options for you!

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