The fat pocket under the chin, called submental fat or more commonly the “double chin,” is a problem area for many people. There are 2 non-surgical treatments for this area that are becoming more and more popular: Kybella and Coolsculpting. While both treatments can address a double chin without surgery or anesthesia, there are some differences which we will uncover in this post. As always, it is important to consult and evaluate each patient to see which treatment option is best.
Coolsculpting has become increasingly popular as the newest treatment for stubborn fat, without having to undergo surgery or deal with needles. It essentially freezes the fat in stubborn areas like the thighs, arms, and hips and then the body disposes of the fat through the lymphatic system.
Patients experience a mild discomfort during the freezing process and the process can take up to an hour. Following the process, many patients might experience some mild discomfort in the days after as well as some bruising. In some cases, multiple treatments are required to achieve desired results. Results can be seen within 3 weeks, but patients achieve the most dramatic results after 8 weeks. With exercise and a proper diet, the results can be long-lasting. Coolsculpting is a great option or alternative for your patients who may not like needles.
Kybella is the only injectable product FDA approved to treat unwanted fat under the chin. This injectable causes rapid deterioration of the fat cells while also preventing future fat accumulation. It is especially great for small or isolated areas.
The procedure can be done in 15 minutes and patients may experience some bruising, just like any other injectable. Significant swelling can occur and last for several days. Many patients describe feeling like they “look like a bullfrog.” Various degrees of numbness, a tingling sensation and/or discomfort can occur with each patient. It is recommended to wait for all symptoms to subside before the next treatment usually at least 8 weeks. Results can be seen within 6-8 weeks. In many cases, 2-4 treatments of Kybella are needed to get desired results, but the results are permanent.
We have discussed off-label use of Kybella where Kybella is being used in other areas of the body to destroy unwanted fat. Therefore, it could become a larger competitor to Coolsculpting, not just limited to the double chin.
Kybella and Coolsculpting could also be used in conjunction with one another. Coolsculpting could be used to localize the fat and then Kybella could be used to destroy the last bits of fat. The question is not which method is better, but which method is better for your patient’s specific scenario. Perform a detailed consultation and discuss all options before recommending treatment.