Chin Liposuction vs. Kybella and CoolMini: How to Treat a Double Chin

The dreaded double chin. Unfortunately, despite diet and exercise efforts, many people are left with extra fat in this tough-to-treat area. It's even harder to get rid of it if you are genetically predisposed to carrying extra fat in your chin or neck. 

The good news is that when it comes to treating a double chin, also known as submental fat, several procedures exist, both surgical and non-surgical. The three main treatments used to combat the double chin include surgical chin liposuction, and FDA approved non-surgical treatments Kybella and CoolMini

An in-person consultation with a board-certified medical provider will determine the best option for you. In the meantime, here is some information to help you along the decision-making process.


What is each treatment like?

Chin liposuction, or submental liposuction, requires local anesthesia and a few small incisions (less than 1 cm) to the area being treated. A small cannula is inserted into the incisions to remove the fat and tissue. While chin liposuction is a surgical procedure, it is done in-office and you can usually drive yourself home after. 

Kybella and CoolMini are non-surgical procedures that remove excess fat under the chin. FDA approved Kybella is made of a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid, which the body naturally produces. It is then injected into your chin to destroy fat cells, which are then naturally flushed by your body. Kybella usually requires two to four sessions approximately six weeks apart. 

CoolMini is a special applicator that attaches to the CoolSculpting machine, also approved by the FDA for fat reduction. The CoolMini applicator attaches to your skin to freeze and destroy fat cells under the surface. These fat cells then crystalize, die, and are naturally removed by your body. Most often, one to two treatments are required to achieve desired results.

Related: Kybella and CoolMini: How to Defeat the Double Chin


How are the treatments different?

The biggest difference is that chin liposuction is a surgical procedure, while Kybella and CoolMini are non-surgical. These are all in-office procedures, but require different time commitments. Chin liposuction is performed in approximately 30 minutes, Kybella injections take about 10-15 minutes, and a CoolMini session is about 45 minutes.

In a RealSelf Q&A, New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green highlights a few differences between the non-surgical options, Kybella and CoolMini: “The decision depends on the type of fat, the nature of the area, and the preference of patients as well including cost," she says. "Some patients do not want needles and prefer CoolMini. If you have a great deal of fat under your neck it will be more cost effective to have CoolMini."

*Treatment results may vary

Dr. Michele Green explains the differences between Kybella and CoolMini in this video about treating an aging neck.


What is recovery like?

Chin liposuction requires wearing a chin garment full-time for approximately one week after the procedure, then at night for two to three weeks. You can return to work immediately, but should anticipate one to two weeks of swelling and bruising, depending on how your body reacts.

After receiving Kybella injections or CoolMini, you can return to work immediately. However, if you opt for Kybella be prepared for a little pain, swelling, bruising, numbness, redness, and possibly hard areas. Many people refer to the swelling post Kybella as the “bullfrog” effect and have found several ways to disguise it. CoolMini treatments may leave you with mild swelling and redness that usually goes away within a week.


What do they cost?

The cost of each procedure varies based on the method, the number of treatments, the location, and your medical provider’s experience. According to data from RealSelf members, you should expect to spend around $2,975 on chin liposuction$1,375 on Kybella; and $1,225 on CoolMini.


What results can you expect?

All three treatments are an effective treatment to reduce fat under the chin. With a healthy diet and exercise, weight should not return. In a RealSelf Q&A, London plastic surgeon Dr. Amir Nakhdjevani describes when you should see results from liposuction: "You should start to see improvement by two to four weeks. However, neck lipo causes a fair amount of trauma and swelling, therefore final results are sometimes not evident for three to six months. Unfortunately, patience is key."

Since Kybella and CoolMini usually require multiple treatments, results may take several sessions spaced over several months. However, some individuals see preliminary results as early as three weeks post procedure.

*Treatment results may vary

Dr. Jennifer Reichel discusses the main differences between the surgical chin liposuction and non-surgical treatment Kybella.


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Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Your reliance on any information or content provided in the guide is solely at your own risk. You should always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare professional for any questions you have about your own medical condition. RealSelf does not endorse or recommend any specific content, procedure, product, opinion, healthcare professional, or any other material or information in this guide or anywhere on this website.

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