Kybella vs. Coolsculpt vs. Neck Liposuction

How do I know what treatment to get?

The very best way to start to make a decision about treatment is to understand a few things about the treatment.

The questions that you have to ask are:

  • What is it?
  • How long does it take?
  • How many treatments am I going to need?
  • What is the down time?
  • What are the risks?
  • What is the cost?

If you know a little bit about each of those things, you can start to decide what is most important to you and pick your treatment accordingly.  For example, if you are someone who wants to have one procedure with one recovery, surgery may be the right answer. Alternatively, if you are someone who is afraid of surgery and you want the least invasive procedure, and don’t mind that you will have to have several treatments, and then Coolsculpt may be a better answer for you.

Certainly there is no right answer, and each treatment is FDA approved and safe when performed by a skilled practitioner (preferably someone who has been board certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive surgery.)

So let’s answer those questions for each of the treatments. This way, you will be able to pick your procedure based on your priorities.

The thing that all three of these procedures have in common is that they are all FDA approved treatments for excess fat on the neck underneath the chin. Each one approaches the problem differently.

How do they work?

Kybella is “Deoxycholic acid”. More simply, this means that it is an enzyme that can be injected under the skin into the fat that has the effect of dissolving the fat. Once the fat is dissolved, the body will break down the byproducts, and they will be gradually be reabsorbed.

Coolsculpt is a “laser-like’ machine that chills the area to a temperature that causes the fat cells to freeze to death. Then just like the Kybella, your body will gather up the breakdown products and they will gradually be reabsorbed.

Liposuction approaches the problem a little bit differently. It is a surgical procedure that removes the fat using small suction tubes that are about the diameter of a pencil. There are no breakdown products left behind as the fat is completely removed during the procedure.

How long does it take?

Kybella is a series of about 20-30 injections into the area. The procedure is very quick. It takes about 20-30 minutes.

Coolsculpt requires that you apply the coolsculpt probe for a period of time while the temperature is cooled in the treatment area, usually 30-60 minutes.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure. It requires skilled hands and should only be done by a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon. It can usually be done under local anesthesia in an office setting, but depending on the comfort level of you and your surgeon, it may also be done in the operating room under general anesthesia. It is often combined with other surgical procedures as an add on to another surgery. In general, it takes between 45 to 90 minutes.

How many treatments am I going to need?

Kybella typically requires between 1-4 procedures to achieve full effect depending on the severity of the problem.

Coolsculpt typically requires between 1-4 procedures to achieve full effect, depending on the severity of the problem.

Liposuction typically requires one treatment irrespective of the severity of the problem.

What is the down time?

Kybella has a recovery period that consists of swelling and possibly some bruising in the treatment area. Swelling is somewhat variable from patient to patient and can be minimal to severe. Patients often have an area of firmness that can last for several weeks while the inflammation and fat reabsorption is progressing.

Coolsculpt also can have a varying degree of swelling that may last up to several weeks. This tends to be somewhat less profound than it is with Kybella.

Liposuction has a recovery period of several weeks while inflammation subsides. Typically, you will be required to wear a compression device for the first post operative week. There can be bruising that may take several weeks to subside. You will have instant results that continue to improve over the next three to six months.

What are the risks?

Kybella is relatively low risk. It can cause bruising and prolonged swelling. Rare complications include contour irregularities and nerve injury.

Coolsculpt is relatively low risk. It can cause bruising and prolonged swelling. Rare complications include contour irregularities and nerve injury.

Liposuction is low risk, but it is still a surgical procedure with all of its inherent risks of bleeding, fluid collections, injury to structures such as nerves, veins, and arteries in the neck. Infection and skin changes are also possible. All of these risks are minimal and happen in less than 1% of cases.

What is the cost?

Kybella this depends on the number of treatments needed. Could be anywhere from $2000-5000+

Coolsculpt this depends on the number of treatments needed. Could be anywhere from $2000-5000+

Neck liposuction prices range from $2500-4000

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