Is the Cosmetic Treatment Kybella as Effective as Lipo Under the Chin?

Cosmetic Treatment | Bella Rose Aesthetics | Carmel IN

Does having a double chin make you so conscious about how you look? You’re not alone; about 70% of Americans suffer from this aesthetically dreadful look, says the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Thankfully, there are cosmetic treatments for having a double chin, namely liposuction, and the cosmetic treatment Kybella.

The Two Options

Your two options against double chin are submental liposuction and the cosmetic treatment Kybella. While other cosmetic treatments may be available, these two are the most reliable and effective against this particular concern.

Submental Liposuction

Liposuction is a dermatologic or aesthetic surgical treatment that uses suction techniques to remove fat from specific body areas. The medical term for liposuction under the chin is submental liposuction.

The physician or practitioner creates small incisions on the treatment site – in this case, under the chin and behind the ears – through which the practitioner sucks out the fat. Such procedures need local anesthesia or sedation.

Once the fat is gone, the doctor seals the incisions, and you would need to wear a wound dressing for a couple of weeks. Since this treatment is a surgical procedure, it carries risks of complications such as bleeding, scarring, infections, irregularities, nerve injury, and more. Furthermore, the treatment site is near the larynx, trachea, mandibular nerve, major blood vessels in the neck (like the carotid arteries), and the lungs are near the treatment site; damaging them is possible if the doctor is not careful.

However, successful submental liposuction will provide the skin around your chin to sculpt nicely and provide you a more youthful look. Within three months of the operation, the neck should have plenty of opportunities to contour and adjust in the absence of fat.


The cosmetic treatment Kybella has advantages over submental liposuction. Perhaps the most significant benefit is that it is non-surgical; it is minimally invasive. But that does not necessarily mean that it is less effective. Just as liposuction eliminates fat, Kybella removes fat from the picture altogether.

However, instead of incising the skin and removing the fat physically, the cosmetic treatment Kybella uses chemical means to burn the fat from within the skin. Kybella is an injectable approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); its primary active ingredient is deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a powerful naturally-occurring substance that breaks down fat cells.

The procedure for Kybell is pretty straightforward. The injector just has to inject the substance under your chin skin, and Kybella will do most of the work. Over the next few weeks, Kybella will slowly break down the fat cells in the treatment site. You might need a few sessions spaced two months apart to get your desired results.

However, the gradual fat loss does not ensure a more sculpted and defined look. The results depend on how your skin adapts to the breaking down of fat beneath it.

In summary, lipo removes fat by sucking out the fat cells through small incisions while Kybella chemically burns the fat cells. But this still does not answer which of them is more effective.

One is Not Inherently Better Than the Other

The efficacy of either treatment entirely depends on how the patient’s skin adapts to the loss of fat. But we can measure which of these treatments is better based on other factors such as safety, convenience, side effects, and more.


We have lightly covered the fact that submental liposuction poses many risks because of its surgical nature. Although it is not as invasive as other cosmetic surgeries, submental liposuction can still have pretty catastrophic effects if the knife goes in wrong, even just slightly.

But of course, with the right professionals, submental liposuction is as safe as any cosmetic treatment.

Just because Kybella is not a surgical cosmetic procedure does not mean that it is perfectly safe. Under the hands of inexperienced cosmeticians or injectors, Kybella can also yield catastrophic results. 

Kybella poses risks of damaging your marginal mandibular nerve. The marginal mandibular nerve is responsible for the movement of the corners of your mouth. But then again, as long as the injector is experienced and professional, you don’t have to fear deadly complications.


Both treatments have convenience points. On the one hand, liposuction requires only one session. But on the other hand, Kybella does not require the extended downtime and recovery period that liposuction does.

It all comes down to preference. Do you prefer to schedule one session but have a week of recovery period, or would you rather have a few sessions that have no downtime?

Of course, if we consider the potential side effects of these treatments, their perceived convenience will change.

Side Effects

The potential side effects of submental lipo include:

  • Fluid accumulation around the treatment site
  • Numbness
  • Nerve irritation
  • Infection
  • Fat embolism
  • Lidocaine toxicity

While these side effects are sporadic, they can potentially make or break your lipo experience. These are side effects that the doctor has minimal power over.

The potential side effects of Kybella include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing

As you can see, the side effects of Kybella are considerably less intimidating than that of lipo. The severity of the potential side effects is perhaps the most significant reason why most people prefer Kybella over lipo. Besides, lipo is far more likely to leave a chin mark than Kybella.

It Depends on Your Needs

The best way to determine which procedure suits you better is to speak with a professional. Bella Rose Aesthetics is the best medical aesthetics practice in Carmel, Indiana. You can reach Neda Adams by phone at 765-228-6584, email at, through the website, or by visiting her office at 10255 Commerce Drive, Suite 238, Carmel, IN 46032.


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