Many people of all ages struggle with excess fat beneath the chin, in what is referred to as the “submental triangle” area of the face. Fullness in this area is sometimes accompanied by sagging skin in people who are a bit older, but for many people, the extent of the issue is simply unwanted stubborn fat under the chin.
Many people are embarrassed by their “double chin” and are anxious to improve the appearance of the area. Unfortunately, the submental triangle does not generally respond well to diet and exercise, leaving some frustrated by their efforts. The good news is that there are a few treatment options available for contouring the area under the chin, including Kybella treatments and submental liposuction. But what is the difference between the two procedures, and why do the differences matter?
Kybella & Submental Liposuction
Kybella and submental liposuction are both designed to reduce fat deposits underneath the chin, but that’s about where the similarities end. Kybella is a new FDA-approved injectable treatment for gradually breaking down unwanted fat, while submental liposuction is a procedure that involves physically removing the fat through small incisions. Let’s take a closer look at how the procedures are different.
The Differences Between Them—and Why They Matter
Surgical vs. Nonsurgical
The first difference between Kybella and submental liposuction, of course, is that Kybella is a convenient non-surgical injectable treatment, while liposuction requires a minor surgery. While many people prefer a non-surgical injectable option, there are some valid reasons that some choose surgery instead: it requires fewer visits to the office (Kybella injections must be repeated several times, spaced about 6 weeks apart), and the results are obtained more quickly.
Instant vs. Gradual
Of course, there are some trade-offs to choosing a non-invasive procedure for submental fat reduction—Kybella sometimes requires 3 or more treatments, spaced 6 weeks apart for good results, which means that patients are waiting several months to see the final results. Submental liposuction does require a bit of downtime, but the results are mostly instant except for some swelling that occurs following the surgery.
Anesthesia & Downtime
As a non-invasive procedure, Kybella involves very little discomfort, and typically no anesthesia at all is needed for patient comfort. In contrast, submental liposuction does require at least local anesthesia for patient safety and comfort. Kybella allows patients to return to work right away, while liposuction does involve at least minimal recovery time.
Generally, candidacy requirements for a non-invasive treatment like Kybella are less strict than for surgical procedures, which can restrict some potential patients’ ability to choose the procedure they want. As with any procedure, it’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon prior to choosing a procedure.
Why do the Differences Between the Treatments Matter?
Defining these key differences between the treatments, we can see why they matter: they give patients a choice and provide more options for customizing treatments to suit specific needs. If you’re interested in reducing the fat beneath your chin, only you and your surgeon can make the decision about which option is right for you.
Which Procedure is Right for You?
When you’re ready to take the next steps, you’ll need to find a reputable facial plastic surgeon to help you make a decision and to perform your treatment. Dr. DeJoseph at Premier Image Cosmetic and Laser Surgery is a triple board certified facial specialist, who has the skills and knowledge to help you succeed. Before settling on a procedure, Dr. DeJoseph will meet with you and discuss your goals, concerns, and candidacy to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. If you’d like to learn more about your options, call our Atlanta office today at 770-457-6303 to schedule your consultation and find out if Kybella or submental liposuction is right for you.