No one likes a double chin. Excess neck fat is one of many factors that leads to a double chin, otherwise known as submental fullness. Unfortunately, fat under the chin can develop naturally with age and doesn’t usually go away adequately with diet and exercise alone. Neck fat is stubborn!
Plastic surgeons consider neck liposuction (also known as chin liposuction) as the “gold standard” to improve the cosmetic appearance of a double chin from fat. Neck liposuction immediately reduces fat, followed by some skin tightening that naturally occurs over the next few months. Neck liposuction can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures as desired, such as a facelift, neck lift, or chin augmentation for a tighter neck.
Neck liposuction is the time-tested, traditional approach to reduce fat and improve the neck. All other treatments are compared to this gold standard plastic surgery. – Houtan Chaboki, MD
Non-surgical neck fat reduction
Non-surgical alternatives have been developed for patients who may not be surgery candidates. Kybella treatment is a series of office injections that gradually dissolves fat. Coolsculpting treatment is a series of office applications that gradually freezes fat. Unlike liposuction, Kybella and Coolsculpting are performed in the office via awake, local anesthesia and with results developing slowly over time.
These non-surgical neck fat reduction have some downsides. Both Kybella and Coolsculpting cannot be combined with other neck treatments, and patients must be cautious if they have had any prior neck surgery. In addition, these non-surgical treatments require multiple treatments months apart with a recovery period after each treatment. Some patients may not appreciate results after each treatment, thus requires multiple treatments. Lastly, these treatments only treat neck fat and don’t improve other factors of a double chin, such as skin laxity or weak bone structure.
Neck liposuction, on the other hand, has only one recovery period, can treat broader areas of the neck (not just directly under the chin), and may be actually less expensive in the long-term as compared to Kybella or Coolsculpting. Neck liposuction generally has a more dramatic effect, rather than the more subtle results of non-surgical treatments. Patients may see improvement immediately with liposuction and continued skin tightening over time. Lastly, liposuction can be combined with a chin implant and/or face lift for patients with a weak chin bone and sagging neck skin.
Kybella vs. Coolsculpting for Neck Fat
Is there one non-surgical treatment that is better to reduce neck fat? Looking at the chart, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between these non-surgical alternatives. Both require multiple treatments that develop over time. Neither are considered by plastic surgeons to be better than the gold standard of neck liposuction. Some patients may prefer one over the other. A patient can try one treatment then do the other treatment too, as appropriate.
What plastic surgery procedure is better to reduce neck fat?
A “best” treatment doesn’t exist for neck fat. What is best for a patient is determined by several factors, such as physical anatomy and patient preference. Kybella and Coolsculpting don’t replace neck liposuction for patients with a double chin. However, non-surgical treatments can be an appropriate option for those patients with isolated neck fat who don’t want surgery. A plastic surgery consultation can help patients determine the cause of their submental fullness and provide guidance regarding appropriate treatment options.
Considering treatment for a double chin or submental fullness? Share your thoughts below. Contact the office to speak with a cosmetic surgery specialist.