Neck liposuction vs. Kybella® for treatment of submental fullness from fat

Neck fat unfortunately develops with age and is somewhat resistant to improvement with diet and exercise. Excess neck fat is one of the factors that leads to submental fullness. Other factors that contribute to the appearance of a “fat” neck include a small chin bone, sagging neck skin, loose neck muscle (platysmal bands), and droopy glands.

Neck liposuction was the traditional method used to improve the cosmetic appearance of a fatty neck. Liposuction works by immediate fat reduction, followed by some skin tightening that naturally occurs over the next few months. Neck liposuction can be combined with a facelift, neck lift, or chin augmentation for enhanced results.

Patients now have a non-surgical alternative to neck liposuction. Kybella® involves a series of office treatment injections that gradually reduces fat under the chin. Somewhat similar to neck liposuction, Kybella® targets neck fat. Unlike neck liposuction, Kybella® is performed in the office via local anesthesia, instead of sedation or general anesthesia, and with results developing over time. So, which treatment is better for neck fat?

Kybella neck liposuction fat submental fullness double chin

Neck liposuction may appear more expensive, but it has only one recovery period, can treat broader areas, and may be actually less expensive in the long-term. Patients may see improvement immediately with liposuction and continued skin tightening over time. In addition, neck liposuction can be combined with a chin implant and/or face lift for patients with a weak chin and sagging skin.

Kybella® cannot be combined at the same time with other neck treatments, and patients must be cautious if they have had any prior neck surgery. In addition, Kybella® often requires at minimum two treatments months apart with a recovery period after each treatment.

There isn’t a “best” treatment for neck fat. The decision regarding what is best for a patient is determined by factors such as neck anatomy and patient preference. Kybella® doesn’t replace neck liposuction for patients with submental fullness. However, it 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 submental fullness? Contact the office to speak with a cosmetic surgery specialist.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.