What is the Difference Between Neck Liposuction and Kybella?

Kybella is a new and exciting medication used to treat fat deposits under the neck to remove your double chin.  The medicine is injected after proper numbing into several areas around the neck where it attacks the fat cells and breaks them up so your body can then digest them.  The swelling can take approximately one week to resolve and some people report up to two weeks of feeling a little swollen.  In general, it takes approximately two to three treatments, depending on the amount of fat.  In more stubborn fat deposits, you may need four to five treatments of Kybella.  This is a nice office procedure that can be done in less than one hour, but the results can take up to several weeks to see.  Other than the swelling, there are no other visible signs of downtime.  Bruising is usually very, very minimal.

There are some limitations of Kybella in where you can inject it.  If someone has jowls or deposits along their jawline, it becomes a little more risky to inject in this area.  Although there are no results of permanent nerve damage documented in the literature, there can be temporary issues related to the nerve that affects the lower lip.  Your nerves are also coated with fat, and the fat acts as an isolation so the nerve can function more properly.  If the Kybella is injected too deep or gets around the nerve, then it can demyelinate or remove the insulation around the nerve, causing what appears to be a temporary weakness.  Fortunately, this resolves, but it also warrants a discussion documenting the risks with the procedure.

For patients who would like to have the results done all in one sitting, with a similar amount of downtime for one week, neck liposuction is an excellent alternative.  Many people are scared of neck liposuction because of the risks, but if you go to a board-certified specialist, then these risks can be minimized.  It is also best to look at before and after pictures to get an idea of what the surgeons previous work is like.  Neck liposuction can be done in the office under local anesthesia and this can also take about an hour.  Very tiny 3-mm incisions are placed behind each earlobe and one tiny one underneath the chin.  The area is numbed very thoroughly and a relaxing medication can be given to ease the experience.  Most patients actually fall asleep during the procedure.  The fatty deposits are removed using a vacuum and liposuction, and the benefit of neck liposuction is that I can sculpt the jawline very nicely.  This comes into play for people who do not have a very defined jawline and want more of a razor’s edge to their jawline.  The incisions are closed with little stitches that are removed in one week.  A wrap is given to the patient so that they can support the skin as the neck heals.  After about one week, there are no visible signs that any procedure was done.

The advantage of neck liposuction is that you can be more thorough with the removal of fat and this can all be done in one sitting.  Some patients complain that the swelling with Kybella can be very noticeable for the one week and so they are a little hesitant to undergo the procedure three to four times in order to see a final result.

Both approaches work well to remove submental fat, but if you wanted to sculpt the jawline then neck liposuction is a more definitive procedure.  For any further questions and concerns, please call our office at (310) 772-2866 to schedule an appointment.