First and foremost the best individual to determine if it’s better to do Kybella or neck liposuction is the plastic surgeon who routinely does liposuction and injectables. The plastic surgeon has seen the anatomy from the inside and outside and knows what results can be obtained with each procedural option.
Kybella is the newest non-invasive option to get rid of the fat pad under your chin. While Kybella is a great product to have available to offer our patients it’s important that we cover the differences and similarities between Kybella and a simple localized neck liposuction. Kybella is “Deoxycholic acid” which is a chemical term that means it’s actually something made by your liver and found in your bile. Your body naturally uses Deoxycholic acid to help dissolve fats in your body. The term acid seems scary to some people, but remember our body makes this same acid and stores it in our gall bladders to use when we eat food. The purified form of Deoxycholic acid ” is what Kybella is”, and it can be injected into submental fat under our chin to dissolve away fat in a controlled way. Normally about 20 separate small injection sites are mapped out under your chin for the Kybella. Mild fat deposits would require two separate sets of injections usually six weeks apart, more fat deposits require three or four separate sets of injections. Large fat pads would need more injections to have the patient feel they really got the result they were after. Kybella does have to be placed in a very specific local area under your chin about 2/3rd’s the size of your palm. If injected outside the safe zone Kybella may injure nerves or tissues we don’t want Kybella near.
So Kybella is an excellent product that is well researched with relatively straight forward indications; so why even consider neck liposuction? This is where the plastic surgeon really can guide you toward the best choice for you. Almost all patients in my practice interested in neck liposuction are done in the office with numbing medicine using small specialized liposuction equipment made for the face and neck. This is a very low impact non stressful procedure that takes between 45 minutes to and hour and patients love the result. Neck liposuction in the office is much less expensive than doing three or four separate Kybella injection sets each 6 weeks apart. Also liposuction allows us to treat a much broader area than Kybella since we don’t have to worry about the chemical getting into places we don’t want it. Neck liposuction can go more laterally in the neck and lower in the neck, and can safely be done in the jowl area where Kybella is not to be placed. The other upside of the neck liposuction is you do the one treatment and you’re done an once some swelling or mild bruising goes down you can see lots of improvement. Kybella will take many more months to get to your goal. People shouldn’t think of neck liposuction as some big deal procedure, it is not. Neck liposuction is surprisingly minimally invasive as a procedure. So neck liposuction is less expensive than multiple Kybella treatments, is relatively non-invasive, and can get you from point “A” to point “B” quicker than Kybella, that does not mean Kybella isn’t awesome. If the patient has milder fat deposits and especially if they only need two sets of Kybella injections then Kybella would definitely be a great way to go. The key here is to see a plastic surgeon about this so they can guide you in the best direction for they can do the minimal surgery or the injections and can help you decide which works best for you, rather then someone who might only do injections so can’t even appropriately address surgical options. We’re delighted to have Kybella on the scene as a new option and we hope this helps explain why different patients may choose different options.