CoolSculpting vs. Kybella: Which One is Better?

Double chin treatment with coolsculpting 2If you want to eliminate stubborn fat cells in specific areas of your body, you look for the best and most effective treatment options available.  Non-surgical treatments to remove excess fat cells have gained popularity since there are less possible adverse side effects, zero to minimal downtime, no incisions or scars, and are generally safer than invasive surgery. Two non-invasive procedures that treat areas unaffected by diet and exercise are CoolSculpting and Kybella, but which treatment is a better option for you?

What is Kybella?

Kybella is short for deoxycholic acid, a synthesized form of deoxycholic acid which is a chemical naturally found in the human body that breaks down and absorbs fat cells. As an injectable placed inside your body, it latches onto unwanted fat, dissolving outer cellular membranes and eventually destroying the cells. As the fat cells die, your body metabolizes them and burns them off, almost like they never existed.

How Does Kybella Work?

Like CoolScupting, Kybella is a non-surgical treatment, but unlike CoolSculpting, Kybella uses a medical syringe and one to three vials injected into multiple spots to fully treat unwanted fat. Some sites may require more, depending on the size of the targeted fat cells. Each session lasts 10 to 20 minutes, with most patients requiring three to six treatment sessions for complete effect.

What is CoolSculpting?

Coolsculpting works by cryolipolysis, an FDA-approved fat-freezing method that eliminates stubborn fat cells in certain areas of the body, with the neck being one of the most common areas treated. CoolSculpting freezes fat cells to a specific temperature that destroys them while leaving the surrounding tissue intact and unharmed.

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

Unlike Kybella, CoolSculpting does not involve needles or injections. Instead, the cooling device uses paddles to deliver controlled cooling that holds and freezes the part of your body where you want to eliminate fat. For the chin, you can expect each CoolSculpting session to last about 45 to 90 minutes, and around 20 to 25% of the fat cells in the targeted area will be destroyed during the treatment. The dead cells will be processed and removed naturally through the lymphatic system.

Kybella vs CoolSculpting: What Areas Can Each Procedure Target?

Plastic surgeons commonly use CoolSculpting and Kybella to combat submental fat cells that cause excess skin resulting in a double chin. Not all submental and neck fat is attributed to being overweight or dietary fat, as genetic predisposition and age play a vital role in most cases. Both treatments permanently reduce the fat underneath the chin. Many patients see results within three months of CoolSculpting treatment, while Kybella takes four to six months.

Areas for CoolSculpting Treatments

The FDA has cleared CoolSculpting technology to combat fat in the following areas:

  • Stomach
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Flanks (aka the love handles or muffin top)
  • Bra fat
  • Back fat
  • Fat underneath the buttocks (aka banana roll)
  • Upper arms
  • Submental fullness or fat under the chin

Kybella Treatment Areas

Kybella injections are only FDA-approved for treating submental fat. However, some aesthetic surgeons have injected Kybella in off-label use for the following areas:

  • Lower buttocks
  • Bra fat
  • Armpits
  • Upper arms
  • Elbows
  • Inner knees
  • Lower belly

The idea behind using Kybella vs. CoolSculpting is that these areas may be too small and not adequate for the CoolSculpting applicators to properly grasp the fat tissue to accomplish fat freezing.

Similarities and Differences Between Kybella and CoolSculpting

Both of these non-surgical options require multiple treatments for optimal results. You'll see a reduction of about 25% of fat in the treatment area after you have finished your sessions. Both Kybella and CoolSculpting give patients a stronger, more defined chin area and an improved cervicomental angle, where the neck intersects with the jaw, making them look younger. Kybella also stimulates the production of new collagen, so your skin may look tighter and more supple.

The most significant differences between kybella and coolsculpting treatments are in recovery time and side effects. With Kybella, the most common side effect is significant swelling, followed by bruising and pain that typically last two to four weeks. However, swelling can be rather dramatic as patients may experience "bullfrog neck" for two or more weeks following treatment, according to an Allergan clinical trial.

Side effects are minimal with CoolSculpting recovery and usually limited to the first few days. Most clients experience numbness (lasting up to two weeks,) redness immediately after treatment (but most often dissipates within an hour), mild bruising and swelling, and some discomfort (lasting only about an hour post-treatment).

Who are Ideal Candidates for Kybella or CoolSculpting?


Patients in good health with small amounts of fat are ideal candidates. Advise your doctor if you have had surgery or other cosmetic treatments around your neck before undergoing treatment. Those who have trouble swallowing, a thyroid disorder, swollen lymph glands in the neck, or bleeding or clotting disorder may not be suited for Kybella.


Our practice uses the CoolSculpting C-80 applicator for eliminating double chins and small to moderate amounts of fat. The best candidates are men and women in good health, active, have a stable weight and are within 20 to 30 pounds of the average weight for their age group. Those with small chins or narrow jawlines may not be good candidates, as we may have difficulty fitting the CoolSculpting applicator under the neck for double chin reduction.

Which is the Best Treatment for Me?

Overall, CoolSculpting is the more superior cosmetic treatment for double-chins as the FDA has approved it. Swelling is minimal in comparison to Kybella, no needles or injections are involved, and there is zero downtime. With Kybella, anywhere from two to six sessions are needed (the cost adds up quite quickly), versus CoolSculpting, where only two to three sessions are needed. Those with little submental fat and/or narrow jawlines tend to choose Kybella treatments, while most patients who generally have more fat go for CoolSculpting. If you are afraid of needles, seek CoolSculpting or other treatments for double chin reduction in Kirkland, WA.

Contact the Professionals at VIVAA for CoolSculpting Information

The professionals at Vein, Vascular, Primary Care & Aesthetic Associates (VIVAA) are more than happy to discuss with you the advantages of CoolSculpting and help you make an educated and the right decision for you at a complimentary consultation. For more information or to make an appointment, call us today at 425-250-9999. VIVAA serves the communities of Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, North Bend, Renton, Redmond, Newcastle, Sammamish, Mercer Island, and Snoqualmie.


Dr. Sidhu
Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu

Author - Dr. Ramandeep Sidhu

SPECIALTIES: Percutaneous aneurysm repair, endovascular treatment of peripheral arterial disease, treatment for varicose veins, open vascular surgical procedures, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism treatment and aesthetic services.