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Kybella vs. CoolSculpting

October 05, 2021 | 7 minute read

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Non-Surgical Fat Reduction in Houston

When it comes to non-surgical fat reduction treatments, Kybella and CoolSculpting are among the most popular in the world. But which one should you choose if you want to get rid of stubborn fat without going under the knife in Houston?

Many of our patients have heard of Kybella as a chin-slimming solution. But you shouldn’t confuse CoolSculpting as a simple Kybella alternative. Instead, it’s used as a fat reduction treatment for multiple areas of the body, including double chins.

We offer CoolSculpting as a non-surgical fat reduction treatment at our ReNew You MD Medical Spa in Houston. However, it’s crucial to understand the difference in benefits, side effects, and cost between Kybella and CoolSculpting. So let’s explain them in more detail so you can choose the best procedure for you.

Targeted Treatments Area of Kybella and CoolSculpting

Like Kybella, CoolSculpting is approved by the FDA. However, Kybella is only approved by authorities to treat submental fat (double chins). Meanwhile, CoolSculpting is approved to treat the abdomen, flanks, thighs, double chin, upper arms, buttocks, and back.

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What is Kybella?

Kybella is deoxycholic acid that occurs naturally in the human body. It is synthetically manufactured as a prescription medicine under the brand name Kybella. It’s a secondary bile acid that helps the body break down and absorb fat.

This treatment is administered through a series of injections in multiple spots underneath the chin. Kybella then works to destroy stubborn fat cells’ membranes to slim the patient’s chin.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting, or Cryolipolysis, is a cosmetic treatment used to eradicate areas of body fat. It utilizes cold temperatures to break down fat cells. Unlike other cells, fat cells are susceptible to the effects of cold. Once damaged, they are naturally absorbed by the body’s lymphatic system.

Rather than using injections, this procedure is a more relaxing experience.

What should I expect from the Kybella or CoolSculpting Procedure?


Generally speaking, Kybella isn’t a particularly invasive procedure. It consists of a series of injections to the fat in your chin and under your chin. Most procedures follow this pattern:

1. See if you’re a candidate for Kybella

Kybella is suited for people who want to take a non-surgical approach to get rid of their double chin. Candidates should already live a healthy lifestyle, as this treatment is best used to eliminate stubborn fat that regular diet and exercise won’t fix. But, it’s worth noting that Kybella is not recommended for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive. Additionally, you should not have any open sores near the targeted area.

2. Schedule and undergo your procedure

Kybella is an outpatient treatment that requires between two and six sessions, depending on your situation. Notably, you’ll have to schedule each treatment a month apart. However, the process is relatively straightforward. The provider typically uses two or three vials of Kybella during each visit, and they’ll give the patient between 12 and 50 small injections underneath their chin.

3. Healing time

You’ll be able to resume your day after receiving Kybella, but you may want to take a few steps to help with the side effects. Sleep with your head slightly elevated, and avoid going to the gym and massaging the treatment area for several days after your procedure. You may use ibuprofen or acetaminophen, apply ice and a warm compress, and use a head wrap around your chin to help alleviate discomfort.

4. Post-op experience

You won’t notice any chin slimming right after your Kybella injection, as it takes time to break down the fat. Patients report seeing effects after about 12 weeks, with optimum results visible in six months. However, the results of Kybella are permanent, and continuing a healthy lifestyle is essential to keeping your desired look.


This non-invasive fat-reduction treatment uses an external approach. It consists of placing a gel pad on the treatment area and using controlled cooling to destroy fat cells. CoolSculpting kills fat cells by freezing them. Most procedures follow this pattern:

1. See if you’re a candidate for CoolSculpting

This procedure is best suited for patients trying to eliminate stubborn fat in their abdomen, thighs, double chin, upper arms, buttocks, and back. Like Kybella candidates, those considering CoolSculpting treatment should not be pregnant or trying to conceive, and they should already be living a healthy lifestyle.

2. Schedule and undergo your procedure

The provider places a specially designed wand (applicator) on the treatment area and applies suction to hold the tissue in place. Then, they’ll deliver controlled cooling to the site to extract fat from the cells’ layers, causing them to slowly die without damaging surrounding nerves, muscles, or tissues. Sessions last between 30 minutes and an hour, and patients typically require two treatments spaced two months apart.

3. Healing time

You won’t have to undergo a recovery period. However, you may experience some temporary discomfort around the treatment area. Drinking water, stretching, applying heat and ice, and taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed will help lessen the effects.

4. Post-op experience

As with most non-invasive fat reduction procedures, results aren’t immediate. Patients tend to see results from this non-surgical fat reduction treatment between one to three months. Remember that CoolScuplting’s effects are indefinite, and maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise is vital to keeping the fat off.

Notably, pronounced weight gain may cause fat to return in treated areas, regardless of which procedure you choose. So it’s best to schedule your initial Kybella or CoolSculpting appointment after you’ve achieved and maintained your ideal weight.

How to Prepare For Non-Surgical Fat Reduction Treatment

There is little preparation required for non-invasive procedures such as Kybella and CoolSculpting. However, patients can take several simple precautions that make the experience easier.

For Kybella, it’s advisable to schedule the procedure well before any significant public events. Also, be sure to wash your face before the appointment to reduce the risk of infection, and avoid ibuprofen and acetaminophen to prevent post-treatment bruising.

Meanwhile, CoolSculpting patients should avoid any medication that can thin the blood, as this will reduce bruising. Otherwise, there is no other preparation required.

Does Kybella Have More Side Effects Than CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting has minimal side effects with little to no recovery time. Some patients report feeling tugging at the treatment site during treatment, and soreness, such as pain, stinging, or aching, may persist for up to two weeks. While possible, it’s rare for patients to report severe pain.

Short-term CoolSculpting side effects include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Skin sensitivity

Alternatively, Kybella may cause more severe side effects. These include:

  • Bruising
  • Hair loss
  • A temporary uneven smile
  • Ulcers around the injection site

Additionally, it’s common for Kybella patients to experience swelling, pain, numbness, and redness around the treatment area that should subside after one month of healing.

Breaking Down the Costs of Kybella and CoolSculpting

The price of these treatments varies from patient to patient. The average cost of Kybella is between $600 to $1,200 per vial, per treatment. However, the overall cost of Kybella is challenging to calculate, considering that patients need between two to three vials per treatment and up to six sessions.

Meanwhile, your provider can give you a more accurate cost for CoolSculpting. It costs between $2,000 to $4,000 per session, with most patients needing two sessions.

Is CoolSculpting Better Than Kybella?

Both non-surgical fat reduction treatments have their advantages and side effects, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. When comparing Kybella and Coolsculpting, one procedure may appeal more to your preferred treatment process and body-sculpting goals.

While Kybella is suited for those who just want to improve the appearance of their double chin, CoolSculpting contours numerous areas of the body. At Town and Country Plastic Surgeons, we offer CoolSculpting and countless other cosmetic and plastic surgery treatments that help patients enhance their appearance and renew their confidence.

Try a virtual consultation with one of our experts about eliminating your stubborn body fat.

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