CoolSculpting vs. Kybella – Which is Better?

When aging, or when gaining weight, sometimes people develop a pocket of fat under their chin which can be difficult to remove. If you are interested in eliminating stubborn fat below the chin to achieve a desired profile, you have a couple of options. This page explores the effectiveness of two common treatments for dealing with stubborn chin fat, and invites you to weigh the pros and cons of each. 

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, non-surgical outpatient procedure for fat reduction and body contouring. It utilizes a patented technology to remove fat cells in targeted locations by freezing them. CoolSculpting boasts the support of over 100 peer-reviewed articles attesting to its viability as a safe and effective technique, and over 8 million procedures have been performed worldwide as of this date. 

In the case of chin fat, CoolSculpting employs a special applicator to target the fat cells in and around the chin. Because CoolSculpting is non-invasive, patients require no anesthesia or pain killers. There is virtually no downtime needed for recovery, and patients can even return to work the same day. After the fat is frozen during the procedure, the body will slowly break it down and remove it over the next few weeks. After the chin is treated, the fat will never return to that area.

What is Kybella?

Kybella is an outpatient procedure that utilizes an injection of Deoxycholic Acid to dissolve and remove stubborn chin fat. Kybella is the prescription medication name for this acid, although the body produces a variant of it in the liver. After the injections to the chin, the body takes a few weeks to break down the dead fat cells and flush them out.

What are the Advantages of Kybella over Coolsculpting?

There really are no significant advantages of Kybella over CoolSculpting. If your Kybella program can be completed with only one treatment, then you may be able to save a little money, as the cost of one Kybella treatment is on the lower end of the range of CoolSculpting treatments for the chin. However, there is no way to know how many treatment sessions will be required. It might be one treatment, or it could be as many as six. However, CoolSculpting typically does not require more than two sessions.

Some people may prefer receiving an injection of deoxycholic acid to having their face contacted by a cold applicator. The applicator may cause irritation, bruising, or redness to the skin, which can last for a few weeks. You can avoid cold-induced side effects by seeking treatment with Kybella.

What are the Risks of Receiving a Kybella Treatment?

Kybella treatment offers a number of risks, which can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild side effects which can happen at the injection site include:

  • Swelling 
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Warmth
  • Hardness
  • Tingling/Burning
  • Skin Tightness
  • Nerve Injury

Other common side effects include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headache
  • Mouth or Throat Pain
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty Swallowing

Severe side effects warrant immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Weakened facial muscles
  • A crooked smile
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Open Sores (Ulcers)
  • Drainage around the treatment area
  • Skin Changes at treatment area
  • Skin Necrosis (tissue death)


Kybella requires anywhere from one to six treatments to achieve a desired result. It can interact negatively with certain medications, so always consult your doctor before agreeing to the procedure. If you may become pregnant in the future, be advised that it is unknown at present how Kybella may interact with pregnancy or breast milk. Kybella costs about $1200 per treatment session.

An injection of acid into the body will always lower your body’s pH, making it more acidic. Lower pH is associated with a higher risk of illness and disease. In addition, there is the potential of nerve damage from the treatment.

What are the Advantages of CoolSculpting over Kybella?

With CoolSculpting, you will not have to worry about upsetting your body chemistry or pH. You won’t have to worry about nerve damage, necrosis, open sores, numbness, permanent changes to the skin, high blood pressure, or other such side effects. CoolSculpting concerns temperature, not biochemistry. You might see some mild side effects as a consequence of exposing your face to a cold applicator, but these effects will be temporary.

Each CoolSculpting treatment removes approximately 25% of the fat cells in your chin. Usually, patients are satisfied with their results after one or two sessions. Each session for treating the chin with CoolSculpting can cost from $1200-$1500.

Kybella sessions cost around $1200 each. However, patients often are unable to predict whether they will need 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 sessions. Patients require six sessions to achieve their desired result 64% of the time. 

When injecting acid into living tissue, there is no way to predict exactly what cells that acid will come into contact with. Unlike water, which distributes evenly throughout tissue via osmosis, acid is caustic. The body must work to contain it and limit the kind and extent of tissues that it makes contact with. So you won’t know exactly how much fat was removed by the procedure until a few weeks later. 

Disadvantages of CoolSculpting

Patients should not consider CoolSculpting at all if they suffer from one of these three rare medical conditions:

  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Cold Agglutinin Disease
  • Paroxysmal Cold Hemoglobulinuria

Conclusion: CoolSculpting is Less Risky and More Affordable than Kybella

Given its impact on your body’s biochemistry (overall, and at the treatment site), one should probably avoid Kybella if possible. The risks are significant, and there can be permanent nerve or skin damage. Plus, there is a significant chance that you will need several treatment sessions to achieve the look you want. It’s just not worth it. 

CoolSculpting treatments for the chin use a special applicator for just that location. You may have to put up with a little stinging, pulling, or bruising at the treatment site. But that will go away after a couple weeks. 

Reach Out to PeakBody CoolSculpting

If you are considering CoolSculpting as a means of removing stubborn chin fat, give us a call. We would love to sit with you, learn about your goals, and share with you the many benefits of this revolutionary procedure. We want you to achieve your desired look, and we know just how to help.