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Kybella vs Neck Lift

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Sagging skin and excess fat in the neck and chin area can be an unsightly blow to your confidence. Not only do double chins and “turkey neck” look unattractive, they are impossible to get rid of through dieting and exercise. Fortunately, there are two great cosmetic options for treating the neck and jawline: neck lifts and Kybella injectables. 

So what’s the difference between Kybella and a neck lift? Both work really well for fat reduction beneath the chin. However, minimally-invasive, FDA approved Kybella injections cannot resurface or tighten loose skin. And while neck lift surgery can reverse sagging skin folds, it can be a costly and time-consuming solution. 

Kybella vs Neck Lift: What’s The Difference?

The dreaded double chin, or submental fullness, affects 68% of all Americans. Double chins develop due to weight gain, as a thick layer of subcutaneous fat forms underneath the chin. Combined with an amount of loose skin, submental fullness creates a fold by the neck that either looks like a second chin. 

Double chins may also continue to sag further down the neck due to age and gravity. For these reasons, dermatologic procedures like Kybella and neck lifts were developed. Here’s how you can choose which one can achieve your desired improvements:


Before you decide on which treatment to try, it’s important to first determine what you want to achieve. Kybella is ideal if you’re a man or woman who prioritizes convenience. With Kybella injections performed in a couple of in-office sessions, it’s a quick but permanent solution for a sleeker profile. Patients who have undergone injectable Kybella appreciate how gradually the results appear, because most people aren’t able to notice a drastic change in their appearances. However, Kybella is not the right treatment for an individual if they are hoping it would tighten skin and muscle. 

Neck lifts or platysmaplasty is suited for older patients who want to eliminate chin fullness and tighten loose skin back into place. Neck lifts are great if you don’t really want a full facelift yet because the upper half of the face is still good. A neck lift is considered to be a “mini-facelift” to address double chin, jowl lines, “turkey wattle”, and wrinkling neck skin which may have developed due to age, heredity, stress, gravity, or environmental conditions. Although platysmaplasty won’t be able to stop the aging process, it can bring back the youthful contours of the face. 


If you’re looking for a minimally-invasive procedure, Kybella is the first FDA approved injectable to treat chin and neck fat. The Kybella formula is administered directly into fatty tissue below the chin in 30 – 50 injections, completed in a single day for around 20 minutes. 

The active ingredient in Kybella is called deoxycholic acid, which is a synthetic copy of a stomach acid found in human bile. Deoxycholic acid permanently destroys and digests fat cells by dissolving their membrane lining. Once the contents of the fat cells are released, they are absorbed and disposed of through the body’s natural metabolic process. The surrounding tissues and cells remain unaffected. 

On the other hand, neck lifts are surgical procedures that must be performed by experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons only. Your surgeon will strategically place small incisions below the chin or behind the ears to keep the scars hidden. Through surgical excision or liposuction, the excess fat will be reduced while sagging muscles are separated from the skin and tightened with sutures. Afterwards, the skin is smoothly pulled taut over the neck and any excess is trimmed away, before the incisions are closed. 


At $1030 – $1800 per session, Kybella is the less expensive choice. The price may vary due to the number of sessions needed, your healthcare provider’s fees, and your geographic location. Neck lifts are more expensive, with the national average at $5110 in 2019. This number excludes fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, and other costs. As both treatments are considered elective, cosmetic surgery, they are not covered by medical insurance. 

Ideal Candidates

A good candidate for Kybella is an individual who has mild to moderate neck fat and no problems in the surrounding facial areas. Kybella would work better for younger patients whose skin is still exhibiting tightness. Kybella will also satisfy patients who are suffering from excess fat tissue accumulating in the neck and chin areas but are hesitant to undergo surgery. 

You would be a suitable neck lift candidate if you’re bothered by severe chin fat and loose, hanging skin in the neck area, as these flaws can only be corrected through surgery and skin tightening. Neck lifts can also be combined with other surgical procedures like rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, brow lift, or eyelid surgery. You may even combine a neck lift with Kybella or liposuction treatments for an incredibly effective rejuvenation. 

Risks and Side Effects 

Although risks and side effects can be reduced if patients follow their cosmetic provider’s advice before and after surgery, there is still a chance they could occur. With Kybella, expect to see the following side effects linger for a few weeks after treatment: 

  • Soreness
  • Bullfrog-like swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Itching

In some cases, Kybella patients may even experience infections. On the other hand, an individual who prefers to undergo a neck lift would be told of specific risks during consultation with their providers. Even though significant complications are uncommon, a neck lift may cause:

  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infection or bleeding
  • Hematoma or fluid accumulation
  • Negative reaction to anesthesia
  • Numbness or tightness 
  • Damage to underlying tissues and structures 


Both Kybella and neck lift results are long-lasting, but your provider may require you to drop by for evaluations or maintenance. With Kybella, you can avoid pain, prolonged downtime, and the risk of surgical complications as it can be performed in 15 – 20 minutes for 2 – 6 individual sessions. The only downside is you won’t see maximum results until 6 months after treatment. 

For neck lifts, you can have comprehensive aesthetic results immediately after a 2 or 3-hour long surgery. Recovery will take several weeks and you can expect to feel discomfort during this time.

Pros Cons 
KybellaCheaper and quickerMinimally invasiveRequires less downtime Severe swelling and bruisingResults appear graduallyDoes not fix sagging skin 
Neck Lift Offers complete aesthetic results Can be done alongside other treatments Invasive and time-consumingMore expensiveIncreased risks and complications 

Say Goodbye To Turkey Neck With Ethos Spa 

As the leading medical spa in New Jersey, Ethos Spa is dedicated to providing safe, customized aesthetic procedures for all our patients. Using the latest in technologies and techniques, our expert staff can help you achieve your desired look. Book a consultation with us today for more information. 

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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