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  • Writer's pictureKarley Francis

Battle of the Bulge: CoolSculpting vs Kybella - Discover the Ultimate Fat-Fighting Showdown

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

So, you went down an internet-rabbit hole searching how to get rid of that pesky little pocket of fat that has been bothering you for years and now you’re here. Maybe it is genetic, maybe it arrived in your early thirties and stuck around, but whatever it may be, you are ready to get rid of it for good!


First, welcome to the world of aesthetics, it’s an amazing world to stumble across. My personal favorite niche of aesthetics is (can you guess?)...Body Contouring. I am the certified Body Contouring expert at Rêvée Aesthetics in Richmond VA and I am kind of obsessed with the art of all things stubborn fat. From the chin down to the knees, I absolutely love killing those pesky fat cells and reducing them permanently!


Let’s get into the ‘how’ of getting rid of fat cells via CoolSculpting and Kybella. Both treatments are essentially causing cell death (or apoptosis) to a large number of fat cells in the treated area. Our body has clean-up cells that detect these dead fat cells as waste and gets rid of them through urine and sweat over the course of a few months. The cells that have been eliminated can not come back because we have a fixed number of fat cells after puberty.


How do you know which treatment is right for you? Candidacy depends on multiple factors for successful fat-reduction. Your best choice is seeing a trusted, certified provider for a consultation to determine if the area is treatable, and if so, which treatment would be the best option for you. However, searching on the internet is a good start! As a globally top 1 percent CoolSculpting specialist, I would love to help to differentiate the fat-reducing treatments in the meantime for a more accurate understanding.


CoolSculpting is known as the fat-freezing technology that is FDA cleared for nine different body areas. These areas include under the chin and jawline (more commonly known as the double chin), upper arms (sometimes referred to as wings), abdomen (lil’ pooch), outer thighs (saddlebags), inner and distal thighs, flanks (love handles or muffin top), back fat (I have heard a couple patients call them ‘grabby things under my bra’), and lastly the banana rolls (little pocket or roll right under the booty). It is also non-invasive meaning there are no incisions, stitches, anaesthesia, or other surgical methods. The CoolSculpting device has vacuum suctioning applicators (or cooling cups) that are strategically placed over the fat pockets. These applicators can cover a large amount of surface area. The tissue is suctioned into the applicator and the freezing process begins. It feels cold and may cause a slight discomfort in the area for the first few minutes, and then the treated area is numb for the rest of the treatment making it much more tolerable. There is very minimal downtime (usually none) as most patients return right back to their day-to-day activities even working out the same day. Most patients leave the treatment room looking as if nothing has happened!


Kybella is another fat-reduction option that we offer at Rêvée Aesthetics. Kybella is an injectable that can dissolve fat in the treated area. It is FDA-cleared to treat under the chin and jawline (or double chin) areas. It works by injecting a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid which is a bile acid, naturally produced by your body to help absorb fat. Once injected, the acid destroys fat cells beneath the chin area so it can't store fat anymore. The injections are done over several sessions done a month apart with full results a few months after the final session. With Kybella, it is more invasive due to the injection method and requires some downtime. Providers recommend to avoid excessive heat (hot showers, sauna, etc.) and strenuous exercise for 2-4 days post-treatment and low sodium and no alcohol prior to treatment to help reduce the amount of potential bruising and swelling in the area. There may be bruising at the injection sites and swelling that can last up to 2 weeks. There are many injections done to cover the entire area of tissue to fully treat the pocket of fat. During the injections, patients may feel a stinging sensation with soreness afterwards that can last up to 2 weeks. It takes about 3 months to see the full result from Kybella.


Personally, I believe that CoolSculpting is a better treatment option if you are determined to be a candidate for it. Kybella can still be a great option for those who may not have quite enough tissue under the chin for the CoolSculpting applicator. Overall, there is less downtime and restrictions with CoolSculpting and it is FDA-cleared to treat many different areas of the body. You could even freeze your chin and abdomen at the same time with the newest CoolSculpting Elite device!


All in all, it is best to set up a consultation with a trusted provider to determine which treatment is right for you. Book with me at Rêvée Aesthetics for your personal, complimentary consultation!



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