Stubborn Chin Area Kybella vs. Ultherapy

kybella treatment houston tx

Stubborn Chin Area Kybella vs. Ultherapy

Stubborn fatty deposits under the chin fat are all but inevitable once the body reaches a certain age, causing the dreaded “double chin effect.” For many people, a double chin can be just as embarrassing as deep wrinkles. Fortunately, two non-invasive procedures – Kybella and Ultherapy – are specifically designed to target this problem area with no surgery and no downtime required.

Dr. Norman Rappaport of the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery is happy to offer both procedures to his patients. Kybella and Ultherapy offer two different approaches for eliminating that double chin. Understanding what’s involved with each procedure can help you determine which one will work best for you.

The Submental Fat Dilemma

Submental fat refers explicitly to excess fatty tissue located underneath the chin. More often than not, submental fat starts to develop as the body ages, especially if double chins run in your family. The effects of a slower metabolism allow excess fat to gather beneath the chin, while aging also causes the skin to loosen and sag, further exacerbating the appearance of a double chin.

Weight gain and loss can also be a contributing factor, especially when substantial. Unlike weight fluctuations in other areas of the body, diet and exercise often do nothing to reduce submental fat. Once you’ve lost weight, drooping excess skin can also contribute to the appearance of a double chin. Kybella and Ultherapy treatments both effectively target this trouble spot, but each uses a different method to resculpt the underside of the chin.

Kybella and Ultherapy – What Are They and How Do They Work?


As the first FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment for eliminating submental fat, Kybella offers a completely new way to eliminate your double chin. The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid, a material the body produces naturally. The body uses deoxycholic acid to metabolize excess fat cells so they can be reabsorbed and excreted. Kybella delivers a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid directly into the submental area via a series of small injections, leaving you with a slimmer, more youthful looking profile – minus a double chin. Since no incisions are made, there’s no downtime or recovery involved, and the results are lasting.


While Kybella may be the first FDA-approved treatment for destroying submental fat, Ultherapy is the only FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment for lifting and tightening the skin under your chin. Since sagging or loose skin on the underside of the chin only works to enhance the double chin effect, Ultherapy “picks up” where Kybella leaves off. Like Kybella, Ultherapy uses a non-invasive technique that works with the body’s natural processes, so there’s no downtime involved.

Ultherapy utilizes ultrasound energy to stimulate the collagen production processes beneath the skin’s surface. Collagen is what gives the skin its supple fullness, but as we age, production of this vital protein slows and existing collagen weakens, causing sagging and loose skin. Ultherapy boosts production of healthy new collagen, resulting in smoother, tighter skin.

Kybella vs. Ultherapy – Pros & Cons

While Kybella and Ultherapy both work to lessen the appearance of a double chin, they target different aspects of the problem. Kybella specifically works on fatty tissue, while Ultherapy lifts sagging skin. This difference can go a long way towards helping you choose between the two options.

Other pros and cons to these techniques include:


  • Both procedures are noninvasive, so no incisions are made
  • Kybella and Ultherapy both rely on the body’s natural chemical processes
  • Both procedures take under an hour to complete
  • Ultherapy can be used to tighten up the skin along the eyebrows, neck and chest as well as underneath the chin


  • With both Kybella and Ultherapy, a majority of patients often require multiple more than one treatment sessions to achieve optimal results
  • Kybella has only been approved to treat the submental area
  • Ultherapy doesn’t eliminate fat, it only tightens skin
  • Because they rely on the body’s natural processes, your final results aren’t typically seen until a few months after your final treatment

Kybella vs. Ultherapy – Benefits & Results

Since these two procedures address that double chin from different angles, the benefits of Kybella and Ultherapy show up in different ways. One treatment may work better for you than the other, or you may want to combine them. It all depends on your specific issue and desired results.

If excess fat is the primary issue, then Kybella will deliver the best results. If excess skin is the culprit, then Ultherapy may be the way to go. Keep in mind that even in cases where Kybella does eliminate existing submental fat, the skin in the area may loosen and sag as a result. If loose or sagging skin remains, then you may want to follow up with an Ultherapy treatment.

Kybella Results

Since Kybella destroys fat cells, the results are considered permanent, as long as you maintain a healthy, stable weight. With fewer fat cells, there are fewer cells to take on excess fat, which means that in the event of future weight gain, gains may be less than before in the chin area as there are fewer available fat cells. Ultimately, the end result leaves you with a trimmer jawline that shows off a natural, more youthful profile within one to two months time.

Ultherapy Results

As far as skin tightening goes, Ultherapy’s ability to reactivate the collagen production process actually slows the aging process. When collagen levels are restored, the skin returns to its natural fullness and firmness. In effect, your natural aging process will determine how long Ultherapy’s effects last. What you can expect to see is a sleeker, tighter jawline that restores the natural curves of your profile within two to three months time.

Side Effects – How Do Kybella and Ultherapy Compare?

Both Kybella and Ultherapy are non-invasive procedures, so side effects – if any – are on the mild side. Once again, the difference in the treatment approach between these two procedures will produce different side effects. The good news is that neither method requires recovery time, so there’s no disruption of your normal routine.

Kybella side effects may take the form of mild bruising swelling, pain or redness, as well as the possibility of hardness at the injection sites. These symptoms can be managed with ice and over-the-counter pain medication if necessary, and typically subside within 48 hours.

Ultherapy ultrasound waves produce heat, so expect some mild swelling and tenderness that will last for a couple of hours after the procedure. Mild bruising may also result and last for a few days, depending on how quickly your body adjusts.

Which One is Right for You?

The best way to make the right choice between Kybella and Ultherapy is to discuss your concerns with a doctor who is experienced in using both procedures. Dr. Rappaport has over 30 years of experience in his field, and makes it a point to develop personalized plans for each patient based on their unique concerns and aesthetic goals. Call the Houston Center for Plastic Surgery today at 713-766-5272 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rappaport to see which procedure will work best for you.

Houston Center For Plastic Surgery

6560 Fannin Street, #1812
Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: (713) 790-4500
Fax: (713) 793-1299