Surgical and Nonsurgical Methods for Tackling a Double Chin

Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery

The notorious double chin is a problem that can affect anyone, regardless of their age or body type. It is created by extra fat deposits that accumulate under your jawbone and around your neck. These deposits are often difficult to get rid of. Even if you practice healthy habits, like good diet and exercise, the extra fat can still linger. In fact, double chins can even be hereditary. For people who want help getting rid of their double chin, there is a surgical option (the neck lift) and a nonsurgical option (Kybella), both of which offer excellent results.

Neck Lift Surgery

As you age and fat deposits accumulate, the skin loses elasticity and begins to sag. Around your neck and jaw, this contributes to the appearance of the double chin. The extra fat deposits further exacerbate the problem by causing your skin to hang lower and make you look heavier.

A neck lift is a surgical method of improving the look of your neck and the general contouring around the jawbone. This is generally accomplished by removing excess fat deposits from under the chin and by trimming and tightening the skin around the neck and jaw. Small incisions are made along the hairline and behind the ear or under the chin. The surgeon can then remove or reposition pockets of fat and repair the muscles in your neck if necessary. To tighten the skin, the surgeon can gently lift and suture the skin back along the incisions, trimming any extra tissue. It’s important that the skin is tightened in the right way; too much tightening will look unnatural, while too little tightening won’t give you as much improvement.


There is a chemical that your body naturally produces called deoxycholic acid, which helps your body break down and absorb fat. When your body requires more energy, the acid is used to target fat cells as an energy supply. This is what helps you lose weight and become more toned through exercise.  As your weight and fitness level stabilize, your body doesn’t require as much of this acid, so any extra fat deposits are more difficult to eliminate.

Kybella is an injectable that contains deoxycholic acid and is fairly new to the world of plastic surgery. It has been proven to be quite effective at removing fat deposits under the chin and around the jawbone when it’s injected into this area. The extra increase in deoxycholic acid provided by Kybella helps make up for what the body can’t produce on its own, causing the fat to be broken down and absorbed by the body. Over time, the fat will leave your body on its own, leaving you with a slimmer-looking chin and neck.

Is One Better Than the Other?

Both the neck lift and Kybella injections are proven reliable methods of improving the appearance of your chin and neck, so both are great options for you if you are looking to get rid of your double chin. As long as you choose a qualified and experienced surgeon, you can get highly satisfying results from either method. Plus, the results from both methods will last you for a very long time as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to choosing which one is a better option, you can make your decision based on a few different factors:

  • Cost – Since Kybella is a nonsurgical procedure, it is less expensive than a neck lift. The only caveat here is that you may require more than one round of injections to get the results you want, so you’ll want to weigh the cost of multiple Kybella injections vs. one neck lift surgery.
  • Time – Because a neck lift is a surgical procedure, it requires more downtime than Kybella. You’ll also be dealing with possible bruising and swelling after a neck lift. Kybella is a set of small injections that can be completed in about 30 minutes and patients can leave soon afterward. Kybella patients may experience a little swelling and minor discomfort after the procedure, but definitely not to the extent of neck lift patients.
  • Condition – If your double chin is caused by excess fat and excess skin, a neck lift is probably a better option for you. Kybella can’t tighten up your skin or smooth it out. If you have a large amount of fatty deposits under your chin, a neck lift will likely be more effective at removing more fat in one sitting. You might even benefit from facial liposuction in that circumstance. Kybella can remove your excess fat, but there are limits to how much can be treated in one session.

Generally speaking, your surgeon should be the one to help you determine whether a neck lift or Kybella injections will be of the greatest benefit to you and get you the results you want. They can assess your neck and chin from all angles to see where your problem areas are and how to treat them.

If you are concerned about your double chin and want to learn more about how to improve the look of your neck, contact Dr. Todd Hobgood at (480) 214-9955 to set up a patient consultation. Dr. Hobgood is one of the foremost facial plastic surgeons in Scottsdale, AZ, and offers many different surgical and nonsurgical procedures for the face, head, and neck.

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