Chin Wars: Inject, Melt, or Both?

If you’re confused by the surplus of treatment options when it comes to targeting your jawline — you’re not alone.

On the one hand: it’s great that there’s a growing variety of fat-busting solutions for those who don’t want to go under the knife, but on the other hand — the pace of jawline-treatment options puts iPhone updates to shame!

To help clear up any confusion, About Face owner Naomi Fenlin and master-injector Sarah Sidiqi set the record straight on the best options for double-chin treatments; TruSculpt — a radio-frequency treatment that melts fat and tightens skin, or Kybella — an injectable product that dissolves the targeted fat and also tightens skin.

Q: Why are there so many options to decrease double-chin fat being made available, now?

NF: This is definitely an area where there has been an unmet need in terms of what we can offer patients. So many people are concerned about this area, and most don’t want the downtime, risk or expense associated with surgery. Lasers and injection options make the process much easier for people; they get great results, and the treatments are much more conducive for a normal schedule.

SS: The jawline is such a popular area of concern; the aesthetic companies have all been hard at work to create a solution to the problem. There are tons of “jawline-tightening” treatments available, but Kybella and TruSculpt are two new options that are safe, and work.

trusculpt jawline philadelphia
TruSculpt jawline contouring

Q: What are the differences you’ve seen when using Kybella versus the TruSculpt?

SS: The nice thing about the TruSculpt procedure is that there are no needles, so bruising is much less likely. There is no downtime, I get this procedure done — and go about my day, no one else is the wiser that I just had a treatment.

With Kybella, bruising is a little more common, and the swelling is a little more prominent. However, in my experience over the few months since I’ve had Kybella is it is one of the few things that works as well as the company touts it to work. I have been really impressed with the results with Kybella. The clinical trials for Kybella were very rigorous because it was FDA-approved for a medication, whereas the TruSculpt is FDA cleared as a device, so it doesn’t have to meet the same rigorous clinical trial standards that Kybella had to.

Q: How do you guide a patient toward choosing one of these options versus the other?

NF: In a busy aesthetic practice, we have a need for both options. The patient that is coming in who is concerned about downtime and may be willing to have little less efficacy, I might end up going with the TruSculpt for them. The patient that wants something that has the strongest amount of evidence behind it, but they are not looking for anything surgical and they are willing to tolerate more downtime and swelling, those would be the people that tend to go for Kybella.

SS: I foresee mixing and matching both techniques, too. Maybe to start I would treat with TruSculpt and then, when they have more time for a little bit of downtime, I could go in with Kybella and get them results that way. There might also be patients that we could start off with with Kybella and, as their fat gets localized, we could pick that last little bit off with TruSculpt. There is a role for a combination of treatments. In reality, I love the flexibility these treatments provide to customize treatment plans for each patient.

Kybella Philadelphia results

Q: How much do the procedures themselves vary?

SS: The Kybella procedure just takes a few minutes of marking the area and, then, the actual injections only take a few minutes. You are in and out in 15 minutes. There can be downtime with Kybella; bruising, redness, swelling.

NF: TruSculpt treatments take a little bit longer, you are probably here for about an hour, but there is generally no downtime. The treated area might feel warm for a few hours, but that’s it.

Q: Is one option better than the other for long-term results?

SS: The nice thing about Kybella is that we have a tremendous wealth of clinical data. The trials were larger and were going on for almost 10-years in duration. The studies have a history to speak to its permanent results.

NF: The mechanism by which TruSculpt works is similar to other laser treatments. We know that fat can be killed by controlled heating, and the results are generally long lasting. I do feel comfortable and confident telling my patients that this should be a lasting result.

Q: Is there a price difference?

SS: Overall, costs are likely similar. Both treatments will require multiple sessions to get maximum results. For Kybella, most patients are going to need at least two treatments. With TruSculpt, I would say if [their problem is] extremely mild, they might be lucky and get away with one treatment, but they often might need a second treatment and, if they have a pretty extensive double chin, they may benefit from three or four sessions.

Q: Previously, you said your patients who received Kybella treatments were quite satisfied with the results. Are patients who chose the TruSculpt satisfied as well?

NF: Our patient satisfaction is very high with TruSculpt. At the time of consultation, we try to set realistic expectations. This is not a way to lose weight. This is not a way to become healthier. This is not going to give you a surgical result without surgery. It is really a way to provide modest improvement for stubborn pockets of fat. My ideal candidates for TruSculpt are patients close to their ideal body-weights that have stubborn pockets of fat. No matter how much they are in the gym, they just can’t take care of those stubborn areas.

Q: Given how quickly it seems new procedures are becoming available, is it better for people with concerns about their double chins to wait to evaluate what’s coming down the pike or take the plunge now with Kybella or TruSculpt?

SS: There are ALWAYS going to be new options coming down the line, some of them are going to be other injectables [like Kybella] and some of them are going to be laser-oriented. Even though Kybella is relatively new to the US public, this is something that we have a lot of experience with, and we know works really well. I think it is going to be hard to beat the results that one can get with Kybella with some of the other things that might be in development.

NF: If chin-fat is something that bothers you, you should feel comfortable getting a consultation and discussing the current treatment options. I do not think there is going to be anything radically better than these options in the next few years.