Chin Liposuction vs Coolsculpting

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A woman posing with a clean face after chin liposuction.

Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Chin Contouring: A Comprehensive Comparison

Struggling with a double chin and unsure about the best approach to lose it? Chin liposuction and CoolSculpting are your two effective options.

This guide outlines what you need to know about each treatment—covering how they work, what to expect, recovery, risks, and their long-lasting effects. Get expert advice from Dr. Darren M. Smith to make an informed choice.

What Are Chin Liposuction and CoolSculpting?

Chin Liposuction

Chin liposuction, also known as chin lipo or submental liposuction, is a procedure that removes fat from the area under the chin and neck to create a slimmer profile. It is performed using a small cannula inserted through tiny incisions under the chin to loosen and suction out excess fat deposits.


CoolSculpting is a non-invasive fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat in specific areas, including under the chin.

It works by freezing fat cells, causing them to crystallize and die off over time as they are naturally filtered out of the body. No surgery or downtime is required.

How Do Chin Liposuction and CoolSculpting Work?

Chin Liposuction

During chin lipo, the plastic surgeon will mark the treatment area under the chin and make a few small incisions, usually under the jawline or inside the mouth.

A cannula attached to a vacuum device is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat deposits, which are then suctioned out. The procedure typically takes 1-2 hours.


With CoolSculpting, a gel pad and applicator are placed under the chin to draw tissue between two cooling panels.

The panels cool the fat in the treatment area to between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius for about 35 minutes while leaving the skin unaffected.

This crystallizes and damages fat cells, prompting the body’s natural waste removal processes to discard the dead cells over a period of 2-4 months post-treatment.

Ideal Candidates for Chin Lipo and  CoolSculpting

A woman undergoes consultation with her provider for chin liposuction procedure.

The best candidates for chin liposuction are generally people with good skin elasticity and localized fat deposits under the chin that do not respond to diet and exercise. It works well for those with a double chin and noticeable fullness but little excess skin in the neck area.

CoolSculpting may be preferable for candidates who want to avoid surgery. It is ideal for mild to moderate fat under the chin and can treat small problem spots. Candidates with poor skin elasticity are better suited for lipo.

During consultations, Dr. Smith assesses factors like skin laxity, area and distribution of fat, and the patient’s goals before recommending the optimal procedure. He determines if lipo, CoolSculpting, or a combination will provide the desired outcome.

What Are the Expected Results of Chin Lipo and  CoolSculpting?

Chin Liposuction

Chin lipo delivers dramatic, sculpted results by directly removing fat deposits from the treatment area. Patients can see a properly contoured, slimmer chin and defined jawline immediately following the procedure.

Final results are noticeable after about 6 weeks as swelling subsides fully. The results are permanent if the patient maintains a stable weight.


CoolSculpting leads to a gradual, natural-looking reduction in fat volume. Patients can expect to see a 20-25% reduction in chin fullness 2-4 months after treatment as the body eliminates frozen fat cells.

Additional sessions may be needed to reach the desired results. The effects are long-lasting if patients maintain their weight, but the fat removal is not permanent. Some fat cells may regrow and expand in the treated area over time.

What Is the Recovery Process Like for Each Procedure?

Recovery from cosmetic procedures varies based on the method used. Below is a detailed side-by-side timeline that outlines what patients can typically expect during the healing process after undergoing chin liposuction or CoolSculpting.

Chin Liposuction Recovery Timeline

  • Day 1-7:
    • Swelling and Bruising: Most intense during the first week.
    • Discomfort: Managed with prescribed medication.
    • Activity: Limited; rest with head elevation and apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Week 2:
    • Swelling: Begins to subside significantly.
    • Return to Work: Possible around day 5-7 for most individuals.
    • Physical Activity: Light activities can be resumed; avoid strenuous exercise.
  • Post 2 Weeks:
    • Normalcy: Majority of swelling has subsided, and normal activities can be resumed.
    • Final Results: Begin to become apparent as the treated area heals.

Dr. Smith emphasizes the importance of following post-operative care instructions closely to ensure the best possible outcome and to aid in the reduction of any potential complications.

CoolSculpting Recovery Timeline

  • Immediately Post-Procedure:
    • Downtime: None required; patients can return to normal activities immediately.
    • Sensations: Mild redness, numbness, or tingling may occur but typically resolve swiftly.
  • Day 1-7:
    • Side Effects: Any tenderness or mild bruising can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
    • Massage: Gently massaging the area can aid in alleviating discomfort.
    • Cold Packs: Applying these can help with tenderness and redness.
  • Week 2 and Onward:
    • Observing Results: The body naturally processes and eliminates the treated fat cells.
    • Full Results: Typically observed 1 to 3 months post-treatment.

Dr. Smith advises maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle post-procedure to preserve the contoured chin profile. He also recommends staying well-hydrated and ensuring adequate rest to support the body’s natural healing processes.

What Are the Potential Risks Associated with Chin Liposuction and CoolSculpting?

A woman is touching her chin and throat with her hands, possibly considering options like chin liposuction or Coolsculpting risks.

Although both chin liposuction and CoolSculpting are generally considered safe, understanding the potential risks is essential for informed decision-making. 

Chin Liposuction Risks

  • Nerve Damage: There is a small risk of temporary or permanent numbness or muscle weakness.
  • Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there’s a chance of infection, which can be mitigated with proper care.
  • Anesthesia Reactions: Adverse reactions to anesthesia, though rare, can occur.
  • Skin Irregularities: Excessive skin removal may lead to asymmetry or irregular contours.
  • Temporary Side Effects: Bruising, swelling, and scarring are common but typically resolve over time.

CoolSculpting Risks

  • Sensory Changes: Temporary numbness or tingling is common immediately after treatment.
  • Skin Reactions: Redness and swelling are typical but usually short-lived.
  • Soreness and Bruising: These are common at the treatment site but tend to dissipate relatively quickly.
  • Rare Complications: Late-onset pain, changes in skin color, and paradoxical adipose hyperplasia are uncommon but serious risks.

Dr. Smith emphasizes that maintaining realistic expectations and closely following pre- and post-treatment instructions can significantly reduce the likelihood of complications and enhance overall satisfaction with the outcomes of either procedure.

CoolSculpting Risks: The Rare Occurrence of Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)

While it is widely considered safe, there are potential dangers that patients should be aware of, including a rare condition known as Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia.

Understanding PAH

  • Definition: PAH is a very rare but serious side effect where the treated area becomes larger rather than smaller over time.
  • Occurrence: PAH occurs when the fat cells in the treated area respond to the cold by enlarging instead of dying off.
  • Appearance: The affected area can appear as a painless, firm, and well-defined mass beneath the skin.
  • Treatment: PAH does not resolve on its own and typically requires corrective surgery.

Recognizing the Risks

  • Incidence Rate: PAH is a rare phenomenon, occurring in less than 1% of CoolSculpting cases.
  • Detection: PAH typically becomes apparent 2 to 5 months after treatment.
  • Risk Factors: While the exact cause is unknown, some studies suggest a higher incidence in males and those with certain genetic backgrounds.

Dr. Darren M. Smith advises patients to thoroughly discuss the potential risks of CoolSculpting, including PAH, with their provider.

He recommends choosing a reputable practitioner who can offer a comprehensive assessment and address any concerns regarding the procedure.

Precautionary Measures

  • Informed Consent: Patients should be provided with all the information regarding the risks of PAH.
  • Provider Expertise: Treatment should be performed by a skilled provider with experience in recognizing and managing complications.
  • Post-Treatment Monitoring: Patients should have a clear understanding of what to monitor post-treatment and when to seek medical advice.

While the risk of PAH with CoolSculpting is low, it is a serious condition that warrants consideration. By being informed and vigilant, patients can make safer choices regarding their fat reduction treatments.

For a detailed understanding of how Dr. Darren M. Smith approaches the treatment of PAH following CoolSculpting, click here.

Can Chin Lipo and CoolSculpting Be Combined?

A woman's chin before and after chin liposuction.

In some instances, Dr. Smith may recommend combining chin lipo with CoolSculpting under the chin for optimal results, especially if there are multiple fat pockets or fat distribution issues.

The two procedures complement each other well. Liposuction first removes a significant volume of fat rapidly, then CoolSculpting can further refine and reduce any remaining small trouble spots.

For patients who want dramatic tightening and fat removal, chin lipo alone may be adequate. But the non-invasive CoolSculpting can supplement and help maintain results following lipo recovery.

This combined approach provides patients both rapid major enhancement along with ongoing fat reduction over time for the best outcome.

FAQs About Chin Liposuction & CoolSculpting

Is CoolSculpting a safe option for reducing a double chin?

Yes, CoolSculpting is considered a safe and effective method for non-surgically reducing fat under the chin. It targets and freezes fat cells, which are then naturally eliminated from the body, with studies showing an average reduction of 20-25% in chin fat.

Does CoolSculpting effectively treat double chin?

CoolSculpting has been proven to work on double chins by freezing fat cells under the skin, resulting in a noticeable reduction of fat. The full effects usually become visible 1-2 months after treatment, with the most significant changes occurring 2-4 weeks following each session.

Which yields better results for chin fat reduction, CoolSculpting or liposuction?

The choice between CoolSculpting and liposuction depends on the amount of fat to be removed and the desired outcome. Liposuction may offer more dramatic results for severe chin fat as it surgically removes larger volumes of fat. CoolSculpting, being non-invasive, is preferable for mild to moderate fat and requires no recovery time.

How do the costs of CoolSculpting and liposuction for the chin compare?

CoolSculpting generally costs between $500-800 per session for the chin area, with 1-2 sessions often needed. On the other hand, chin liposuction can range from $2,000-$5,000, not including anesthesia and facility fees. While liposuction may offer more significant fat reduction, CoolSculpting is less invasive and has a lower initial cost.

How long does it take to see results from CoolSculpting on the chin?

Final results from CoolSculpting typically appear 1-2 months after the treatment as the body gradually disposes of the destroyed fat cells. However, some changes may be noticeable as early as 2-4 weeks post-treatment.

Will I need multiple CoolSculpting sessions for my double chin?

For the chin and neck area, 1-2 CoolSculpting treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart are usually recommended. The number of sessions may vary based on the individual’s specific fat reduction needs.

Are the results from CoolSculpting and liposuction for the chin permanent?

Both CoolSculpting and liposuction offer long-lasting results for chin fat reduction if the patient maintains a stable weight post-procedure. However, significant weight fluctuations may necessitate touch-up treatments.

Can weight gain affect the results of CoolSculpting and liposuction?

Yes, weight gain can lead to the accumulation of fat even in treated areas. Maintaining a steady weight is crucial to preserve the results from both CoolSculpting and liposuction.

Take the first step towards a sleeker profile with Dr. Darren M. Smith’s expert chin liposuction services. Contact us today!