Recharge Medical Blog

Recharge Medical
Philippe T. Nguyen

Philippe T. Nguyen, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Reshape Your Body by Reducing Fat Without Surgery

Common areas of stubborn fat

Are you bothered by areas of stubborn fat that just won't seem to go away? Some people can exercise regularly and eat and drink healthily but still not seem to lose certain areas of fat.

Common complaints include:

You call it

Doctors call it

double chin

submental fat

man boobs

pseudogynecomastia (see gynecomastia)

back boobs

upper back fat

spare tire, muffin top, jelly roll

front and back fat

saddle bags

thigh fat

flabby arms

flabby arms

This can be frustrating, to say the least. You might have heard about liposuction, which is surgery that removes fat from the body. But there are newer methods that remove persistent fat without the need to go under the knife. In doctors’ terms, the following are part of a category of techniques called non-surgical body contouring.

Reducing double chin

The two most popular products to help reduce or remove a double chin are fat freezing and Kybella.

Fat freezing

Cryolipolysis, aka “fat freezing,” is a treatment that is popularly known by the brand names CoolSculpting, Lipoglaze, Clatuu, isoLipo, and 3d lipo. This process mechanically damages fat cells by freezing them at very carefully controlled temperatures. Later the damaged fat cells leave the body via urine or feces.

During treatment, a device is held in place under your chin by a strong suction, and the area is frozen for 45 minutes. Afterwards, your practitioner massages the area for about five minutes. This process can be very painful. Most people subsequently experience numbness, swelling, bruising, and moderate to severe pain. The swelling and numbness can persist for one or two months. Cryolipolysis costs about $500 to $700 per treatment, and we typically see about 20% reduction after each treatment.*


Deoxycholic acid is popularly known by the brand name Kybella. It is a natural substance in your gallbladder that is responsible for digesting a fatty meal. Injected, it digests fat cells. The breakdown of fat cells causes swelling followed by some mild pain. Swelling peaks in three days and decreases over one to three weeks. Results vary from 20% to 70% reduction. Cost is dependent on the number of vials used. It can run from $600 to $1,800 per treatment. Most people need two to four treatments with each treatment at least one month apart.*

Fat freezing or Kybella?

Kybella is often preferred over fat freezing due to the quick nature of the procedure and less postprocedural pain. Fat freezing is the method of choice for the small percentage of patients who have been found to be allergic to Kybella.

Reducing other areas of stubborn fat

For other parts of the body, there are three leading treatments.

Fat freezing

Cryolipolysis can also be used in areas other than below the chin. Cost and time can be an issue, however, especially with larger treatment areas. For example, treating the abdomen with cryolipolysis requires two treatments based on the size of the largest applicator available for cryolipolysis. Therefore, if you are paying $600 per treatment, you would need two; it would take $1,200 and 90 minutes for the abdomen.*


SculpSure uses light energy to kill the fat cells. The fat cells die, and you do not get the swelling and bruising found with cryolipolysis. SculpSure procedures can have some moderate pain; a cooling applicator accompanies the laser. It does have similar results of 20% reduction like cryolipolysis but without the post-procedural issues of swelling, bruising, and pain, even though some patients have been reported soreness afterwards. SculpSure can come with a hefty price tag for a shorter treatment time of 25 minutes and no downtime. Costs are around $1,800 to $2,000 per treatment for an area 8 inches by 12 inches.*


Vanquish uses radio frequency energy to heat fat cells until they die. As with SculpSure, there is no downtime, and in rare cases you can expect to feel slight soreness in some treated areas. Unlike the other two treatments, it is painless and the applicator does not touch you. The treatment duration is similar to cryolipolysis. It is the most comfortable procedure out of the three. Most people need four to six treatments to see an improvement and a loss of one to five inches around the abdomen are often seen. With Vanquish, treatments can be done every week, as opposed to every one to two months with the other two treatments. The treatment is also the most cost-effective out of the three as one treatment covers twice the area of SculpSure. An additional benefit of Vanquish is that it is physically therapeutic, for example, healing injured muscles and tendons. Active people find that particularly rewarding.*

Contouring—not weight loss

None of these treatments are intended for people seeking weight loss. They are intended for those seeking to reshape or resculpt the body via fat reduction. People who will benefit most from these procedures are those who already have a steady diet and exercise regimen.

Contact us

Interested in Kybella or Vanquish in the California Bay Area? The licensed medical professional team at Recharge Medical can help you better understand which treatments are best for you. Contact us.

* Your results may vary.

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