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Ultherapy vs. CoolSculpting vs. Thermage vs. Kybella: Which is Your Best Bet?

More and more people are searching for non-surgical treatments to enhance their appearance. These procedures are safer, faster, and more convenient compared to regular plastic surgery. Some of the most well-known treatments include Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, Thermage, and Kybella. 

So which do you choose among these 4 skin tightening technologies? While all of them are minimally invasive, their purposes and methods differ. It helps to know their main procedures, side effects, and cost before choosing which operation to prioritize. 

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Ultherapy is a procedure that uses ultrasound to encourage collagen production in the body. Since collagen production reduces with age, Ultherapy helps the skin look fuller and younger. Those with signs of aging are the usual candidates for a session. Visible signs include:

  • Saggy skin
  • Loose skin
  • Wrinkles
  • Unwanted facial lines

The ultimate goal of the procedure is for the patient to get tighter skin and boost natural collagen production. 

How It Works

Ultherapy works by targeting areas below the skin with ultrasound waves. The physician will sterilize the area first before applying the ultrasound gel. The Ultherapy device is pointed directly at the skin, with a viewer attached to correct the settings. 

Specialists use Ultherapy especially in 3 areas:

  • Skin
  • Muscles
  • Wrinkles

Most procedures last around 1 hour and 30 minutes, although treatments in the chest area may finish as fast as 30 minutes.

Side Effects

After the procedure, patients may feel a warm and prickly sensation. The treated area may also become red and swollen after a few hours. In the days after the session, some patients may also experience swelling, light bruising, and tenderness. These usually resolve after a few days. 


The exact cost of an Ultherapy session depends on various factors, such as:

  • The application site
  • The number of sessions necessary
  • The location of the provider

A single session may cost around $2700 on average. Since the costs vary per person, it helps to contact a service provider directly to get a proper quotation.


CoolSculpting is another non-invasive procedure growing in popularity. This operation requires no sutures or incisions. In addition, patients don’t need anesthesia. It works via cooling the subcutaneous fat layer under the skin, destroying the fat cells. 

How It Works

CoolSculpting harnesses the body’s cellular response to cold temperatures. It releases energy from fat, forcing the cells to die off without affecting the nerves and muscles. After treatment finishes, the body absorbs the fat cells before excreting them as waste.

During the procedure, the doctor will use a handheld device. The provider puts the device directly onto the skin, where the patient will feel suction and a cooling sensation. Depending on the location, the entire process takes around 1 to 3 hours. Patients may also do other light activities during the operation, such as listening to music or watching television.

After the treatment finishes, the doctor will massage the areas to break up the frozen tissues. The movement will also help the body start absorbing the destroyed cells. 

Side Effects

Some patients may feel slight pain or discomfort in the treated areas in the first few hours after the procedure, while other patients may feel tenderness for a couple of days. Doctors advise patients with Raynaud’s disease to seek alternative treatments since the process may cause adverse reactions. 

Likewise, people sensitive to cold temperatures may not find the experience pleasant. If you have an underlying skin condition, consult with your doctor first. There may be other treatment options more suitable for you.

Patients may return to daily activities right after the procedure.


A single session of CoolSculpting may cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. The exact price depends on the location and size of the treatment area. 


Thermage, another non-surgical procedure, uses radio waves to reduce saggy and rough skin. The radio frequencies seep into the area under the skin, extending and tightening it to restore a youthful appearance. 

Doctors may apply Thermage in the following areas:

  • Face
  • Abdomen
  • Thighs

Thermage treatments can accommodate large sections of the body. A single session lasts about 30 to 90 minutes, although the length varies per person. 

How It Works

The doctor will use a handheld device to release the radio waves onto the tissues in the area. Patients may feel a slightly warm sensation with each release. Doctors also apply a cooling substance to the area to help patients feel more comfortable and protected while the operation is ongoing. 

Results will vary per person. Some see results as fast as 2 to 6 months. The effects may last for 1 to 2 years. 

Side Effects

Like other non-surgical procedures, patients receiving Thermage may experience the following side effects:

  • Swelling
  • Tingling sensations
  • Redness
  • Tenderness

The side effects usually subside after 24 hours. If these persist after the first day, talk to your provider to discuss possible treatments. Your doctor may ask about your medical history, skin type, and aesthetic goals to determine if Thermage is for you. 

If you have skin issues, there might be a safer form of noninvasive treatment you can explore.


A single treatment of Thermage costs anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size and location of the area. These sessions are much cheaper than other cosmetic operations for firmer skin.


A woman being injected in the fat below the chin.

Kybella is another minimally invasive skin procedure. This time, a doctor injects a substance into the fat below the chin. The operation uses a chemical called deoxycholic acid to break down the fat cells and encourage collagen growth in the affected area. The physician does not make any cuts on the skin to administer the procedure. 

It’s most effective for people who want to get rid of a double chin. However, some specialists may recommend more sessions to reach deeper skin layers.

How It Works

Before the session, the doctor will ask you questions about your medical history, including any past cosmetic procedures. This information will help them determine if it’s safe to proceed with the operation. 

Since it’s a nonsurgical operation, patients do not have to prepare much for the Kybella session. Before the session, the doctor will mark the chin to determine the exact sites for the treatment session. These marks are essential since injecting in the wrong locations may kill non-fat cells.

The patient will receive a local anesthetic to lessen the pain and discomfort throughout the procedure. When the doctor injects the substance, the acid breaks down the fat cells. The cells will lose the ability to store excess fat. Around 20 to 30 injections are needed to get rid of the fat. 

Repeat sessions may be necessary, depending on the assessment of the physician. Some people have a more prominent double chin and may need more sessions to reach the deeper layers.

Side Effects

Although the procedure is minimally invasive, patients may still experience a few side effects. These include:

  • Pain around the injection sites
  • Inflammation
  • Light bruising

There are rare cases of more drastic side effects, such as:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Trouble smiling, chewing, or swallowing
  • Nerve damage

If you feel any of these, contact your provider as soon as possible. Recovery time for Kybella may last as long as eight weeks, although you can return to work after a couple of days.


Kybella sessions cost around $1,200 to $1,800, depending on the number of injections needed. The location of the center may also affect the pricing. 

Achieve Excellent Results With the NJ Center for CoolSculpting

Coolsculpting at NJ Center for Coolsculpting

Whichever procedure you decide to pursue, the NJ Center for CoolSculpting can help you achieve your desired looks. We can create a comprehensive treatment plan especially for those having concerns with their collagen response and elastin production. Our team is dedicated to providing a variety of skin tightening procedures as well, with each one tailored to our clients. 

To know more about CoolSculpting and our other services, book an appointment with us. Our representatives are ready and willing to entertain any of your questions.

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!


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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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