Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment for submental fullness, better known as “Double Chin.” Studies have shown that many more people express dissatisfaction with the fat in this area than other areas of their face.
Double chin or submental fat is often diet and exercise resistant despite our best efforts. Many people even at a healthy weight and normal body mass index can have this stubborn condition, and may benefit from Kybella to recontour that aspect of their profile.
Previously, liposuction was the only option for removing the fat from this area. Kybella, unlike liposuction, is a non-surgical treatment that will dissolve fatty tissue under the chin with long-lasting results, proven up to 2 years so far. Dr. Burke is trained in injecting Kybella, and has been one of the few doctors in Maine certified to administer this Kybella treatment since 2015.
The Kybella Procedure
Kybella is injected through a series of targeted pinpoints under your chin. During the preparation process, Dr. Burke will explain to you which areas of your face can be safely and effectively treated with Kybella based on your anatomy and your ultimate aesthetic goals.
Prior to injection, you will be administered Tylenol and Ibuprofen unless contraindicated for pain control. After marking out the area to be treated, a cold pack will be applied and the area cleaned with antiseptic.
The injection process does involve minimal discomfort as with any injection, and this generally takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. After the injections, the area treated will feel a burning sensation as the Kybella solution begins working to chemically melt the fat in the area injected. Cold packs after the treatment also help to decrease this sensation.
Tenderness, swelling, mild numbness and bruising are possible side effects in the several days after the injections, but usually resolve within a few days. Most people feel comfortable going back to work within a day or two, although they might wear turtlenecks or scarves during this period for obvious reasons.
Kybella’s Long Term Results
Depending on the amount of fat in the area at baseline and the extent of the desired improvement, 2-4 treatments may be needed at least a month apart. This treatment will remove the fat, but does not necessarily tighten the skin in this area. Other skin tightening procedures may be needed if your skin inelasticity is significant.
Over 20 clinical studies have been done with this medication, treating over 1600 patients. Throughout these studies, 79% of patients treated with Kybella reported satisfaction with the improvement of their double chin appearance.
While this treatment does have many advantages to surgical options, Kybella is not for everybody. During the initial consultation, Dr. Burke will examine you, your medical history, and your photographs to determine if this procedure is the right one for you.
If you are wondering if Kybella can help you achieve your cosmetic goals in this troublesome area, call us at (207) 873-2158 soon for a free consultation.
What is Kybella and how does it work?
Kybella is synthetically identical to a chemical that your own body produces called deoxycholic acid. This chemical is produced within the liver, stored in the gallbladder and released into the gastrointestinal tract to help breakdown ingested fat in your food. It is also commonly referred to as “bile acid”.
After carefully marking out by anatomy where the fat is located and where the injection can be safely made to avoid other vital areas in the neck (e.g. blood vessels, nerves, thyroid gland), a series of small injections are made into the fat beneath your chin. Once injected, the chemical works immediately to destroy the targeted fat cells.
After the fat in this area is dissolved, your body will reabsorb the fatty acids released and eliminate them from the body through normal waste removal methods. Another important point is that once these fat cells are destroyed, they should not be able to store or accumulate fat in that area again.
How many treatments will I need?
The answer to this question depends on the amount of fat involved in the area. The optimal results from each treatment will be seen about 3 weeks after the injections each time.
In the FDA trials, it was determined that between 3 and 6 treatments may be needed depending on the magnitude of the double chin problem. However, the treatments need to be spaced at least one month apart in order to allow your body to reabsorb as much fat as possible from each injection cycle.
What are possible side effects?
Minor pain, which we here at Maine Laser Skin Care try to decrease significantly with use of topical numbing cream and cold packs, is the most common side effect. You will feel the pin prick of each injection, and most patients average about 20 small injections.
Almost immediately after each injection, you will feel a burning sensation that may last for several hours. This burning feeling is from the injection actually starting to melt or digest the fat in the injection zone. Cold packs reduce this feeling significantly, and you will be given a cold pack to take home with you.
You will also have some swelling and redness around the area of injection for several days as the injected chemical does its work. Most patients find that they can decrease this swelling with continued intermittent cold pack use.
Several patients cover this area up with a turtleneck or scarf around the neck for several days, and are easily able to return to work following the procedure. Others have reported mild bruising and numbness in the area, but those symptoms usually resolve themselves within several days.
Who is a potential candidate for this procedure?
Anyone who does not have contraindications and who wants to eliminate their fatty neck and double chin, but does not want to undergo the alternative of surgical liposuction.
Who should not have this procedure?
- Women who are pregnant or breast feeding, as there are no studies about safety in this demographic.
- Those with high risk for bleeding complications from multiple injections, such as hemophiliacs and those on prescription blood thinners.
- Anyone who has previously had either extensive surgery or radiation in the neck area.