If you’re over 40, it’s likely you have some degree of a double chin. Blame gravity, aging, and a few extra grams of fat here and there. Where once was a defined profile there now is some sagging skin and a more rounded angularity.
People have tried different ways to combat double chins, things like neck stretching exercises and the like, all to no avail. And, surprisingly, short of surgery the aesthetic industry hasn’t had an answer either.
That all changed in April 2015 when the FDA approved a new product called Kybella® for the treatment of double chins. Kybella® is the brand name for an injectable product that dramatically reduces fat and improves the profile of those with a double chin. Dr. D’Amico now provides Kybella® to his patients.
What is Kybella®?
Kybella® is basically deoxycholic acid. Kybella® is administered in a series of multiple injections under the chin, and it breaks down the fat and tightens the profile. The FDA has approved Kybella® for use only in the treatment of double chins.
How does Kybella® fight double chins?
Submental fullness, that’s the clinical term for a double chin. Fat accumulated under the chin is the main reason for double chins, as it pushes down on the skin. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body whose job is to help the body break down and absorb dietary fat. When you eat some potato chips, it’s deoxycholic acid handling the fat.
That’s where Kybella®’s premise is so simple. Kybella® is made, basically, of deoxycholic acid, and to deoxycholic acid fat is fat, whether ingested at dinner or accumulated over the years. So, when Kybella® is injected under the chin, it simply goes about its business and breaks down the fat it encounters. The body then flushes the broken down fat cells from your body. Once they are gone, the body no longer has the storage mechanism for fat in the area. The end result is that the fat is gone for good and your profile is amazingly tighter.
Would Kybella® work for me?
Since most of us have some degree of a double chin, most everyone could use a little Kybella®. There is one exception. For some people, sagging skin is the real reason for their double chin, not fat accumulation. In these cases, a neck lift or facelift will address the loose skin. Kybella® removes the fat.
What is involved in a Kybella® session?
Kybella® can only be administered by a Kybella®-trained specialist such as Dr. D’Amico. During your treatment, he injects Kybella® with a very fine needle into numerous locations under the chin. Patients report they feel little more than a slight pinprick. A treatment session only takes 15-20 minutes.
What happens after treatment?
After your Kybella® injections, the primary side effect is swelling. This is usually noticeable from two days to a couple weeks. There tends to be more swelling in patients with larger volumes of fat. There is also some tenderness at the injection sites, but that is usually mild. As time passes, your profile continues to tighten as Kybella® kills the fat cells and your body removes them.
How many Kybella® treatments will I need?
The FDA has set the maximum number of Kybella® treatments at six, but every patient is different. We’ve found that, on average, most patients are satisfied after three treatments. Other patients opt to have all six. It depends on your goals for your profile. Although the makers of Kybella® say that treatments can be spaced four weeks apart, we are finding that five to six weeks apart seems better. By waiting a bit more, your prior results will be more visible and you may decide you don’t need another session.
How long will my results last?
Kybella® gets rid of fat under your chin permanently. Once that fat is gone, there is limited ability to store fat in the area in the future. Your skin can still sag somewhat with additional aging, but your new profile will remain much tighter for the long haul.
What are the side effects with Kybella®?
The potential side effects with Kybella® are similar to those with dermal fillers. All side effects have proven very rare, however. They include nerve injury in the jaw that can create an uneven smile, trouble swallowing, and some weakness in the surrounding facial muscles. In clinical studies with 1600 patients, these side effects were not long-term but they did not resolve immediately.
These are the common side effects after treatment and resolve themselves:
Areas of hardness in the treatment area