Excess fatty tissue below the chin causes what we call a double chin. A person may develop a double chin despite being at a healthy weight for their frame. The appearance of the double chin can degrade the sharpness of the jawline and affect the entire facial profile. Submental fullness may have very little to do with a person's overall weight, which is precisely why it can be resistant to diet and exercise. A better way to address a double chin is with Kybella.
What is Kybella?
Kybella is the first injectable treatment to target unwanted fat. Previously, a double chin was something to either live with or have treated with liposuction. Kybella allows people to target an area of stubborn fat via injectable treatment. Kybella is made of deoxycholic acid. This naturally-occurring acid is an integral part of the digestive process. It breaks down dietary fats so they may be digested more efficiently. Therapeutically, deoxycholic acid has been used to break apart lipomas, benign fatty tumors. Cosmetically, we inject deoxycholic acid in the form of Kybella into the space in between fat cells under the chin. When injected into the submental area, Kybella destroys the fat cells and, over time, the body's immune system picks them up and flushes them through the lymphatic system and natural elimination processes. The eliminated fat cells are gone forever.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Kybella?
Kybella is designed to reduce unwanted fat below the chin. Ideal candidates are interested in a nonsurgical approach to chin contouring and are in good general health. To determine candidacy, our doctors perform a thorough consultation, medical history review, and examination of the submental area. To ensure that you can safely receive Kybella treatment, it is important that you inform your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking. Some medications and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily cease taking non-essential products until after your injectable treatment. If you believe you may be pregnant or you are breastfeeding, you should postpone your Kybella treatment to a later time.
How Long Does it Take to See Results from Kybella?
Kybella sculpts the jawline and submental area beneath the chin by destroying the fat cells that have accumulated there. This process occurs over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. This means that patients should start to see the effects of their first Kybella treatment around the time they come and see us for their second series of injections. Likewise, the results of subsequent treatments are around their peak just when it's time for another set.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
The number of appointments that a patient may need depends on the amount of fatty tissue that has accumulated under the chin. Some patients may achieve outstanding results with just two rounds of Kybella injections. Others may need up to six appointments to achieve their neck contouring goals. At the completion of the series of visits, the amount of submental fat that remains will be so minimal that patients enjoy a stronger, more defined profile. The results can last many years provided that the patient maintains a relatively stable weight.
How Long Does a Kybella Treatment Take?
Appointments for Kybella injections may take 20 minutes or more. When you arrive for your treatment, we will make sure you are comfortable. We may apply ice or topical anesthetic to the neck and chin area to reduce sensation. Your provider will mark a grid pattern across your upper neck area to act as a guide for injection sites. Once you are numb from the pain-relieving technique applied, your provider will carefully administer the injections as outlined by the grid. This takes only a few minutes. Your neck is cleaned to remove the temporary markings, and you are free to go about your day.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Kybella?
Kybella is generally considered to be safe. The body makes deoxycholic acid to break down dietary fat, so there is little risk of allergic reaction. That said, there are inherent risks associated with injectable treatments. These include temporary nerve damage and numbness, loss of hair in the beard at injection sites (temporary or permanent), difficulty swallowing, and a lopsided smile. These side effects are very rare. Most patients experience very minor side effects shortly after receiving Kybella. These include swelling, redness, inflammation, bruising, and tenderness or soreness. The upper neck is also likely to feel "full" or "sloshy" due to the infusion of fluid into the intercellular space. Over the course of several days, the fat cells will absorb this fluid, reducing this side effect.
What Alternative Treatments Are Available to Reduce a Double Chin?
Double chin fat is a problem for which a few solutions are available. In addition to Kybella, Rendon Center for Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine offers CoolSculpting treatments. CoolSculpting is a well-known body contouring treatment that works by freezing targeted fat cells. The treatment platform has expanded over time to treat smaller areas, including the submental area. Like Kybella, CoolSculpting does require multiple treatment sessions to fully eradicate unwanted fat. That treatment, however, works completely non-invasively. Rather than targeting fat with injections, CoolSculpting involves the temporary application of custom treatment panels that cool fatty tissue for about 30 minutes.