Sometimes, fat can hang around certain areas of the body, no matter what you do. You can exercise and eat a healthy diet but still have a double chin, for example. That’s because some fat deposits are related to your genes rather than your overall size and health. People who are otherwise trim might have a double chin and feel frustrated by it.
There have long been surgical options for getting rid of unwanted fat, such as liposuction, as well as newer methods of fat removal, such as cryotherapy, or freezing the fat away. More recently, yet another option has been introduced for getting rid of fat for good. Right now, it’s approved specifically for treating a double chin.
The treatment is called Kybella. Unlike other fat removal options, it’s completely non-surgical. Kybella involves injecting the area underneath the chin with a substance that dissolves the fat, leaving you with a more shapely chin area.
What’s in Kybella?
The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid. Your body naturally produces deoxycholic acid. In fact, it’s a salt that is produced by the stomach to break down fat cells. The acid works by dissolving the cell membranes.
Injecting deoxycholic acid into specific areas, such as the under-chin area, allows it to break down fat in those areas. Once the fat is broken down, your body metabolizes it, eventually flushing it out completely through the lymphatic system.
Are You a Candidate for Kybella?
Not everyone is a good candidate for Kybella. For example, if you have a considerable amount of skin laxity in the chin and neck area, a neck lift is likely to be a better option for you than Kybella. In some cases, liposuction of the neck might be a better choice than Kybella, as well. It all depends on the amount of fat you have and the degree of skin laxity you’re experiencing.
The cause of your double chin can also influence whether or not you’re a good candidate for the procedure. If you have submental fullness or fat (aka a double chin) because it runs in your family, that might make Kybella a better choice for you than for someone who has a double chin because he or she is overweight.
Your age and the quality of your skin also plays a role. Usually, the younger you are and the more elastic your skin, the better you will respond to Kybella. If your skin is lax due to aging, you might end up with a bit of sagging and looseness after the fat has dissolved.
How It Works and What to Expect
Although Kybella is a non-surgical option, it’s important to understand that it’s not necessarily a quick option. Each treatment session only takes a few minutes, but usually as many as six separate sessions are needed before people see results. The sessions are usually spaced about one month apart.
During a treatment, a surgeon will inject Kybella into the area under the chin. Where the injections are depends on the location of the fat and how much fat a patient has. As many as 50 injections might be given during a single treatment session.
To help reduce any discomfort during treatment, your surgeon might apply a numbing cream to the area before the injections. You can also apply an ice pack beneath the chin between injections to help improve comfort.
Swelling is common after Kybella, particularly after the first series of injections. The swelling usually peaks a day after the treatment, before diminishing. It’s also usually the worst after the first treatment session, but tends to be less noticeable with each session.
When you start seeing results from the injections depends on how quickly your body processes the destroyed fat cells. Some people see results after the first two or three sessions, others might not notice much of a change until all six treatment sessions have happened. The good news is that once the fat is destroyed by Kybella, it’s gone for good.
If you’re tired of living with a double chin and don’t think surgery is the right option for you, Kybella might be perfect. To learn more about the injections and to see if it’s the right choice for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Schwartz, a board certified facial plastic surgeon today. To make your appointment in West Palm Beach, Florida, call 561-655-5562.