Submental fullness, commonly known as a “double chin,” is often a common part of the aging process. The loss of skin elasticity and redistribution of fat tissue that are both normal parts of aging can combine to cause this. Genetics also plays a significant role in determining who will develop a double chin as they age. The double chin can make a person appear to be older or heavier than they really are. Many people are self-conscious about their double chins. Some of our patients dislike it so much that they refuse to appear in photos.
Surgery can help to remove the extra fatty tissue, but many people are reluctant to undergo a surgical procedure. Fortunately, there is another solution. Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment for submental fullness.
What is Kybella?
Kybella contains a substance called deoxycholic acid. This occurs naturally in the body, and aids in the breakdown and absorption of fat. A doctor injects Kybella into the area under the chin. Once there, it breaks down fat cells, and the fat is naturally reabsorbed by the body. Once a fat cell is destroyed, it will not return. This is how Kybella decreases the size of the double chin.
What is a Kybella treatment like?
During each treatment, you will receive multiple injections of Kybella into the area under your chin. Typically, about 15-20 injections are performed, each with very small amounts of Kybella. The first step in your treatment is for Dr. Miles to mark the sites for injection with a temporary tattoo that is removed after the procedure. To reduce discomfort, Dr. Miles may offer a local anesthetic (either a cream, or injections with a tiny needle). After about ten minutes, you should be numb. At this point, he will inject the Kybella.
Most patients experience some temporary swelling and redness in the treated area as fat cells die off. This typically improves within a week and is no longer noticeable within a few weeks. Because of this, you may not want to schedule your Kybella treatment within a few weeks of an important social event (such as a wedding). Many patients schedule treatment on a Thursday or Friday and return to work on the following Monday. Patients may also experience numbness of the area, which can last for up to a few weeks.
How long until I see results?
The results of your treatment will not be visible right away. Although Kybella begins to destroy fat immediately, it takes time for the fat cells to die off and be reabsorbed. The swelling associated with this process also masks the results at first. Many patients report that they can see results within two to three weeks, with continued improvement for up to a month or even longer after the treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
Patients may need up to six treatments, spaced about one month apart, to reach their desired goals. Many of our patients reach their desired results in two or three treatments, but some require more. You may need more or fewer treatments, depending on how much submental fat tissue you currently have, how much change you would like to see, and how your body responds to the treatment. Dr. Miles will advise you on what you can likely expect at your consultation appointment.
How long will the results last?
Kybella causes the permanent destruction of unwanted fat cells. Therefore, the results of Kybella treatment are expected to be permanent. Once you have achieved your desired results, you will not need maintenance treatments with Kybella. If you gain a significant amount of weight in the future, then you may see a return of your double chin. However, because there will be fewer fat cells around your chin, you will still see less volume gain in this area than if you had not had the treatment.
Am I a good candidate for Kybella?
Good candidates for Kybella are at or fairly close to their ideal body weight, and are bothered by submental fullness. In general, the treatment will produce better results if you don’t have a lot of skin laxity in the area. (Although Kybella often produces some skin tightening, those with significant amounts of skin laxity will get better results from a neck lift surgical procedure.) Patients must be at least 18 years of age. Certain conditions, such as previous surgery on the neck, may affect the results of Kybella treatment, and other options may be preferable in these cases.
Another option for those with a double chin is liposuction of this area. This is a minor surgical procedure to remove fat tissue that is done under local anesthesia. At your consultation, Dr. Miles will discuss your options with you and help you to make an informed decision about which treatment you would prefer.
If you are considering Kybella in the Charlotte area, including Huntersville, Lake Norman, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville, and surrounding area, please call our office at (704) 896-5556 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.