A double chin can be a very difficult thing to get rid of. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has one and, no matter how much you diet or how many times you visit the gym, you just can’t seem to be rid of it, you might be a good candidate for an injectable treatment called Kybella. This treatment can be completed in an hour or less and allows you to walk right out of our office and get back to your day. If you think you’re a good candidate, read on to learn all about Kybella treatments at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics in Newton Centre, MA.
What Is Kybella?
Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment that’s used to melt away the fat under the chin, also called submental fat, that forms a double chin. It’s only approved for use for submental far for now, but in its initial clinical trial, 82.4% of people reported significantly improved satisfaction with their personal appearance. In order to understand what this treatment is and how it works, we must first examine how body fat works and why it makes things like a double chin so hard to get rid of.
The Science of Body Fat
Our body fat is stored in fat cells, and you might think that when we gain weight we gain fat cells, and when we lose weight, we lose these cells. That, however, is not the case. In reality, the number of fat cells in our body remains more or less the same post-adolescence. When we gain weight, our fat cells expand to store more nutrient-rich fat. When we lose weight, our body reabsorbs those nutrients, causing our fat cells to shrink.
As a result, areas where fat cells tend to collect can be very stubborn when it comes to showing results from diet and exercise. The belly, the butt, and yes, the chin, can are some of these areas. Luckily, the advent of new body contouring treatments like CoolSculpting, EmSculpt, and now Kybella provides a means of not just reducing, but outright killing fat cells.
How Does the Treatment Work?
Kybella is actually a synthetic version of a compound called deoxycholic acid. This is a bile acid that occurs naturally in the body, where it works to break down fats. When injected into a person’s double chin, deoxycholic acid does its thing, destabilizing and breaking down the fat cells there.
Once the cells are dead, the body slowly flushes them out over the course of a few weeks. Because the fat cells in the targeted area are gone, the double chin can’t return. At least, not easily. Because deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the body, it’s tolerated well by almost everyone who undergoes this treatment. By melting away the submental fat cells that create a double chin, this treatment contours the jawline, leaving behind a slimmer profile.
What Is the Treatment Like?
When you visit our office in Newton Centre for your first treatment, you might be a bit nervous. After all, it involves several injections directly into your chin. Rest assured, though, that this treatment is not scary and is in fact almost entirely painless.
The Treatment Method
This treatment is administered by our skilled professionals at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics. When you come into our office, we will first have to plan out your treatment. This involves drawing a grid on the area of treatment to ensure injections are spread evenly across the area. Then, a numbing agent is applied to the area of treatment. Some practitioners use a numbing cream, while others may use ice packs or local anesthesia. This minimizes any potential discomfort from the injections themselves.
Those injections, though, are administered using extremely thin needles. At most, each injection feels like a tiny pinch. As the deoxycholic acid enters the fatty tissue of the double chin, patients may experience a slight tingling sensation. There is no pain to be had here, unlike with more invasive surgical options.
Each treatment consists of as few as twenty and as many as fifty separate injections, depending upon the size of the area that’s being treated. Depending on the number of injections, a visit can take as little as twenty minutes and up to one hour or so.
Post-treatment, you can expect to experience some mild inflammation in the treated area for a few days. This is not unusual, nor is it really even a side effect; this is the body’s response to the deoxycholic acid, and it means the body has been triggered to remove the fat cells that have been destabilized and killed by the treatment.
Aside from that, you can expect zero downtime post-treatment. In fact, it’s so quick you could pop in over your lunch break, have a treatment, and be back at your desk at work an hour later with no one the wiser. That sounds a whole lot better than the invasive surgical alternatives, doesn’t it?
How Long Until I See Results?
Results from this treatment won’t be instantaneous. It takes the deoxycholic acid a bit of time to work its magic on your fat cells, and it takes the body more time still to process and remove those cells. Most people report seeing results about a month after treatment, with some reporting seeing a noticeable difference in their profile after up to six weeks.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Most people require more than one treatment to see their optimal results from Kybella. Treatments are spaced one month apart, and the maximum number of treatments one person can get is six. Most people will not require that many, though.
When you visit us at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics for a consultation, our professionals will work with you to create a tailored treatment plan based on your chin profile. Most people will see highly noticeable results after two to four treatments, and Kybella’s website notes that 59% of patients in clinical trials received the full course of six treatments.
How Long Do the Results Last?
As mentioned above, the injections kill the submental fat cells that create a double chin, preventing them from storing more fat. Once your desired results are reached, you can expect the results to be permanent. There are some rare exceptions, though. For example, in the event of extreme weight gain, the body can generate new fat cells. A small handful of people will see submental fullness start to return after a while, and for them, the occasional maintenance treatment may be necessary.
For almost all who undergo it, the Kybella treatment is a permanent solution to a double chin.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Some people worry about the appearance of loose skin after a treatment like this. Whether or not that’s a concern for you will depend on your skin and the amount of submental fullness you want to have removed. If it’s a concern for you, you should speak to our professionals about it during your consultation. There are some doctors who believe that a deoxycholic acid injection can actually help moderately improve skin elasticity, though!
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
This treatment can work wonders on a double chin, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. For one thing, it’s only administered to those who are age 18 or older. There must be a certain level of submental fat present in order for the treatment to have a noticeable effect. Beyond that, here are a few indicators that you might be a good candidate for this treatment.
You Are Unhappy With Your Double Chin
If you feel that your double chin is making you look older or heavier than you are and it’s affecting your self-image, this treatment might help you become happier and less self-conscious. As we mentioned above, over 60% of those who went through the clinical trial reported increased satisfaction with their appearance.
You Are in Good Overall Shape
As with other body contouring methods like CoolSculpting, it’s important to remember that this is not a weight-loss treatment, nor is it a cure for obesity. People who want to lose weight should speak with their physician and formulate a medical weight loss plan. If, however, you are at or near your target weight and have a double chin that you just can’t shake, you might be a good candidate for this treatment. This is a great option for people who have gone as far as diet and exercise can carry them and want to get rid of that double chin once and for all.
You Have Eliminated Surgical Options
Liposuction has its uses, but if you have eliminated costly surgical options that require tons of recovery downtime as an option for body contouring, this treatment is likely the alternative you’ve been looking for.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
As mentioned above, this treatment is not right for everyone. Here are a few reasons you’d want to think twice before having it done.
You Are Pregnant or May Become Pregnant
If you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or nursing, you should hold off on this treatment. Injecting chemicals in the body, even naturally occurring ones like deoxycholic acid, while pregnant or nursing is seldom advisable.
You Have Swallowing Problems or Difficulty Breathing
As mentioned above, people who undergo this treatment can expect some mild inflammation in the treated area. If you have trouble swallowing or difficulty breathing, your condition could be exacerbated by this treatment. In addition, people taking blood thinners, including aspirin, should speak to their physician prior to having this treatment.
You Have a Fear of Needles
It may go without saying, but people who have a phobia when it comes to needles probably should not submit themselves to a process that involves twenty to thirty injections under their jawline!
This minimally-invasive treatment is far less invasive than more traditional procedures like liposuction. There’s no cutting, and the only tissue that’s being removed is being done so through your body’s own natural chemical processes. It’s a safe, reliable, and proven-effective method of getting rid of a stubborn double chin.
Millions of Americans are frustrated with their double chin, so you are far from alone. Submental fat is perfectly normal; in fact, it appears in the vast majority of people over the age of 45. It’s one of the most common indicators of age, in addition to weight gain. However, if you’re struggling with your personal appearance, you don’t have to do so alone. Give us at Dr. Renee Moran Medical Aesthetics in Newton Centre, MA a call today to set up your consultation!