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Want to Lose the Double Chin?

By B. Maya Kato, MD
Demonstrated results of the Kybella injection procedure

A double chin can make you look older and heavier, no matter what your age and weight.  Often, genetics play a big role, as the fat in this area (known as submental fat) may persist, despite efforts to diet and exercise.

In the past, the only option to treat this often undesirable feature was surgical, or to wear a scarf or turtleneck.  Fortunately, in April 2015 a non-surgical, office procedure was approved by the FDA. Kybella™ is an injectable drug used to dissolve submental fat and reduce the double chin.  Many in the industry are hailing it to be the biggest innovation since Botox.

How does it work? Kybella is comprised of deoxycholic acid which breaks down and absorbs fat.  When Kybella is injected into the fat underneath the chin, the cells are destroyed and cannot rejuvenate. Results are gradual, occurring over weeks.  Most patients receive a series of 2-3 injections (performed at 4-6 week intervals) for optimal results. 

How is it administered? Kybella is administered in the office setting, using topical anesthesia for patient comfort.  Using a tiny needle, small injections of the enzyme are placed into the submental fat.  The treatment takes approximately 15 minutes, and patients can return to work immediately.  There is some localized pain associated with the procedure, which lasts about 10 minutes.

How long do the results last? Once the fat cells are destroyed, results can be permanent.

What is the cost? The cost of treatment depends on the size of the area to be treated.  Larger double chins require more product to fully dissolve the fat cells.  An average cost of Kybella is $600-$800 per vial, and most patients require a minimum of two vials per treatment session.

Is it safe? When performed by a trained injector, Kybella injections are a safe procedure with few risks.  It is recommended that the injections be done by a board-certified physician.

Who is Kybella right for? Kybella is used to treat adults who have moderate to severe submental fat, and whose double chin is not primarily due to a laxity of the skin.  It is a welcome addition to the array of tools which can be used in non-surgical facial rejuvenation to achieve a youthful, well-defined jaw line. 

Together with neurotoxins and dermal fillers, Kybella can help to achieve an uplifted, healthy appearance in a quick office procedure with long-lasting results.

Dr. Maya Kato is the founder of Aesthetic Art and can be reached at (760) 610.5558. For more information visit www.drmayakato.com.

Sources: 1) Reduction of unwanted submental fat with ATX-101 (deoxycholic acid), an adipocytolytic injectable treatment:  results from a phase III, randominzed, placebo-controlled study.  Rzany B, Griffiths T, et. al.  Br J Dermatol, 2014 Feb:170 (2):445-53; 2)  REFINE-1, a Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Trial with ATX-101, an Injectable Drug for Submental Fat reduction.  Jones DH, Carruthers J, et. al.  Dermatol Surg. 2016 Jan:42(1):38-49.

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