Have you ever looked in the mirror, only to have your gaze drawn downward, where you wince at the site of the fullness under your chin? Has your second thought been rather negative toward close family members who handed down their genetic trait of an enlarged fat pad in this area? Has your third thought been undergoing the knife no matter what the cost or the downtime because nothing you have ever tried has worked to lose your double chin?
If this is you and you are tired of talking to your mirror, you must read the rest of this article.
Kybella® is the first and only FDA-approved injectable drug that improves the appearance of moderate to severe submental fullness (double chin) in adults. Kybella® is deoxycholic acid, which when injected into the area beneath your chin, destroys fat cells permanently. The dead fat cells are cleared from the body over the course of 12 weeks. Once you have achieved your desired result, it would not be expected you would need to be retreated in your lifetime.
Kybella® is a naturally occurring molecule in the body so it is unlikely one would have allergic reactions to this drug. The most possible common side effects include swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness in the treatment area due to injections with a very fine needle. Rarely, more serious side effects can include nerve injury in the jaw which can cause an uneven smile or trouble swallowing. In the FDA studies, these symptoms dissipated as swelling went down after the procedure and none were permanent. Kybella® was tested in more than 20 clinical studies, during which more than 1600 people worldwide were treated.
The procedure entails at least ten injections of Kybella® with a fine needle into the fat pad under the chin. The injections can feel like a pinch or burning sensation, but take about a minute to perform. After the procedure, patients are instructed to hold ice on the area. Most patients will experience swelling after the procedure and tenderness in the area for approximately 14 days. There can be small dime-size bruises. There are no restrictions afterward and patients may return to normal activity, keeping in mind their double chin will look larger until the swelling subsides. After the fat cells have died, the body must clear them through the lymphatic system which may take up to 12 weeks. Patients may be retreated in a month as there is usually significant improvement seen at that time, but final results are expected in 12 weeks.
Most patients have significant reduction in their double chin in one treatment, but patients may elect to have up to six treatments with Kybella® each separated one month apart. Usually the number of treatments depends on the size of the area to be treated.
The medical term for the area under the chin treated by Kybella® is pre-platysma fat pad. It is a fat pad that some people have and some people don’t. It is often something inherited from one of your parents and no matter what your weight is, that double chin or pre-platysma fat pad is there. Sometimes it increases in size with age or with weight. Kybella® specifically treats the fat in this area; it does not improve loose or sagging skin under the chin.
Locally, at Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa in Peru, IL, Dr. Nicole Norris has been injecting Kybella® and achieving significant reductions in patient’s fullness under the chin. She said, “It is so rewarding to have a patient come back a month after Kybella® injections to see their results, stand next to them when they look at their before and after pictures, and hear the awe and happiness in their voice. I see over and over that treating a chronic cosmetic problem for a patient rids them of a large degree of negative stress and overall improves their quality of life.”