If you have a stubborn double chin that won’t go away no matter how well you eat or how often you visit the gym, you’re far from alone. Millions of people are in the same boat. A consumer survey done by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery in 2015 found that 67% of all Americans are dissatisfied with the appearance of fat in their chin. You might be skeptical to hear about a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment that can melt away a double chin in a matter of months, but that’s just what Kybella can do. We offer treatment at Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL.
Does Kybella Really Work?
It’s easy to dismiss promises of a treatment that can magically melt away stubborn body fat, but that’s exactly what this treatment can do. Even better, it harnesses the power of your body’s own natural chemistry to do so. In order to fully understand how it works, we have to learn a little bit about how fat works within the human body.
Using Body Chemistry to Attack Fat
Fat within the human body is stored in specialized cells that have one unique property: they are almost never created or destroyed. Once we exit adolescence, the number of fat cells we have stays pretty much constant for the rest of our lives. Rather than creating new cells when we gain weight or destroying cells when we lose weight, the cells we have simply expand or contract according to how much fat they have to store.
This is one major reason why many of us have stubborn pockets of body fat that we can’t seem to get rid of no matter how hard we try. We can burn plenty of fat, but the cells are still there. That’s where the Kybella treatment comes in. It harnesses the power of a particular chemical that the body produces naturally and uses it to attack and break down the fat cells themselves, resulting in a permanent solution to a double chin that’s the result of body fat.
Deoxycholic Acid: The Fat Buster
Kybella is actually the brand name for a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid: a bile acid that occurs naturally in the gut. In the large intestine, it emulsifies dietary fats for absorption into the body. When injected into the fat of a double chin, also called submental fat, the acid does the same thing. It attacks and breaks down fat cells, destroying them. Because deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the human body, this treatment is safe for almost everyone and has minimal side effects.
Because the human body almost never creates new fat cells, the cells destroyed by the deoxycholic acid injections that make up the treatment are never coming back. That means that less fat can be stored in the chin area, resulting in a permanent decrease in the appearance of a double chin. The only reason a double chin might return is in the event of weight gain. This treatment doesn’t destroy every fat cell in the area, so the remaining cells may still expand if weight is gained.
The Kybella Treatment
The treatment itself consists of a series of injections directly into the submental fat that makes up a double chin. Here’s what the entire process is like:
Preparing for Treatment
Unlike invasive surgical techniques like liposuction, there is no need to fast or otherwise prepare for deoxycholic acid treatment. The only things experts recommend you do are wash the area of treatment prior to coming in and forgoing the use of over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as they can act as blood thinners and increase the possibility of post-treatment bruising.
When you visit our office for your first round of deoxycholic acid treatments, the first we will do is numb the targeted area. Then, we’ll mark the injection sites. Each treatment usually consists of between twenty to thirty injections, though that number can go as high as fifty depending on the amount of submental fat in the area. The injections are then administered using a very fine needle. With the area numbed, the most you’ll feel is a tiny pinch.
Each treatment takes around fifteen to twenty minutes, though it can run longer depending on the number of injections involved. When it’s over, all you have to do is walk out of our office and go right back to your normal daily routine. There’s no need for downtime for recovery, and because no general anesthesia is used, there’s no reason you can’t drive yourself home.
Results from a deoxycholic acid treatment aren’t immediate. It takes the acid some time to break down the fat cells, and it takes the body more time to remove the dead cells and flush them out as waste. You’ll start to see your first results in four to six weeks, and your results will improve over time as the body continues to metabolize the destroyed fat cells.
FAQ About This Treatment
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments you’ll need depends on your aesthetic goals and the size of the submental fullness being treated. Some people just want a small touch-up and go with one or two treatments. Others want to contour their jawline as much as possible and get a full course of six treatments, which is the most any individual can receive.
Treatments must be separated by at least once a month to give the treated area time to recover and the results time to develop. Should you choose to get all six possible treatments, it will take six months to complete. In trials, 59% of people needed the full six treatments to achieve their desired results.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Many people wonder if deoxycholic acid treatments can be used to treat stubborn pockets of fat elsewhere on the body. As of now, this treatment is FDA-approved only for use on a double chin. Research is being done to discover other potential uses of this compound, but for now, it’s limited to contouring the jawline.
Who Is This Treatment for?
While deoxycholic acid is safe for almost everyone, there are certain conditions that make people less likely to be suitable candidates for this treatment. Below, we’ll outline some people who are good candidates as well as some who should look for alternative solutions to their unwanted double chin.
People in Good Shape
Body contouring treatments like this, Coolsculpting, Emsculpt, and others are not weight loss treatments. They are cosmetic in nature only. If you want to shed fat for the sake of weight loss, you should consult with your physician and discuss a diet and exercise plan that can help you work toward your goals.
If, however, you are in good shape and maintain healthy diet and exercise habits but still have a double chin that just won’t go away, this treatment might be the answer you’ve been looking for. Your healthy lifestyle has the added benefit of providing insurance that your results will stick around for the long term because you’ll be less likely to gain weight in the future.
People Who Have Eliminated Invasive Surgery as an Option
Invasive fat removal surgeries like liposuction can remove more fat in one sitting than a deoxycholic acid treatment, but they come with plenty of downsides of their own. They’re often expensive and often require lengthy downtime for recovery, for example. Many require the use of anesthesia, and often surgery results aren’t much faster to show up than those of non-invasive alternatives because they cause inflammation that can take weeks to subside.
If you’ve decided that a few rounds of a minimally invasive treatment with no downtime is preferable to the surgical alternative, this treatment is one to consider.
People Who Are Ready to Commit
As mentioned above, 59% of people in trials received the full course of six treatments to achieve their desired results. Whether you’ll need all six depends upon your individual goals, but it’s important to keep in mind that your best results will probably be achieved with multiple treatments. That means you’ll have to commit to anywhere from one to six months of treatment. If you are planning a big life change, like a move, you may want to consider waiting until after to start your deoxycholic acid treatments.
Who Should Not Get This Treatment?
People Whose Double Chin Is Not the Result of Submental Fat
While many people have double chins as a result of a fat deposit, that’s not the case for everyone. As we age, the skin and muscle in our neck loses elasticity and can begin to sag, resulting in the appearance of a double chin. In fact, this happens to almost everyone sooner or later. Because deoxycholic acid is meant only to target fat and not firm up skin, it won’t be of any help for those with this condition.
Likewise, people with a weak chin bone often have the appearance of a double chin. This is again not caused by submental fat, so deoxycholic acid injections will not help.
Women Who Are Pregnant or Who May Become Pregnant
While deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring compound within the body, not enough research has been done on the potential effects of these injections on a pregnancy. For that reason, pregnant women are exempt from this treatment. If you are planning to become pregnant in the next six months you should also wait because you may have to commit to up to six months of treatment to achieve your aesthetic goals.
People With Neck or Throat Conditions
There are a handful of other conditions that preclude people from undergoing this treatment. If, for example, you have an infection in the area of treatment, you’ll have to wait for it to subside before undergoing treatment. If you have had neck surgery, including a face or neck lift or liposuction, you may not be a candidate for this treatment. If you experience difficulty swallowing, you likely should not undergo deoxycholic acid treatments. If you’re unsure if you have a preexisting condition that will prevent you from having treatment, you can contact us to learn more or ask your physician.
Call Us Today!
A minimally invasive, injectable treatment that can literally melt away a double chin sounds too good to be true, but it’s backed up by the FDA and body science. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have discovered the magic of Kybella. Will you be next? If you’d like to learn more about Kybella treatments at Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL, give us a call to schedule your initial consultation today!