Lose a Double Chin Without Surgery
A double chin is a constant visible reminder that fat does not always do what we want it to do. Even the fittest of men and women who diligently diet and exercise with enthusiasm can find that an unwanted look of submental fullness remains, changing the shape of their face, and obscuring their neck in photos and videos. Such stubborn fat can be removed via liposuction, but not everyone wants surgical incisions and the resulting recuperation time. For anyone seeking a minimally invasive, non-surgical solution to the problem of a double chin, there is Kybella®. Boston-area plastic surgeon Christopher Davidson, MD, offers the injectable at his practice, welcoming patients ready to regain facial definition and sleek, youthful contours.
What Is Kybella®?
Made by Allergan, manufacturer of the popular and trusted BOTOX®, Kybella® is an injectable designed specifically – and approved by the FDA – to reduce submental fullness, a term often used to describe the look of pockets of fat stored between the neck and chin.
The active ingredient in Kybella® is a synthesized version of deoxycholic acid, which is a bile acid naturally produced in the body to help break down dietary fat during the process of digestion. When Kybella® is injected with precision into the key areas of fat below the chin, it works to destroy select fat cells there by triggering excess water accumulation inside to rupture the cells’ membranes, and free the material inside to be processed and gradually eliminated from the body.
The Ideal Kybella® Candidate
Men and women over the age of 18 who are dissatisfied with the look of their chin and neck due to moderate to severe submental fat are excellent candidates for Kybella®. The injectable is particularly well suited for patients who have tried to lose their double chin with diet and exercise, but have been unsuccessful. This is because submental fullness is frequently caused by what is known as “diet‐resistant” or stubborn fat, which stays in place even as other parts of the body slim down. Fit and otherwise slim people can still find themselves dealing with a double chin.
While Kybella® will result in some fat reduction, it will not be significant enough to see much reduction in overall body weight, and is not approved or to be considered as a cure for obesity or fat reduction in areas outside the submental region.
A Note on Body Fat
In 2008, researchers discovered that adult humans maintain the same number of fat cells in our body throughout our lives – and this is unaffected by gains or losses in body weight. Between infancy and when we go through puberty, the number of fat cells in our bodies increases. But this number becomes fixed once we reach our mid-20s or so. Read more +
Kybella® Treatment Details
During a treatment session, small amounts of Kybella® are injected into areas carefully selected by Dr. Davidson. While up to 50 injections may be administered within a single treatment session, the whole injection process usually takes less than half an hour to complete. While many patients are able to achieve the look they want in just two sessions, the total number of Kybella® treatment sessions each patient might need depends on their unique chin profile, how much chin fat they would like to reduce, and how well they respond to Kybella®.
What Kind of Results and Recovery to Expect
Kybella® patients may notice some bruising, discomfort, or other injection-related side effects in the days after their session, but the treatment requires no particular downtime or recovery besides any general aftercare instructions that Dr. Davidson may provide you.
These common side effects tend to be minimal and temporary, and usually resolve on their own within three days following treatment. Kybella® has an excellent record of safety, and while it works to destroy fat cells, it simply does so by inducing cells to accumulate so much water inside them that they burst. When performed by a trained and licensed professional such as Dr. Davidson, surrounding skin and other tissues should not be affected.
Patients will start to see a reduction in their double chin within weeks after their first Kybella® treatment session, but the ultimate desired results typically require up to four treatment sessions, each spaced roughly four weeks apart. It is also important to note that no patient can receive more than six Kybella® treatment sessions in total.
While some effects of Kybella® can appear soon after a treatment session, the final results can take some time to show, and can continue to improve for about four to six weeks after treatment. These results will last for years – and in many cases, be permanent, so touch-up or maintenance sessions are not expected.
More Options Beyond Kybella® in Boston
Patients who do want surgery can, of course, choose to receive a surgical procedure such as liposuction, which has its own advantages
A neck lift may involve some liposuction to remove fat deposits, reducing a double chin that is caused by mild to moderate amounts of fat combined with sagging skin. The procedure is primarily antiaging, involving tightening this loose skin to bring more definition to the jawline. Often, in older patients, what appears to be a double chin from excess fat could also be mainly due to saggy skin and muscles gone lax, so a neck lift might be more appropriate and effective than Kybella® or liposuction.
Dr. Davidson will work with each patient to help them decide which procedures and/or treatments can provide the best possible double-chin-reducing results.