The “double chin”, or extra fat in the upper neck, is a troublesome area for many of us, as it can persist despite weight loss and exercise. The fat responsible for the double chin, the submental fat pad, is a genetic deposit of fat, making it less sensitive to your body’s status, and more sensitive to what your parents (and their parents) handed down to you. Kybella is a relatively new product that is the first of its kind: an injectable that melts fat. Used in a genetic fat pad, it can have permanent results. Using it on belly fat (which is not a genetic deposit of fat) can have a more temporary effect.
Kybella works by literally turning your fat cells inside out, which your body absorbs over the course of the week after your treatment. Supplied in vials, each treatment is usually 2 or 3 vials per treatment, and most people require 2 or 3 treatments total. At Nuance Facial Plastics, we typically space our treatments 4-6 weeks apart and tell patients to expect swelling for 3-4 days after each treatment when treating the double chin.
Who is a Good Candidate for Kybella?
The best candidates for Kybella have good skin quality in the upper neck, and a mild to moderate amount of fat in the midline upper neck. Patients with more fat tend to do better with chin liposuction (submental liposuction), and patients with loose skin may need a neck lift and possibly a facelift to tighten and remove the extra skin.
What is Involved in a Kybella Treatment?
Our Kybella treatment visits consist of taking standardized pictures, signing the informed consent for the procedure, and applying a topical numbing cream for 20 minutes. After the time has passed, the numbing cream is removed, and a skin grid is placed on the area to be treated. This grid is used to guide the treatment. The Kybella is injected in the grid pattern (which usually takes less than 5 minutes), and the grid is removed from the skin while it is still numb. An ice pack is applied, and the visit is done. This entire process can take as little as 30 minutes when treating the double chin.
What is Recovery After a Kybella Treatment?
Kybella has a typical “down time” which consists of swelling and tenderness that lasts for 3-4 days in most people. This works well-doing treatments later in the week, with patients ready to return to work on Monday. The tenderness responds well to ibuprofen and icing for comfort and gets less intense every treatment.
How Many Vials Do I Need?
The numbers of vials and the spacing of treatments are based on the amount of fat, as well as its distribution. An in-person consultation is the only way to know for sure, though most patients having their double chin reduced get treated with between 4 and 7 vials total, spread over 2 to 3 treatments.
Get Your Treatment Done by a Facial Plastic Surgeon
Kybella is a product, but having a treatment is much more than the substance being injected. A surgical knowledge of the anatomy of the area being injected has no substitute. There are people of many skill levels and training levels that can do Kybella treatments, and getting it done by someone that knows the limitations of the product and is skilled at the alternatives (such as chin liposuction and neck lift) will be able to steer you toward the treatment that is best for you.