Most of us have some area of our face or body that we consider less than ideal. The central upper neck – or dreaded “double chin” – is one of the most common areas that makes us feel more aged or over weight. Topical lotions or creams that claim to firm the neck really cannot deliver visible results. As we all are busy working, our personal time or “me time” seems to be less and less. Spending time recuperating from any procedure is less than desirable. When it comes to our bodies, we as a society are always looking for quick fixes that require limited time investment, reasonable cost, minimal downtime, and a visible result. BOTOX®, which we love, is a great example of this.
As Facial Plastic surgeons we have many different ways to address fullness of the neck, including minimally invasive procedures such as Ulthera, microsurgical procedures like ThermiTight, and traditional surgical treatments like liposuction or a neck lift. Having a variety of options to address submental fullness lets us tailor our treatment plan to each patient’s unique goals and anatomy. In most cases, results are proportional to the degree of invasiveness. For example, our practice used to perform Ultherapy which had almost no downtime, but also produced minimal or no results. When deciding on what procedure is best, predictable results are one of the many keys to a successful outcome. A happy patient usually equals a happy Facial Plastic surgeon.
Recently Kythera Biopharmaceuticals introduced Kybella™ into the cosmetic market. Kybella™ is dexoycholic acid, the same exact material that we all possess in our bodies that breaks down fat. It can be made in a laboratory, and thus contains no human or animal components, making it very safe. Kybella™ has been FDA approved to literally melt fat in the neck and “double chin” region.
Kybella™ injections are performed in the office. Kybella™ is precisely injected in tiny amounts beneath the skin into the fat of the neck. The discomfort and recovery are almost identical to receiving Botox, except that the injections are performed in the neck instead of the upper face. Each treatment session takes about 20-30 minutes. It takes 4 weeks to see the full results of the individual injections. Most patients will require 2-4 injections at 1 month intervals to achieve the best result, and patients with very substantial neck fat could require up to 6 injections. Down time is minimal and is limited to some swelling over the first few days following treatment. There is also a small chance of bruising that should be coverable with makeup.
Because Kybella™ literally kills fat cells, the results are permanent. Also, the amount of fat being melted is less than 1% of the total fat in the body, so patients do not need to worry about the melted fat simply “moving” to their belly or thighs. The melted fat is absorbed into the blood stream and excreted. The picture below is an example to the results that can be expected from Kybella™.
I was fortunate to be invited to attend Kythera’s first ever educational congress, a clinical injection training program in San Diego. As one of two trainers chosen in the state of Minnesota, Dr. Griffin and I are excited to introduce Kybella™ into our practice and to the medical community. Having Kybella™ as an additional non surgical option that has a predictable outcome will be a welcome addition to our treatment options for the management of the double chin. We will use our expertise as Facial Plastic surgeons to educate and train other physicians on the appropriate use of Kybella™ for their practice.
To determine whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for Kybella™ we recommend that you schedule a consultation with us.
Dr. Tolan is pictured above at the Kybella Educational Congress. Dr. Tolan was chosen to be one of the first doctors in the country to become trained in administering Kybella.