They say that it’s difficult to banish stubborn fat. There may be no part of the body for which this is truer than the upper neck. Excess fat beneath the chin is called submental fullness, though most people know it as the dreaded double chin. What’s difficult about this area is that we can’t exercise it. Often, fat accumulation here also has little to do with overall weight. If it is, then losing weight can help. For many people, though, fat under the chin tends to stay put regardless of their efforts. To address this issue, scientists spend years developing Kybella, now the only FDA approved drug for submental fullness.
What Is Kybella?
Kybella is an injectable, synthetic form of deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid exists in the body naturally; it is a molecule that the body makes to break down dietary fat. Through years of research, scientists were able to prove that synthetic deoxycholic acid could be injected to break down excess subcutaneous fat. Kybella has been used millions of times since gaining FDA-approval in 2015. It is popular because it is convenient and, mostly, because it works.
The way that Kybella works is by affecting the membranes of fat cells, making it so they cannot store fat. These cells are permanently disabled so results can last indefinitely, as long as weight is stable. Ideal candidates have moderate to severe fat accumulation beneath the chin and good skin elasticity. The elasticity of the skin is what allows it to retract to a smooth, taut state.
Kybella Results Come in Time
One of the potential downsides of nonsurgical fat reduction is that it takes time for the body to process targeted fat. This is offset by the limited risk profile for treatments like Kybella compared to surgery. Treatment is conducted in the office and consists of a series of injections in the upper neck area. Multiple injections are necessary to spread deoxycholic acid throughout the subcutaneous fat layer. Because we are adding fluid to the layer of tissue, its volume initially increases. This can look like significant swelling. As the fat cells absorb the product, volume decreases. The process can take a few days.
Fat cells break down relatively slowly after Kybella treatments. Patients may start to see improved contouring beneath the chin a few weeks after their appointment. This progress continues for several weeks as the body metabolizes affected fat cells. Depending on the amount of reduction preferred, a patient may need up to four sessions of Kybella injections. Many say that the side effects are less noticeable after the first round of injections.
We can help you get rid of your double chin. To schedule your Kybella consultation in our Westport office, call (203) 226-3600.