Just about everybody has parts of their body that, try as they might, just won’t respond to diet or exercise. One of the most frustrating of these problem areas is the double chin, which can seem impossible to get rid of. That’s why our Kybella injection treatments at Omaha Face Plastic Surgery and Med Spa in Omaha, NE are popular.
They can effectively melt away the submental fat that makes up a double chin. But how do they work? What makes them so effective? In this article, we’ll take a close look at what makes Kybella as popular as it is.
Kybella: How Does It Work?
The Science of Body Fat
In order to understand what makes this popular treatment so effective, you must first understand how body fat itself works. Fat is stored in fat cells, which are unique in that the body doesn’t generally generate more of them after puberty.
Once the number of fat cells in the body is set, it tends to stay at around that number over a person’s life. The body can and does generate new fat cells under extreme circumstances; for example, in the event of extreme weight gain. Usually though, the number of cells stays roughly the same.
This might be surprising to anyone who has ever gained weight. Where is the new fat coming from if not from new cells? It’s coming from the existing cells expanding as more nutrients are stored in them. When we gain weight, the cells expand, and when we lose it, the cells contract as the nutrients in them are used up.
Even when we’re at our most fit, those fat cells are still there. That’s one reason stubborn pockets of body fat can be so difficult to get rid of. Lucky for us there are treatments like Kybella, which kill fat cells once and for all, providing permanent results.
What Is Kybella?
Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment that provides a reliable remedy for double chins. In fact, it’s the only FDA-approved injectable method for destroying fat cells, although it’s used almost exclusively for submental fat deposits for the time being.
What’s In It
The injection itself is a synthesized version of a compound that occurs naturally in the body called deoxycholic acid. This is a compound the body creates during strenuous exercise and other times when it needs to reabsorb fat. In other words, it’s a man-made version of the chemical the body uses to destroy fat cells.
How It Works
Injecting the deoxycholic acid into subdermal fat destabilizes and destroys the fat cells there over time so the area can no longer store fat. This results in a decreased double chin.
It does not, however, tighten skin. If your skin has good elasticity, it will mold over the new shape of your chin post-treatment. If you are concerned about potential skin sagging post-treatment, be sure to discuss it with our team beforehand.
The Kybella Treatment
What Is the Treatment Like?
A single treatment usually lasts around one hour. Unlike with invasive procedures, a Kybella treatment requires no preparation or recovery downtime. When you visit our office for your treatment, the first thing we will do is apply ice to numb the area of treatment.
Then, our practitioners will mark the anatomic landmarks of your neck before drawing a temporary grid pattern on the area of treatment. This grid will serve as a sort of map for our practitioner as they inject small amounts of deoxycholic acid into the subcutaneous fat.
Depending on the person, anywhere from twenty to fifty injections may be required per treatment. This sounds like a lot, but never fear: each injection is made with a very thin needle and takes only a few seconds to complete.
When the injections are finished, we will apply an ice pack to minimize discomfort. A single treatment is usually finished in an hour or less, and sometimes in as little as 20 minutes.
What Is Recovery Like?
There is zero downtime associated with this treatment. You could even schedule it over a lunch break and head back to work with no one the wiser. Because the body is familiar with deoxycholic acid, the body generally tolerates it very well.
Most patients do, however, experience a bit of swelling in the treated area post-treatment. This can last up two weeks, and while it might be noticeable to you, it’s far less so to those around you. This inflammation is perfectly normal and in fact, is what triggers the body to remove fat cells in the first place.
Aside from that, you can expect to be returning to your daily routine immediately after leaving our office post-treatment.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
A double chin won’t just disappear overnight, even with this treatment. For some people, it can take two or three sessions to see full results. Treatment sessions must be spaced at least one month apart and are capped at six, though most people only require a maximum of three and plenty get the results they’re looking for after just one.
The results are fully customizable, too. If you just want to tighten up your chin a little, you can go with one treatment, but if you hope to melt your submental fat away until all that’s left is your jawline, you can return for two, three, or more treatments.
Our professionals will work with you to create a treatment plan that gets you the aesthetic results you’re looking for.
It can take some time for the deoxycholic acid to fully work its magic. This is because, even after fat cells are broken down, it takes the body time to metabolize them. Over the course of days and weeks, your body will flush out the newly-dead fat cells until you’re left with a whole new jawline.
It can take anywhere from four to six weeks to see the full results from a single treatment. Once those results manifest though, you’re very likely to be over the moon about them; this treatment’s clinical trial resulted in an 82.4% satisfaction rate.
How Long Does It Last?
Because this treatment kills fat cells, results are usually semi-permanent if not entirely permanent. The only exception to this would be patients who gain or lose an extreme amount of weight after their treatment.
For those who see their double chin creeping back into their reflection, maintenance treatments may be required every few years. The results are usually easy to maintain, though, and can last a lifetime with a healthy lifestyle.
Who Is This Treatment for?
This treatment can work wonders on a stubborn double chin, but it is not a cure-all by any means. Before you decide whether or not to get a treatment, you should know what makes someone a great candidate for it.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
This treatment is approved for a wide range of people. As long as you are over the age of 18, under 65 and in reasonably good health, you’ll probably qualify. It’s important to note, however, that fat-melting body contouring treatments like this and others, including CoolSculpting and Emsculpt, are solely cosmetic in nature.
If you are trying to lose weight for medical reasons, you should consult with your physician and together come up with a plan.
If, however, you are healthy and simply looking to get rid of a bothersome fat deposit, you are a good candidate. You must have moderate to severe submental fat fullness in order to qualify. If you’re unsure if you fall into this category, you can book a consultation with our experts.
Reasons for Doing It
People who undergo this treatment tend to have similar reasons for doing so. They feel self-conscious about their submental fat deposit and have tried other methods for getting rid of it. They feel their double chin makes them look older and/or heavier than they really are.
Most of all, they have eliminated invasive surgery as a potential option for remedying their issue. If this sounds like you, give us a call to set up a consultation.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate?
While most people will be able to get the results they seek using this treatment, it may not be for everyone. Those who are obese and looking for a way to lose weight should focus on diet and exercise, for example.
If you have a bleeding disorder, a skin infection, or trouble swallowing, you should speak with your physician prior to undergoing a treatment.
There are also autoimmune and endocrine conditions, like psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and kidney and liver disease, that you should tell your practitioner about prior to treatment. These may necessitate a longer recovery period between treatments or a different kind of treatment altogether.
Similarly, if you are on blood thinners like Aspirin, warfarin, or antivirals, you should tell your treatment provider. The risk with these drugs could mean more noticeable post-treatment bruising, but they don’t necessarily mean you cannot undergo the treatment.
Of course, it goes without saying that if you have a phobia of needles, this treatment probably isn’t right for you.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of a treatment depends on the cost of a vial of Kybella. Here at Omaha Face Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, the cost is $600 per vial. The overall cost also depends on the number of treatments a patient requires. Obviously, someone who only wants a single treatment is going to spend less than someone who wants six.
Keep in mind that, because this is a cosmetic treatment, it likely won’t be covered by health insurance. That said, it’s far cheaper than invasive surgical options like liposuction.
This treatment is incredibly successful for a number of reasons. It’s quick and mostly painless, and the needles are so thin they feel more like a pinch than a puncture. It requires none of the downtime that invasive surgical options do, allowing patients to get right back to their daily lives after walking out of our office.
It’s safe, reliable, and offers proven results backed by FDA approval, all without cutting, anesthesia, or any of the other downsides associated with traditional methods like liposuction.
It’s also quick, with a treatment lasting between twenty minutes and one hour. Even if you undergo the maximum of six treatments, six hours to melt away a double chin is time well spent!
Submental fat is perfectly normal. Many people have it. In fact, as we age, almost all of us will develop a double chin in some form. If yours, however, is affecting your confidence and self-image, this treatment might be a great option for you. Visit us at Omaha Face Plastic Surgery and Med Spa in Omaha, NE and set up a consultation today!