Monday, Nov. 20, 2017



“Melt away the stubborn double chin!” What is it really, though?

So you’ve seen all the advertisements and billboards with physicians claiming KYBELLA® is the cure to the problem of the stubborn double chin. But what is really? How does it work? Is it safe? And what are your other options?


As a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, I have a lot of patients coming into my office who have concerns about submental fullness, aka the “double chin,” and it’s not just women; men are impacted by this as well. Having excess submental fullness can have a dramatic impact on the perception of an individual’s weight and age, making them appear older or heavier than they really are. Due to genetics, this frustrating problem area can be difficult to improve with diet and exercise alone for some.It’s then my job to counsel the patients on how we can address their concerns over the dreaded double chin.
Recently, there has been a lot of new media surrounding KYBELLA, but I have found that many of my patients still have a lot of questions.
KYBELLA is the first and only FDA-approved injectable treatment to improve the appearance of moderate to severe fat beneath the chin. It does so by physically destroying fat cells in the treatment area.
The active ingredient is deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. Fat cleared from the treatment area is then processed through the body’s natural metabolism.
When discussing KYBELLA as one of the options for treatment of their double chin with my patients, I make sure they know that the treatment is tailored to each individual’s submental fat distribution and what their goals are for the improvement in the chin profile. Not everyone will require the same amount of injections or the same amount of treatment sessions, for example.
KYBELLA is given at the site of action during a series of in-office visits, with the injection process typically taking 15 to 20 minutes. Swelling under the chin afterwards is common and is usually most noticeable after the first treatment session, so I recommend patients keep their social plans and work commitments in mind when scheduling their treatments. Other possible side effects include bruising, pain, numbness, redness and firmness of the treatment area, but serious side effects such as nerve injury or difficulty swallowing are rare.
The process does work, and in studies KYBELLA patients reported improvement in the visual and emotional impact of submental fat when asked how happy, bothered, self-conscious, embarrassed, old and overweight they felt with respect to the amount of their submental fat after they received treatment. KYBELLA is only one of multiple approaches to treating submental fullness, however. Some other non-invasive forms for decreasing submental fat and skin tightening include CoolMini and skin lasers, but in my opinion and experience KYBELLA is more permanent and effective than any other noninvasive option currently available. Some patients may be poor candidates for KYBELLA, though, due to excess amounts of submental fat due to higher BMI or obesity, or excess amount of submental skin laxity that occurs with more advanced aging – the turkey neck, or turkey gobbler, as some patients jokingly call it. These patients are better candidates for liposuction or a surgical neck lift to help restore the youthful tightness and profile of the neck. KYBELLA is not meant to tighten skin and cannot correct excess skin.
Traditional liposuction of the submental area is a procedure performed with a small 1-cm. incision under the chin, and the fat is then removed with a cannula. It is performed in an outpatient setting and has similar side effects as KYBELLA and only requires one procedure, but can be slightly higher risk due to the fact that most patients require anesthesia for this procedure. A surgical neck lift is a more invasive procedure.
It is again performed in an outpatient setting, but commonly requires anesthesia and has increased downtime post-operatively. It can be performed with small incisions behind the ears and below the chin; liposuction is typically performed in conjunction to skin tightening with excision of any excess skin. Although I understand the desire of many patients to avoid surgery, patients with significant excess skin of the neck will only get the restoration of the youthful jawline they desire by removing the skin, not lasers or injecting KYBELLA.It is important to make sure the assessment is done by a board-certified physician who has the appropriate background and training in aesthetics.
This way you can be sure you are getting the correct procedure, it is performed in a safe manner, and that you are aware of what all of your options are for the treatment of any double chin.In summary, KYBELLA is a non-invasive, well-tolerated way to address the dreaded double chin in the correctly selected patient.Dr. Lindsey Pennington is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a practice in Shreveport at 6030 Line Ave., Suite 110. Call (318) 216-5366 for a complimentary cosmetic consult to discuss what treatment option is best for you to address your double chin.

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