Are you troubled by that fatty deposit below the chin that is also known as submental fullness or a “double chin”? If so, then you’re not alone as a recent study revealed that 67% of people are bothered by under-the-chin-fulllness and it’s just as troubling as lines and wrinkles around the eye.
Kybella® is a new prescription medication from Allergan, the maker of Botox®, that causes the destruction of fat cells and is approved by the FDA for contouring the submental area. The product is injected into the fat beneath your chin and many patients experience visible improvement in their profile in 2 to 4 treatment sessions.
The Aesthetic Center was chosen by Allergan to be an early adapter for Kybella® and we’re pleased to offer this exciting treatment to our Westport, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien and other Fairfield County patients as well as patients throughout Connecticut.
What is Kybella®?
Kybella® is a non-animal formulation of a substance, deoxycholic acid, that occurs naturally in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. The product is administered by injection by specially trained health care providers. Kybella® is FDA approved for improvement in the appearance of submental fullness due to fat in adults.
How does Kybella® work?
Kybella® causes the destruction of fat cells known as adipocytes. Once these cells are destroyed they can no longer accumulate or store fat. Kybella® is administered by a series of injections directly into the submental fat, spaced 1 cm apart using an extremely small needle. Each treatment session lasts typically 15-20 minutes.
My Kybella® consultation
Prior to treatment it is important that your submental fullness be evaluated to see if you are a candidate for Kybella®. While most submental fullness is caused by pre-plastysmal fat, and is thus amenable to treatment with Kybella®, sometimes muscle hypertrophy or fat in other locations can cause a contour problem in this area. Dr. O’Connell is a published expert in facial aesthetic surgery and during your consultation he will review your medical and surgical histories and carefully examine your submental area and neck. He will review the available treatment options that would best help you achieve your aesthetic goals along with the anticipated recovery times, costs, risks and potential side effects.
Because Dr. O’Connell is a board certified plastic surgeon his treatment options are not limited to Kybella®. During your consultation he will review both surgical and non-surgical options for cervical contouring including liposuction, CoolSculpting of the submental area, radio frequency and laser treatments as well as neck and facelifting. We recommend that you “do your homework” and choose a provider who can offer you the full spectrum of treatment options so that you can choose the technique that can best help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Recovery time with Kybella®
Following Kybella® injections some swelling and firmness occurs in the submental area that can last up to 2 weeks. Bruising can usually be covered with makeup. Patients can usually return immediately to normal activities although strenuous activity immediately following treatment can increase swelling and bruising.
How many treatment sessions are required with Kybella®?
The number of injections and the number of treatment sessions are tailored to each individual patient’s submental fat pattern and their treatment goals. While up to 6 treatments may be administered, in clinical studies many patients experienced visible results in 2-4 sessions. Once the aesthetic goal is reached, retreatment is not anticipated.
How much does Kybella® cost?
Most providers determine the cost of Kybella® treatments based upon the amount of product administered. In clinical trials the average dose was typically 2-3 vials per treatment session. Because lower cost, generic Kybella-like products are available we strongly recommend that you discuss with your physician exactly what product is being administered prior to treatment. Be a proactive health care consumer and ask to see the vial!
What are the Kybella® side effects?
Prior to administering Kybella® Dr. O’Connell will review with you the possible alternative methods of treatment as well as the risks and potential side effects.
Some risks and potential side effects of Kybella® treatment include:
- Hematoma and bruising in the injection site
- Pain, numbness and redness in the injection site
- Swelling and firmness in the injection site
- Nerve weakness resulting in an asymmetric smile or facial muscle weakness.
- Difficulty or discomfort with swallowing
Because of the approximately 4% risk of temporary nerve weakness we strongly recommend that Kybella® be administered by a physician with formal training in head and neck surgery – Dr. O’Connell is a board certified plastic surgeon and published expert in facial surgery.
What are some other treatment options for submental fullness?
In aesthetic surgery, there is usually more than one way to achieve one’s goal and treatment of submental fullness is no exception. In many cases, subtle nuances in one’s anatomy, medical and surgical histories as well as risk and recovery tolerance can powerfully influence decision making. These are reasons why it’s best to review any proposed aesthetic treatment with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to choosing any particular method.
Some alternatives for submental and cervical contouring offered at The Aesthetic Center include:
- CoolSculpting using the CoolMini tool
- Liposuction – this usually performed under only local anesthesia with a brief recovery period.
- Neck lifting (and/or facelifting)
- INTRAcel™ fractional radiofrequency microneedling
Who injects Kybella® at The Aesthetic Center?
Because we believe that the education, training, skill and experience of the injector profoundly effects the results of aesthetic procedures all injections are performed personally by Dr. Joseph O’Connell – a nationally recognized board certified plastic surgeon with over 35 years of surgical experience.