Kybella® is an injectable procedure that was recently approved by the FDA in 2015 for the treatment of chin fat. The area below the chin is a problem area for many people. A well-contoured neck is often considered part of a youthful and attractive appearance, and excess chin fat can project a heavier and less defined facial profile. In addition, a well-defined jawline can be associated with confidence.
Submental fat cells create a “double chin.” Kybella® is the first and only approved non-invasive injectable treatment that permanently removes these fat cells from under the chin and allows for a smoother, more youthful neckline. Dr. Doherty is very pleased to offer Kybella® treatments in his Boston and Brookline offices as an alternative to more traditional neck and chin rejuvenation procedures including neck liposuction, a neck lift or a lower facelift. Dr. Doherty was the first plastic surgeon in Massachusetts to offer Kybella® and has been injecting safely and effectively since July 2015.
The neck ages in several ways. The skin, muscle and fat are all affected. As we age, we lose the snap back, or elasticity of our skin. People who feel that they have crepy skin have lost significant elasticity. Significant sun exposure, weight change, smoking and genetics can all affect the quality of neck skin. Muscles tend to weaken with age. The platysma muscle is the major muscle of the neck and it comes together in the midline, under the chin. As we age, this muscle tends to loosen and this can lead to a less defined chin and neck. Also, this muscle can start to separate or widen at the center with age, this leads to a more bulging submental chin area. The presence of fat in the submental area (above the platysma muscle) can be associated with age, genetics and weight gain. Kybella® is very effective in treating this stubborn fat.
The submental fat is often resistant to traditional methods of fat reduction, like diet and exercise. Kybella® is the first and only FDA-approved, non-surgical sub-mental fat treatment. Kythera, the developer of Kybella® was acquired in 2015 by Allergan (the makers of Botox® and Juvederm®) for 2.1 billion dollars. Kybella® is made of deoxycholic acid. Kybella® is injected through the skin into this bothersome fat and breaks down the fat cells, allowing them to be permanently eliminated from the body. Kybella®is on track to be a very important and effective injectable treatment.
Kybella® injections typically last 15-20 minutes and should be done every 8 weeks. Many patients see results after 2 injections, though individual results may vary. A patients first and second treatment will likely require 2-3 vials of Kybella® to be injected, however this would be based on an in-person consultation. Kybella® achieves long-lasting results since fat cells are permanently removed from beneath the chin after treatment.
The appropriate Kybella® candidate is healthy, 18 years or older and has smooth thick skin. Patients should not be taking any medicine that thins their blood nor should they have any infections or skin issues in the chin area.
Patients should not have an enlarged thyroid or thyroid nodules. Dr. Doherty has his patients take over the counter antihistamines for 2 days prior to the treatment to help minimize swelling. In addition, patients are treated with ice at the time of the procedure to minimize discomfort. After the treatment, Dr. Doherty recommends ice and NSAID’s such as Motrin or Tylenol to help with discomfort. Patients should expect minor swelling in the area of treatment for 1-3 days.
Dr. Doherty is very excited about this injection procedure and is thrilled to be one of the first physicians in New England to be able to offer it. He cautions, however, that this treatment isn’t for everyone. Patients who have excessive loose and hanging skin are not good Kybella® candidates and might need to discuss surgical options. Also, patients that have excessive fat throughout their neck might benefit first from weight loss before considering this procedure.
Please contact Dr. Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office to set up a consultation to see if the Kybella® treatment is ideal for you!