Dr. Sax Blog

With cosmetic treatments and our scientific knowledge advancing faster than ever, there are now a variety of safe, easy and nonsurgical ways to fix almost every face and body complaint under the sun. Dissatisfied with discoloration or scarring? Laser treatments can help fade spots over time. Fine lines, wrinkles or volume loss? There are several treatment techniques to erase these issues and help you look younger.

The newest treatment to create a worldwide buzz is Kybella – the first and only fat-dissolving injection developed to address the pocket of fat that forms under the chin. There’s very little downtime or risk, and it’s both noninvasive and nonsurgical. Sound too good to be true? Read on to learn how it works.

What Is Kybella?

Approved by the FDA in 2015, this prescription drug uses a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid – a salt found in human bile that aids fat digestion – to kill fat cells and contour your double chin.

In your digestive tract, deoxycholic acid breaks down fat naturally by destroying the cell membrane. When injected into targeted locations of submental fat, Kybella does the same thing. The dissolved fat and leftover deoxycholic acid get broken down by your lymphatic and circulatory systems and then excreted as waste.
Once destroyed, these cells can’t store or accumulate fat, so you can expect to see continued results after you reach your goal appearance.

Kybella FAQs

Q: Who is a good candidate for Kybella?
A: A variety of factors, including genes, hormones and weight gain, cause patients to develop a double chin. The best candidates for Kybella have submental fat deposits that are genetic, instead of weight-related. Younger patients typically also do better because they have greater skin elasticity, and are not as likely to have sagging or “wattles” under their chin.

Q: Can I get Kybella injected anywhere else?
A: Currently, the FDA has only approved Kybella for use under the chin. Because Kybella has been shown to be most effective on small sections of fat, it’s not a practical option for treating issues like love handles or muffin tops, though the FDA has been researching its potential benefits for these areas.

Q: Are there other brands on the market that do the same thing Kybella does?
A: There are fat-freezing and fat-removing devices, such as CoolSculpting, on the market. While some patients have seen good results using CoolSculpting to remove a double chin and fullness in their neck, it does not work exactly the same way as Kybella.

Q: What is the difference between Kybella and liposuction to address my double chin?
A: For most patients with a double chin, Kybella is a safe and effective alternative to surgery. If you do not want the scarring or recovery time associated with a surgery such as liposuction, Kybella may be ideal for you because it doesn’t require any incisions or stitches.

Q: Do the injections hurt?
A: For some people, Kybella injections can be painful, but if you are worried about any discomfort, we can use a topical numbing cream such as lidocaine to make the experience more comfortable for you.

Q: How long do Kybella treatments take?
A: Kybella is an incredibly quick and convenient procedure that easily fits even the busiest lifestyle. Most patients are in and out within 30 minutes or less.

Q: When can I expect to see the results of my Kybella injections?
A: Because it takes time for your body to flush out the dead fat cells, the results of Kybella are gradual and subtle. One common side effect of Kybella is swelling, which may temporarily make your chin look more prominent. However, the swelling is caused by the medication actively breaking down the fat cells, so swelling is one way you can tell the treatment is working.

The good news is that once you are finished getting your treatments, those fat cells are not coming back – ever. There is no upkeep or future costs to consider.

Q: Is Kybella covered by my health insurance?
A: Despite being an FDA-cleared prescription drug, Kybella is still a cosmetic procedure, which most health insurance does not pay for.

Q: How do I know if Kybella is safe?
A: Kybella was the focus of a global clinical development program involving more than 20 clinical studies with more than 2,600 patients worldwide, of which more than 1,600 received Kybella injections.

Q: Are there any side effects?
A: The safety of Kybella has been proven to be excellent over the course of clinical trials.
The most common side effects include swelling, bruising, redness, tenderness and discomfort following their injections, which you can treat at home with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications.
Serious side effects are quite rare, but may include temporary nerve injuries in the jaw that may cause facial weakness, as well as trouble swallowing. Although these side effects are not permanent, contact us immediately if you experience these effects.

Q: How many Kybella injections will I need?
A: Every patient starts out with a different size, structure and amount of fat, so there will be a range of responses to treatment. The number of treatments you will need will vary, though most people need at least two sessions. We will assess your need for further sessions approximately six weeks after each treatment to determine whether you need additional injections.

Determining If Kybella Is Right for You
If you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan under the sun, but still struggle with unwanted neck and chin fat, you aren’t alone. Many people have been able to successfully tone other problem areas such as their arms and legs through eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, yet still find themselves with a double chin.

With Kybella, you can eliminate the need for liposuction or other invasive or painful fat-elimination techniques. Through a series of injections, Kybella mimics the body’s natural fat-absorption process and leaves you with a sleek, slim and selfie-perfect chin profile. However, only you and Dr. Sax can determine if Kybella injections are the best course of action to give you the chin and neck shape you have always wanted, but have been unable to achieve on your own. If you’re ready to get started, contact our clinic today for your confidential, one-on-one consultation.

Dr. David S. Sax

Dr. David Sax is a board certified dermatologist in sarasota and an expert in Mohs surgery for skin cancer. He is dedicated to bringing you clinical excellence, highly personalized treatments, and accessible and efficient service. Whether you need treatment for a medical skin condition, or want to achieve a more youthful look with cosmetic or spa services, you’ll find state-of-the-art solutions right here.

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