Do you look in the mirror and find yourself feeling unhappy or self-conscious about submental fullness in your chin area (AKA the double chin)? You are not alone! This common condition is a struggle for both men and women, although it typically affects women at a more frequent rate.
Having extra fat under your chin isn’t physically harmful, but it sure can feel like a big downer when it happens. Often, it makes people feel as though they weigh more than they do or as if they’re older than they are. So what happens when you want to see a change but aren’t ready for surgery? It’s time to explore Kybella’s chin-fat fighting solution.
WHAT IS KYBELLA?
Kybella is the first and only FDA-approved medication used to treat moderate to severe submental fat, otherwise known as chin fat or the double chin. This is an injectable medication that contains a synthetic version of a substance known as deoxycholic acid. This acid naturally occurs in the body and is responsible for helping the body to breakdown and absorb fat.
One of the interesting features of Kybella is its permanent effect on the area of the body treated. Once the fat cells in the chin area are treated with deoxycholic acid, they are permanently incapable of storing fat. This means they will not fill up or accumulate again, so you should only need one series of treatments that will last once you are happy with your final results.
Most people need a series of two to three Kybella treatments to see full results. Cost can be a limiting factor for some people, with treatments ranging anywhere from $800 to $1,500 per session. The cost depends on the number of vials your provider needs to use as well as the office’s particular pricing structure. While the total can easily add up to be more than a surgical procedure, many people view the non-invasive aspect of the treatment to be well worth the additional cost.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR KYBELLA INJECTIONS?
Candidates for Kybella must be at least 18 years of age. Anyone with moderate or severe chin fat can consider this a reasonably safe procedure, especially if they’ve lost weight but feel as though the face hasn’t changed enough.
That said, there are risks. You should avoid Kybella if you’re planning to have any sort of facial reconstruction or surgery because it could impact the outcome of plastics procedures. Make sure your provider knows if you’ve already had surgery, too, as it may impact the effectiveness of Kybella injections.
Women who are pregnant or nursing, and anyone with a disorder that impacts swallowing, should avoid treatment. While there’s no proof Kybella is unsafe for an unborn baby, it’s just not worth the risk. Make sure you disclose any other medical conditions or illnesses so your provider is well-informed and can help you make the safest treatment decision possible.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT
Depending on where you go for treatment, your provider may take a series of “before” photos so you and they have something to compare your results to later on. Some numbing cream will be applied, after which you’ll wait a few minutes for it to work it’s magic. They will then create a dot grid, with something similar to a temporary tattoo, to create a map of the sites where the Kybella solution will be injected.
Once the chin area has been prepped, your provider will start injecting your Kybella solution. The grid itself usually creates a series of 20 to 30 injection sites, depending on the size of the area being treated. Despite the seemingly high number, it generally only takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete the entire treatment protocol.
Depending on your chosen clinic or provider, you MAY or MAY NOT receive Kybella injections the same day as your initial consultation. Nonetheless, it’s highly advised that you do your homework and research beforehand, and arrive prepared to your initial consultation. While the procedure is minimally-invasive and does not involve any downtime, you may experience some bruising and swelling, so you might want to plan to take the rest of the day off of work so you can rest and relax.
The most important thing to do before treatment is stop using any drugs that thin your blood or cause extra bleeding. These include NSAID pain relievers, vitamins and herbal supplements like vitamin E or St. John’s Wort.
Do not stop taking any medications, especially prescribed blood thinners, without consulting your physician first.
Many Kybella providers will suggest taking Arnica Montana for a few days to help minimize the risk of bruising. Talk to your physician to be sure this supplement is safe for you to use, especially if you have high blood pressure or take blood thinning medications.
Otherwise, the only other thing you need to do to prepare for treatment is make sure you present with a clean, shaven face on the morning of your procedure. This generally applies to men more than women, but if you struggle with facial hair, it’s still best to remove it first before attending your appointment.
Don’t put on any topical ointments, lotions, or creams. Your provider will take care of any other cleansing and sterilization of the area at your appointment.
You can go back to work after your Kybella treatment if you need to, but a lot of people like to relax for the rest of the day. You may experience some discomfort and swelling in the treatment area. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and eat a healthy, balanced diet in first couple of days after your treatment.
Your provider may instruct you to ice the treatment for the first 24 hours after treatment. Do not otherwise touch or rub the chin area. You’ll be instructed to take acetaminophen for discomfort, if it is appropriate for you, and to sleep with your head elevated for about a week after the initial treatment. Do your best to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun as well.
WHERE ELSE CAN KYBELLA BE USED?
While Kybella is currently only approved for use around the chin area, there are plastic surgeons who have been exploring its use in other areas. European doctors are using the injections to treat the upper arms, elbows, and knees. Some are even using it to treat stubborn belly fat!
Kybella is an exciting product that can create stunning results over time. While it may take a while to see the change take complete shape, this non-surgical option with permanent results is well worth the time spent to get through the entire process.