The dreaded double chin. Also known as submental fat, it can appear at nearly any age or weight. For some, submental fat forms as they grow older and skin loses elasticity. Others are genetically inclined to store fat in the jawline area. Weight gain—whether minor or major—can also significantly increase submental fat. Luckily, you can combat the double chin and turkey neck with Kybella.

What Is Kybella?

Kybella is a deoxycholic acid-based injectable FDA-approved to destroy fat cells under the chin. It’s a great alternative to liposuction, a neck lift, or other surgical options. 

Who Is a Good Candidate?

You are a good candidate for Kybella if you are unhappy or self-conscious about the fat under the chin, feel it makes you appear older or heavier than you are, don’t want to undergo the stress of surgery, and have maintained a healthy diet and exercise regimen without a change in submental fat. You are not a good candidate if you have an infection in the treatment area. 

How Does Kybella Work?

Kybella uses a synthetic version of the naturally occurring molecule deoxycholic acid. It mirrors the actions of bile acid, which breaks down and absorbs fat. When Kybella is injected into submental fat, it dissolves the cell membranes of fat cells. Any leftover cellular debris is cleared into the “lymphatic and circulatory systems by specialized immunologic cells,” according to research. The Kybella brand explains once the fat cells are destroyed, they can no longer store or accumulate fat.  

How Should I Prepare for Kybella Injections?

To prepare for Kybella injections, discuss the treatment and your goals with your surgeon. Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions such as prior or planned facial surgery, trouble swallowing, bleeding problems, are pregnant or plan to be, breastfeeding, or taking blood thinner medications. Twenty-four to 48 hours before the procedure, you should avoid alcohol, caffeine, drugs or smoking, supplements, and processed, salty foods. It’s recommended to wash your face before the appointment to reduce risk of infection. 

What Is the Process Like?

As with most fillers and injectables, the process of administering Kybella is simple. The physician will perform several small injections under your chin. You will likely feel tiny needle pricks, but the procedure should not be painful. The number of injections depends on the size of the surface area and the amount of submental fat. The procedure typically takes 15 to 20 minutes, and there is little to no downtime associated with Kybella. Patients can typically get back to their normal routine within an hour and resume exercise within 24 hours. 

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

After treatment, most patients will experience the following side effects:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Redness
  • Hardness in Treatment Areas

Although rare, there are three serious side effects to be aware of. In select cases, Kybella can cause nerve injury and muscle weakness in the jaw, trouble swallowing, or injection site issues such as ulcers or necrosis. If you experience any of these, call your doctor immediately. 

When Will I See Results?

To achieve the results you desire, you may need more than one treatment session. The number of sessions typically depends on your goals and the amount of fat under your chin. Each is performed one month apart for up to six treatments. Patients should notice results four to six weeks after treatment one or after two sessions. The results of Kybella are long-lasting, as the acid dissolves fat cells. You may need to schedule maintenance sessions every few years. 

If you’re interested in getting rid of your double chin or turkey wattle neck, schedule a consultation with Long Island surgeon Dr. Anthony Buglino. He can help you decide if Kybella is right for your facial goals. For examples of Dr. Buglino’s work, check out his Instagram today! 

Topics: Injectables