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How Does Kybella Remove a Double Chin?

HomeBlogMedical Spa Info & Tips › How Does Kybella Remove a Double Chin?

January 06, 2020 | Blog, Medical Spa Info & Tips
9 minute read


Are you frustrated with the appearance of a stubborn double chin? You’re not alone. In fact, most people develop a double chin as they get older. Double chins are notoriously difficult to rid of; at least, they used to be. Thankfully, the injectable treatment Kybella offered by Capitis Medical & Aesthetics in San Diego, CA, has the power to melt a double chin away in mere months. It might sound too good to be true, but this treatment is FDA-approved and proven to work. But how does it do it?

How Kybella Works

This treatment is a minimally invasive, FDA-approved injectable for double chins, also known as submental fullness. This treatment uses a synthesized version of a compound that exists naturally within the human body to destroy the fat that can cause the appearance of a double chin. In order to understand how it melts away a double chin and leaves behind a smooth, contoured jawline, we must first understand how fat cells work within the human body.

Fat Cells and Their Unique Properties

Fat cells in the human body are very difficult to destroy, and the body seldom creates new ones. It might seem logical to assume that new fat cells are created when we lose weight and that fat cells are destroyed when we lose weight. This is not the case, however. Instead, gaining weight simply causes our existing fat cells to expand and store more fat, while losing weight shrinks them as the fat they store is used up by the body. The number of fat cells in the body, though, remains more or less constant once we exit adolescence.

This is why stubborn pockets of body fat like a double chin can be so difficult to get rid of. No matter how much weight we lose, those fat cells are still there. Luckily, modern body sculpting treatments like this one have the power to destroy fat cells outright.

Using Body Science Against Body Fat

Kybella is actually the brand name for the synthesized form of deoxycholic acid. This is a bile acid naturally produced in the liver. In the liver, it helps the body absorb fat. When injected into the chin, deoxycholic acid does its thing, destroying fat cells so they can no longer store fat. The destroyed fat cells are then flushed away by the body, processed by the lymphatic system, and eliminated.

Is It Permanent?

Because new fat cells are seldom produced by the human body once it reaches adulthood, the effects of a deoxycholic acid treatment are permanent. Those fat cells are never coming back. This treatment, however, does not destroy 100% of the fat cells in the treated area, so should weight gain occur after the treatment, the remaining cells may still expand, resulting in the returned appearance of a double chin.

This is one of the reasons that this and other body sculpting treatments are usually recommended for people who are already in good shape and at or near their target body weight.

What Is Treatment Like?

When you come to our office for your treatment, our professional practitioner will first mark the spots under the chin where the deoxycholic acid will be injected. The number of injections depends largely on the size of the submental fullness that’s being treated. It usually falls between twenty and thirty, though it can go as high as fifty.

Your treatment professional will also apply a numbing agent to minimize any potential discomfort. This treatment uses very thin needles, but some patients prefer to be numbed beforehand nonetheless. Once the preparation is finished, the injections will begin. The entire process takes roughly fifteen to twenty minutes, depending upon how many injections are needed.

When you’re done, you can walk right out of our office and go back to your normal daily routine with no need for downtime. In fact, this treatment is so quick and easy you could get it done over your lunch break and be right back in the office that afternoon with no one the wiser.

What’s the Catch?

We’re all trained to be suspicious of miracle cures. An injection that melts away a double chin like magic might seem too good to be true, but it not only works, its effectiveness is backed by the FDA. You might be thinking there has to be a downside, but you’d be surprised once again. Because deoxycholic acid occurs naturally within the human body, just about everyone tolerates this injection well.

Most people who undergo this treatment will experience some swelling in the treated area afterward, but this is actually not a side effect. It’s a sign that the deoxycholic acid is going to work on your fat cells.

How Long Before I See My Results?

A deoxycholic acid treatment does not provide instant results. It takes the body some time to remove the dead fat cells killed by the injection. Moreover, most people receive more than one treatment. In clinical studies, this treatment achieved visible results after between two and four sessions. Patients can have up to six treatments, but they must be spaced no less than one month apart.

The upside of the slow development of results is that it gives the skin around the submental fullness time to react. If you have good skin elasticity, the skin will retract and mold naturally along the new contours of the jawline as they develop, resulting in a very natural look. If you are worried about your skin elasticity, you should talk to us about it at your initial consultation.

Do I Need to Prepare?

Because this is a minimally invasive treatment with no necessary downtime, there’s nothing you need to do to prepare. Unlike with invasive surgical alternatives that often require fasting and other preparation, all you have to do for this treatment is walk into our office for your appointment.

Can Kybella Treat Other Areas?

We all have “problem areas” we’d love to use a body sculpting treatment on, but unfortunately, this one is currently only approved for use on submental fat. While it occurs naturally within the body, deoxycholic acid can damage other tissues if injected improperly. That’s why it is currently not used anywhere but on the double chin and why these injections must be administered by a trained professional like those in our office.

Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?

While Kybella is a great option for thousands of people who want to rid themselves of a stubborn, frustrating double chin, it’s not the answer for everybody. Here are some people who are good candidates for this treatment:

Those in Good Overall Shape

It’s important to note that Kybella and other body sculpting treatments, including CoolSculpting, Sculpsure, and others, are not weight loss treatments. They are aesthetic in nature, design to target and destroy pockets of stubborn body fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. While some may notice a tiny decrease in body weight, these treatments won’t provide the health benefits to the heart, cholesterol levels, and other things that a proper diet and exercise can. If you’d like to lose weight for health reasons, you should consult with your physician to formulate a diet and exercise plan that works for you.

That said, if you are in good shape already and lead an overall healthy lifestyle, this treatment may be right for you. If you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet but have seen no reduction in the appearance of submental fat, this treatment can help.

Those Who Have Eliminated Surgery as an Option

Invasive liposuction surgery has certain benefits that should not be discounted, chief among them its ability to remove more fat at once than any body sculpting treatment. Still, it has its share of downsides, too. Its recovery period is lengthy: it can sometimes take weeks before patients can return to their usual levels of physical activity. Results from liposuction don’t show up any faster than those of most body sculpting treatments, either, because the procedure causes swelling which takes a long time to recede. In addition, liposuction is more expensive than most alternatives.

If you’ve looked into the possibility of liposuction for getting rid of your submental fat but decided it wasn’t for you, this treatment provides a minimally invasive alternative that can work just as well with multiple treatments.

Those Who Are Ready to Commit

Some body sculpting treatments are one and done, but deoxycholic acid can require some commitment on the part of the patient. It can take up to six months of monthly treatments for it to produce its best results. If you’re ready to commit, this is a good treatment option for you.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for This Treatment?

While most people are good candidates for this treatment, there are a handful of people that this injectable isn’t right for. You should reconsider treatment if:

You Are Pregnant or May Become Pregnant

While deoxycholic acid occurs naturally within the body and is therefore not a danger to pregnant women or unborn children, body sculpting treatments in general are not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant. This is because of the changes the body undergoes in pregnancy. Hormones and other factors can cause the body’s contours to change and removing fat may produce results that will be reversed post-pregnancy. It’s better to wait until after pregnancy to undergo a treatment like this.

Your Double Chin Isn’t From Body Fat

Double chins are often the result of submental fat, but not always. There are other conditions that can lead to the appearance of a double chin. For example, skin becomes more lax as we age. Often lax skin will sag enough to produce the appearance of a double chin. Because this kind of double chin isn’t due to body fat, a deoxycholic acid treatment won’t do anything to improve it.

Other conditions that can cause a double chin include loose neck muscles, which can also occur as we age, and a weak chin bone. Those with a weak chin bone often have a soft or even double chin from childhood, but this is usually not due to submental fat.

Call Us Today!

If you’re fed up with the appearance of a stubborn double chin and think that you’re a good candidate for Kybella, your next step should be to call us at Capitis Medical & Aesthetics in San Diego, CA to schedule your initial consultation today! We’ll talk about your goals and create a treatment plan that will leave your jawline and profile more contoured and youthful-looking than you thought possible.

Please contact Capitis Medical & Aesthetics today if you have any questions about our hair loss treatment or aesthetic procedures.

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