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What is Kybella and what can it do for my double chin?

A double chin, also known as “submental fullness,” is caused by excessive pockets of fat in the neck. It is not necessarily the result of aging, and may be caused by weight gain or genetics. Both men and women, as young as those in their 30s, have sought treatment for it to improve both their profile and self-confidence.

Until recently, liposuction or other such invasive procedures were the only treatments for submental fullness. Kybella is first and only non-surgical, FDA-approved treatment for reducing a double chin. Many people are turning to this groundbreaking treatment to enhance facial appearance without undergoing a surgical procedure or liposuction.

How does Kybella work?

Kybella is a man-made form of deoxycholic acid, which is a substance that naturally occurs in the body and helps the body absorb fat. Because Kybella actually destroys the fat cells in a double chin, it is effective even when weight loss and exercise—which may help tone and firm other areas of the body—are not. Once the fat cells are destroyed, the body’s own immune system clears away the dead cells.

What is the Kybella procedure?

Dr. Tanna will slightly numb or ice the area, then apply a Kybella-provided grid to mark off the area that can safely be injected. Some patients experience a slight, temporary burning sensation at the injection site. The procedure generally takes less than an hour.

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How many treatments will I need?

Most patients need two to four treatments to get the level of smooth tightening they are looking for. However, since the cells are destroyed, they cannot return, unless there is a significant amount of weight gain to add new fat cells to the body.

Will Kybella tighten the skin or sagging muscles in my chin?

As we age, collagen production and skin elasticity are both reduced. Removing the fat will not tighten skin or sagging muscles in the treatment area. If these are already problems, treatment with Kybella may only increase these effects. If such sagging skin or muscles exist, the patient may benefit from a neck lift instead.

What is the typical recovery time after a Kybella treatment?

Kybella is not a quick, in-and-out/go-back-to-work treatment like BOTOX or facial fillers. There will be some swelling that usually subsides within 48 hours but may take longer. This is generally not major and is often not noticeable by others. However, response to Kybella varies by individual, and it is best to schedule a treatment before a weekend or other period during which you can comfortably remain at home.

The amount of swelling is often proportional to the amount of fat cells to be destroyed. With subsequent treatments, there is usually less swelling.

Done imprecisely, Kybella treatments can result in disfigurement. One of very few physicians in the country to be dually board certified in both plastic surgery and head & neck surgery—Dr. Tanna is uniquely qualified both to determine whether you are a candidate for Kybella and to perform this delicate procedure.

© Neil Tanna MD. All rights reserved.

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