Kybella is an injectable medication that has been recently approved for the treatment of a double chin, turkey neck, or submental fullness. As we age, there are volumetric changes that occur in the neck and facial region. While the face will lose fat and bone as we age, the neck will tend to gain fat. A long, defined and elegant jawline is beautiful or handsome. An increase in fat in the neck region can blunt the neck and jawline and have a negative impact on facial balance and harmony. Kybella is an exciting non-surgical treatment to improve definition and melt the fat of a double chin. In this web page, I will explain:
- The composition of Kybella
- How Kybella works
- Who is a candidate for Kybella
- How Kybella is injected
- The recovery process
- The risks associated with Kybella
The Composition of Kybella – Deoxycholic Acid
Kybella is a concentrated and injectable form of deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring bile acid that is produced by the liver and gallbladder that is secreted into the intestine where it has many functions including:
- Aid in digestion of fat
- Aid in the absorption of vitamins
- Aid in the breakdown of cholesterol
- Functions as a hormone in the digestive system. The gallbladder is next to the liver and it holds and secretes enzymes into the intestine to help with digestion. One of the substances that the gallbladder secretes is deoxycholic acid. While in the intestine, the deoxycholic acid helps break down and digest fat.
Who is a Good Candidate for Kybella Treatment?
Kybella is a great option for patients with fullness in the submental (under chin) or neck region that is caused by the collection of excess fat. At times, the fullness in the region could be caused by other reasons including enlarged thyroid or lymph nodes. For this reason, it is important that a patient seeking to have treatment with Kybella have a thorough physical examination of the neck region to ensure they are a good candidate.
How Does Kybella Work to Treat a Double Chin?
Kybella is able to attack and kill fat cells that it comes into contact with. Kybella kills fat cells by interrupting their cellular membranes. The cellular membrane surrounds the cell and protects it from the surrounding environment. If the cellular membrane is disrupted by Kybella, the cell will implode and die.
In the neck, Kybella is injected directly into the area of fullness caused by fat. Kybella will interact with the cell membranes of the fat in the region, causing the fat cells to die. The removal of excess fat in the region will allow the skin to contract to create an improved neck and jawline.
The Injection Technique of Kybella
Kybella is injected directly into the pre-platysmal fat or superficial fat of the neck. This is injected by multiple small injections over a wide area. The needles used during the injections are tiny and are well tolerated. At times, ice packs or numbing cream may be used to improve patient comfort. The patient will require repeated treatment of Kybella every 4-6 weeks. Depending on the heaviness of the neck, most patients will require between 2 to 4 treatments.
What is the Downtime or Recovery after Kybella Injections?
After treatment, patients will be able to return to their normal activity in 1 day. Patients may experience temporary soreness, bruising, firmness, lumps, bumps, or redness of the skin. The area under the neck where Kybella was injected will be swollen for 2-3 days. As with all injections, there is a risk of a temporary bruise after injection.
Are Kybella Injections Painful?
Before injecting the neck with Kybella, I numb the area to be injected. During this process, patients will feel a few minor pricks and stings, but it is very well tolerated. The overall pain level during injection of Kybella is quite low.
What are the Risks of Kybella?
In all medical treatments, there are risks involved. Risks are minimized by proper patient selection and proper injection technique. Risks associated with Kybella injections included:
- Weakness or injury to the nerve that moves the lower lip. (This occurred in 4% of patients during the clinical trial. Amongst all of these patients, the nerve recovered and patients have full functioning of the nerve. It took an average of 44 days for the nerve to return back to normal.)
- Difficulty swallowing. (This occurred in 2% of patients during the clinical trials. It took an average of 3 days for swallowing to return to normal.)
If properly injected, the chance of the above-mentioned issues is very rare.
Who Is Not A Candidate for Kybella Treatments?
Kybella was shown to be not as effective in patients with excess skin laxity or vertical banding of the neck. These patients would make less than ideal patients. The patients with previous surgery of the neck or submental may not be good candidates for Kybella as well. This would depend on the nature of the surgery and the current anatomy of the neck. The patients that would not be candidates for Kybella are:
- Have a history of swallowing difficulty
- Have bleeding disorders
Can Kybella be Injected into other Areas of the Face and Body?
At this time, Kybella is limited to injections only to the neck and submental area. There may be a time in the future when Kybella will be injected into other areas of the face and body to remove excess fat.
What is the Cost of Kybella Injections in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Kybella is price by the vial. Patient will typically need between 1-3 vials a treatment. Patient will need between 1 and 4 treatment sessions depending on the heaviness of the neck and the desired result. The price of a vial of Kybella in Charlotte varies from 700 to 800 dollars a vial.
What Additional Procedures are Offered with Kybella?
There are instances where the fullness of the neck region are attributed to both excess fat and a weak chin. In this situation, to get the best result, the chin must be augmented as well. The chin can be augmented non-surgically with the addition of fillers to the region or permanently with the placement of a chin implant.
Where Can I get Kybella in Charlotte, North Carolina?
Carolina Facial Plastics is located in the Southpark region of Charlotte, North Carolina. Carolina Facial Plastics was founded and directed by Beverly Hills trained double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh. Carolina Facial Plastics is one of the first practices to offer Kybella in North and South Carolina. If you are interested in learning more about Kybella or would like to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (704) 842-3644 or fill out the online contact form here.
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