Kybella – Non-surgical Neck Thinning – a Treatment That Works
Non-surgical neck thinning. Kybella – a treatment that works.
Liposuction has long been a choice for treating patients with an undesirable neck profile. When done carefully by an experienced plastic surgeon, the results are generally quite good. While it is a short procedure with a high safety profile and excellent patient satisfaction, it is nonetheless a surgical procedure that is best performed under a general anesthetic. Submental liposuction, as it’s referred to, is the gold standard for treating this fat deposit in the neck/chin region.
A recent rival to liposuction of the neck is a product recently released that is designed to melt the fat using localized injections. Kybella® is a minimally invasive procedure that has a very good track record, including a 97% “is it worth it” rating from RealSelf.com. The FDA approved Kybella® for treatment in adults with moderate to severe fat below the chin in April of 2015. My colleagues that testified before the FDA on the effectiveness and safety of the treatments have reported very encouraging results. These clinical trials included 1,022 patients, some of whom received Kybella® and some who received a salt water only injection into the fat pad. Those who received Kybella® showed more reduction in the appearance of the fullness than those who received the salt water injection.
One of the priorities in treatment of fat below the chin with Kybella® is to first determine the depth of the fat. This is not always an easy assessment. If the fat is not superficial and is instead deep to the neck muscle, patients would not be a candidate for treatment in this way. Another concern with the injection is to avoid injury to a nerve that controls the corner of the mouth. There have been reported incidences of paralysis of these muscles, so a detailed awareness of the local anatomy is critical.
Kybella® treatments involve an injection of the material to dissolve the fat via a number of injections spread out over 3-4 sessions that are approximately 6 weeks apart. The product breaks the fat cell apart, causing release of the fat inside the cell and preventing the fat cell from storing fat in the future. Once the improvement in the thickness is achieved, the results are expected to be permanent and retreatment is generally not expected.
Following injection, patients can anticipate some bruising, thickness and tenderness. This normally peaks at 72 hours following the injection. While mild to moderate, it can take several weeks for this to fully resolve, generally disappearing by the time the next injection is planned 6 weeks later. Icing, massage, and anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin can assist in the recovery process.
It is important that you be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon that will have the ability to fully assess your situation and best determine the appropriate treatments available. It takes significant expertise to completely determine whether Kybella®, liposuction, direct fat excision, suture or incision release of muscle bands, a facelift, or even excision of salivary glands is your best option. Your ultimate appearance, results and safety demand that you have this evaluation performed by a physician fully trained in all your surgical and non-surgical options.
If you are bothered by this very common problem of a double chin, please contact our office to discuss your options. You should call for an appointment if you are considering a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for this situation. All injections of this type are administered personally by Dr. Brzowski, and you can trust that he will be able to assess your current condition and offer you the full breadth of options for treatment.