Kybella™ is a new injectable treatment for submental fullness (double chin) that can significantly improve chin contouring without the invasiveness and downtime of surgery. Kybella™ has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the reduction of submental fat. Dr. Pearlman was hand selected by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals to receive specialized training, and is one of the first physicians in the United States to offer this treatment to his patients.
Kybella™ is a synthetic formulation of deoxycholic acid, a substance found naturally occurring in the body, which is synthesized and then used to break down and absorb dietary fat. Kybella™ has been under development for more than 9 years, and has been the subject of over 20 clinical studies involving more than 2,600 patients. When properly injected in the submental area, it has been shown to dissolve fat that causes a double chin. The result is a more streamlined neck and improved contour along the jaw line.
The major factors seem to be genetics, natural aging or weight gain. Having a double chin can cause you to look older and heavier. According to a 2014 survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, approximately 70% of people have reported being bothered by submental fullness.
Prior to the introduction of Kybella™ the only effective options to treat submental fat were surgical. Liposuction, chin implant, platysmaplasty and neck lifts are all techniques utilized to improve the appearance of a double chin. During your consultation, Dr. Pearlman will thoroughly discuss the different treatment options you are a candidate for, both surgical and non-surgical, and answer any questions you might have with regards to the different options available to you.
The short answer is yes. Because this is a recently introduced treatment, there are not yet enough patients who have received Kybella™ injections to completely substantiate that claim. However, the clinical findings of the FDA studies indicate that the results are long lasting if there are no significant lifestyle changes.
Patients in the clinical studies who experienced weight gain after their treatment did not see the return of their submental fullness. However, we will have a better understanding about the impact of subsequent weight gain in the future when data becomes available from a broader range of patients who receive treatment with Kybella™.
Kybella™ is administered by injections into the fat under the chin through a series of treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. The treatment plan is tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient. The total number of treatments can vary based on a myriad of factors, patients may need 2 and 6 treatments to achieve their desired results. Dr. Pearlman will determine the best regime during your consultation based on your age, anatomy, physiology and goals.
Everybody’s body is different, the fat is dissolved within 10-15 minutes of injection, however your body has an inflammatory response to the injection, causing swelling, and this can take 3-4 weeks to subside. Typically results will appear within 4-6 weeks, and will continue to improve as additional treatments are administered.
Kybella™ is an injectable treatment, similar to Botox and fillers, it requires a relatively short office visit with Dr. Pearlman that should take about 20-30 minutes.
There can be some bruising and swelling following Kybella™ treatments, similar to other injectables, and can last up to a week. The bruising can be easily covered with make-up as soon as the next day. The swelling at the injection site typically last 4-7 days. Dr. Pearlman advises his patients to wait a few days before returning to the gym, any strenuous activity can prolong swelling and increase bruising.
Kybella™’s FDA approval was based on two double-blind clinical trials involving over a thousand patients with moderate to severe submental fat, they received a series of injections with either Kybella™ or a placebo. Patients that received Kybella™ saw a noticeable reduction of submental fat when compared to patients that received the placebo.
The side effects reported from Kybella™ injections were comparable to other cosmetic injections such as dermal fillers, leading the FDA Medical Advisory Committee to unanimously recommend approval after reviewing the clinical data, 17 to 0 were in favor to be exact. In extremely rare cases, improper injection could damage skin tissue if injected outside of the approved area (submental fat deposits). An injection too close to the marginal mandibular nerve could cause injury that affects the appearance of the mouth. While side effects resolved on their own within 1-2 months of treatment, to minimize risks it is recommended that Kybella™ be injected by a board certified facial plastic surgeon as they have extensive experience with the nerves of the face, and knowledge if you are a candidate for injection based on your anatomy.
Kybella™ may not be appropriate for everyone. Patients who have undergone previous plastic surgery procedures of the neck, chin and jawline must be evaluated on an individual basis. Patients who have difficulty swallowing, bleeding problems or medical conditions that might affect the face and neck may not be good candidates for Kybella™.