Doctors call it submental fullness but laymen know it as double chin – or in even less flattering terms as turkey neck, wattle, and gobbler in honor, so to speak, of the traditional Thanksgiving bird’s characteristic look.
The medical term doesn’t evoke as much concern as the laymen’s terms but no matter what term is used, a double chin can be a cause of concern for many adults. After all, a large wattle can be construed as a sign of aging, obesity and even ugliness, which obviously aren’t as desirable as youthfulness and attractiveness.
The following Kybella prices are estimates only.
Kybella Approximate Cost
Per Treatment (4 to 6 weeks apart per treatment)
You may receive up to 6 treatment sessions, spaced at least 1 month apart.
|Treatment 1 (starting price)||$800.00|
|Treatment 2 (starting price)||$800.00|
|Treatment 3 (starting price)||$800.00|
|Treatment 4 (starting price)||$800.00|
|Treatment 5 (starting price)||$800.00|
|Treatment 6 (starting price)||$800.00|
A double chin is also a cosmetic concern for another reason. When it’s large enough – or sags enough, for that matter – it contributes to a weak chin (i.e., a jawline with little to no definition with the neck), a sign in many societies of a weak character and confidence. Of course, we know that it isn’t so but a double chin is something that most of us will not want to live with, if possible. Social media with its prevalence of people with well-defined jawlines and graceful necks don’t help in this regard either.
Fortunately, there’s hope for people with the dreaded double chin and it comes in the form of a series of injections under the chin. Ladies and gents, introducing Kybella, an injectable treatment approved by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration after over 20 clinical studies involving more than 1,600 patients.
Such was the furor over Kybella that several major publications including the New York Times announced its arrival with provocative headlines, many of which pitted the scalpel against the syringe. Before Kybella came into the picture, a neck liposuction and a neck lift, both of which are surgical procedures, were the only safe and effective options in removing a double chin.
What Is Kybella?
Developed in the United States for more than a decade, Kybella is the only FDA-approved injectable treatment for submental fullness. Keep in mind that it’s a prescription medication that should only be administered by a trained medical professional, such as a plastic surgeon or a clinical aesthetician. It’s best used to improve the appearance of moderate to severe fat buildup below the chin.
Emphasis must be made that Kybella hasn’t been proven safe and effective for:
- The treatment of fat in other areas aside from the chin
- The treatment of double chin in children under 18 years old
Kybella also shouldn’t be injected when there’s an infection in the treatment area.
How Does It Work?
Kybella’s active ingredient is synthetic deoxycholic acid, an artificial copy of a salt found in bile acid naturally produced by the body. Natural deoxycholic acid, a stomach acid, aids in the permanent breakdown, absorption, and excretion of dietary fat in the body.
Synthetic deoxycholic acid dissolves the membranes lining the fat cells under the chin that, in turn, causes them to expel the excess fat. The fat is then gradually and efficiently excreted by the body’s immune and excretory system. The result: Your double chin will either be significantly reduced or completely gone be gone after a few or several treatments depending on its severity.
Furthermore, once the fat cells are destroyed, these can neither grow nor store fat! You will then not require more treatments once the desired aesthetic result has been achieved. You must remember, nonetheless, that other factors can still contribute to the development of a double chin particularly significant weight gain.
How Much Does Kybella Cost?
The total cost of Kybella injections will include the price of the product itself and the expertise, skill and guarantee of the plastic surgeon or clinical aesthetician who administered them. Be sure to look for a medical professional with the appropriate license and training in the administration of Kybella, as well as someone who understands your motivation and goal. Keep in mind that there’s no cookie-cutter Kybella treatment plan since each double chin is as unique as the patient – an individualized treatment plan is then a must.
The final bill will also depend on several factors including but not limited to:
- The size of the treatment area
- The severity of the double chin (i.e., mild, moderate or severe)
- The amount of Kybella that should be injected with each treatment session
- The number of injections needed to achieve the desired result
- The clinic’s geographical location
- The professional’s expertise and track record
On average, the cost for two treatments ranges from $800 and $3,000 (est.) but it can also be higher or lower. Basically, the larger the double chin, the more injections are needed, and the higher the cost.
You may only need two treatments and, thus, keep your costs at below $3,000 at a reputable clinic. You may, on the other hand, require between four and six treatments to achieve the desired result so your overall costs can reach as much as $9,000 or more.
The removal of a double chin is generally considered a cosmetic procedure since the excess fat isn’t considered as life-threatening or the like. As such, health insurance providers will not cover the cost of Kybella injections including the complications, if any.
You must then ask detailed questions about the cost of the injections before the first injection is made. You can then make an informed decision regarding financing plans, such as taking out a personal loan, withdrawing from your savings, and using your credit card.
The Kybella cost isn’t as burdensome as it initially appears. Think about the cost of either a neck liposuction or a neck lift and the cost of Kybella injections is more affordable. Think about the fact, too, that Kybella injections have lesser risk in side effects and complications than the two surgical procedures.
You will also like that the results appear in a gradual manner so there will likely be less need to answer nosy questions about whether you have had something done to your double chin. Unless, of course, you want others to know.
Who Is It Suitable For?
Kybella is a suitable treatment for double chin for most adults who are bothered by the excess fat, who don’t want to undergo surgery to remove it, and who have been unsuccessful in getting rid of it via healthy diet and exercise habits. Indeed, relatively healthy adults who have reasonable expectations about the results of the procedure can be considered as suitable candidates.
Plastic surgeons, nonetheless, have minimum requirements for patients to be considered as ideal candidates. First, the candidate should preferably be on the slim side – people with a BMI of 28 or less are more likely to see striking and lasting results – with small areas of fat. He or she should have been unable to get rid of these small fatty areas even when maximizing his or her healthy lifestyle routines.
Second, the candidate should be able to maintain a stable weight. This is because Kybella injections will not remove every fat cell in the treatment area and, thus, gaining a fair amount of weight – about 5 kilos or more – can result in the remaining fat cells growing larger. The fat cells in the treated area will not come back but the growing fat cells will make it look like the fat has come back and so did the double chin.
Third, the target submental fat must be relatively soft and squeezable for Kybella to work as well as expected. Firm and fibrous fat, which are common on areas with cellulite as well as on the upper and middle back, will resist Kybella’s actions and, thus, it isn’t an appropriate treatment.
Again, Kybella has only been approved for the treatment of submental fat under the chin, not on other parts of the body. If you meet a medical professional who uses it as a fat removal method for other parts of the body, then be wary. There have reports that a few doctors are using Kybella to reduce small areas of fat on the lower belly, bra line, and thighs, even on the crease of the buttocks and the tops of the knees.
Yet another Kybella application that doctors are exploring is on the jowls, a possibility that comes with risks that should be carefully considered. The designated treatment zone for Kybella is the isolated A-shaped pocket directly under the chin but when doctors venture outside of it, the risks of injury increase.
The jowls are located near the marginal mandibular nerve that aids in lower lip movement – even a single misdirected injection can damage it and, thus, cause temporary asymmetry in the lower lip. You may end up with a lopsided smile, which doesn’t do well for your double chin issue, for about six weeks; the stunned marginal mandibular nerve requires time to regain its normal function.
The bottom line: For now, stick to Kybella injections for the treatment of moderate to severe double chin.
What Are Its Benefits?
When injected appropriately, Kybella gives several benefits including:
- More definition in the jawline with the double chin significantly reduced or completely gone
- Long-lasting results provided that a stable weight can be maintained
- Fast treatment time usually lasting between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area
- Little downtime necessary in comparison with neck liposuction and neck lift
- Non-invasive procedure
- Proven safe and effective with FDA approval
But there’s a downside to Kybella, too, in terms of the visibility of its results. These will not be seen immediately since the results will only be visible after several days or a few weeks after the treatment. The gradual nature, nonetheless, of the results is one of the reasons for Kybella’s increasing popularity – it will seem like your double chin receded naturally over a period of weeks instead of looking unnaturally stretched in a single day.
The recovery period and process for Kybella are also more tolerable than with its surgical counterparts. You don’t need to take significant time off work, wear post-surgery garments, and take extra precautions with Kybella. You will also spend less time recovering from the injections than from the incisions.
The treatments are also spaced six to eight weeks apart. Your body then has time to absorb and excrete the dissolved fat between each treatment session.
How Can You Prepare for It?
You and your healthcare provider should discuss the pros and cons as well as the risks and rewards that come with Kybella injections. You have to be prepared to answer questions and ask them prior to the first injection. You should tell your doctor about these matters, too:
- You have plans of getting surgery on your neck, chin or face or you have had surgeries here
- You have a medical condition in or near your chin and neck area
- You have difficulty swallowing for any reason
- You have bleeding issues
- You plan on becoming pregnant or you are pregnant or you are breastfeeding (It isn’t known if Kybella can harm the mother and baby)
- You are taking prescription and over-the-counter medications, especially blood thinners, anti-platelets, and anti-coagulants
Once you’re cleared for the procedure, there’s little preparation to be done on your part. You may, nonetheless, wash your face well before your appointment to reduce the risk of infection. You may also be advised to avoid taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which can interfere with the healing process (i.e., bruising).
Your doctor may also include a list of dos and don’ts to ensure that the procedure is a success. Be sure to read and follow them for best results.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The basic steps in the administration of Kybella include:
- Marking the injection sites using a transparent grid and marker as guide
- Administering a topical numbing agent to ease discomfort and pain from the injections
- Inject Kybella into the injection sites
There may be between 20 and 30 injection sites on average although some patients may require as many as 50injections in a single session. Multiple treatments ranging from two to six can be made depending on your circumstances.
Kybella comes with risks, as is the case for all cosmetic procedures. The side effects can include:
- Tissue necrosis (death) around the injection site
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Nerve injury resulting in facial muscle weakness or lopsided smile
- Numbness, redness and pain in the treated area
Most of these side effects are resolved on their own albeit with different periods. For example, nerve injury can be resolved in 44 days and difficulty swallowing in 3 days (median range). These side effects can be minimized, too, by choosing the right professional to administer Kybella.