Kybella Deoxycholic Acid: A Non-surgical Treatment for Double Chin and Submental Fat Removal
Double chin sufferers can rejoice! The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has now approved Kybella, a new non-invasive procedure for the removal of unwanted fatty tissue under the chin.
“It’s a common cosmetic concern,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. Patients may try different skin tightening procedures but the fullness in the neck often persists. “I tell my patients that a double chin isn’t necessarily related to skin laxity. We all have a naturally occurring anatomic ‘fat pad’ that becomes more prominent under the chin as we get older.”
“This has traditionally been considered a surgical problem,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, dermatologist and skin surgeon at Sanova Dermatology in Austin. Dr. Mamelak is referring to liposuction and surgical neck lift, the procedures that are used to correct this issue. “Kybella can offer the non-surgical approach patients have been looking for.”
The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid, a substance naturally found in the body that is involved in the breakdown and metabolism of fat. “This agent destabilizes the membranes of fat cells, causing them to break and be absorbed by the body,” explains Dr. Mamelak
The procedure is based on mesotherapy. Mesotherapy is a treatment that has been used for years around the world for everything from pain relief to circulatory problems and even cancer. Most commonly, however, it has been employed for cosmetic purposes. Mesotherapy has historically used a variety of active agents, antioxidants and vitamins injected into subcutaneous fat.
“Deoxycholic acid appears to specifically dissolve fat,” says Dr. Hanson, “and the results are extremely encouraging. The fat removal with Kybella appears to be permanent.”