The Surgeon Minute

Say Goodbye to the Double Chin!

Say Goodbye to the Double Chin!

For those of us bothered by extra fat under the chin area, there may be hope.  A new FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved injectable procedure claims to get rid of the stubborn fat without surgery.  In the past, liposuction was most likely your only option, but this procedure called KYBELLA™ is done in a matter of minutes in a physician’s office.

It may take several injections to get the result you’re looking for, but for those of you who are looking for a less invasive remedy, this new treatment may be for you. We sat down with Dr. Shaun Parson, a plastic surgeon from Scottsdale, Arizona, who is performing the procedure in his practice to find out more.

The Plastic Surgery Channel Interviews
Shaun Parson, MD

What is KYBELLA™?

SP: “Kybella is a naturally occurring product in the body, called deoxycholic acid that helps breakdown fat and the absorption of fat. Kybella causes the destruction of fat cells and once destroyed, those cells are reabsorbed by the body.  It’s the first and only FDA approved injection to treat the area under the chin, which we call the submental region, to permanently remove fat. There are several reasons you might be interested in using Kybella. Some of us accumulate fat in this area naturally because of genetic predisposition, or it can also be because we’ve gained weight, or just part of the natural process of aging.”

kybella.00_01_07_16.Still002Does it work better than liposuction?

SP: “I don’t know if it’s better or worse but we’re in an age now where certain people don’t have the time or the desire to have surgery. Kybella is a great alternative for those patients, because there’s no downtime and the most common side effects are some bruising, swelling and some localized tenderness.  But really after the first injection, you’re good the next day.”

How are you using Kybella in your practice?

“One unique thing we’re doing in our practice is we have a three phase approach. The first is Kybella destroying the fat under the chin.  Sometimes you may have cords or bands in the neck, which we call platysmal banding; we can treat that with Botox. We can also do some skin tightening with

All three of these approaches can be done with no downtime and over a three month period.  Patients really feel like they’re more attractive and more confident, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

How many treatments does it take to see results?

SP: “Most people will have 2-4 treatments 4-6 weeks apart.  After the second treatment, 24% of patients feel like there is a significant improvement and they may stop at that point, after the third treatment, we’re in the high 40% range.  After the fourth, now we’re in the 60% range for improvement. So it really depends on the severity of the fat underneath the chin starting out. Everybody is individual- you need to be evaluated by board certified surgeon who has been specifically trained in the Kybella injection technique.”


Looking at the before and after pictures, there’s a big difference. Is this typical?

SP: “Sometimes you feel like you really can’t see a difference with before and after pictures; that’s not the case with Kybella.  This procedure is going to open the door to patients who would not otherwise approach this area of the body.”

Is Kybella safe?

SP: “Some 3000 patients were studied prior to be given FDA approval.  At this point it’s very safe and it’s much studied.”

Allergan, the maker of Botox, bought out Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Kybella’s original maker in June of 2015.  Allergan is counting on the interest in this new treatment to strengthen its portfolio, and help boost sales.

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