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Kybella®

Enjoy a Nonsurgical Double Chin Treatment in Grand Rapids

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There are many places on the body where fat can accumulate (hello, thighs!), but only a few ways to get rid of it from where it's not wanted (such as that pesky area below the chin). Dieting and exercise work, but sometimes only to a certain point. Certain areas may slim down, while others appear entirely untouched. Liposuction is an option. Physically removing fat from the body is effective, but not everyone wants to undergo surgery and deal with the associated recovery period. Fortunately, there's a fast, nonsurgical way to remove stubborn submental fat with minimal effort and little to no subsequent downtime: Kybella®. Grand Rapids' Bengtson Center now offers the injectable cosmetic, approved by the FDA as a double chin treatment.

Patients interested in Kybella® should note that Dr. Brad Bengtson was among the first to offer the injectable in West Michigan. The Bengtson Center is always seeking to promote beauty and health through the latest technological and medical breakthroughs and advances, providing current and safe treatments and procedures that deliver consistent, noticeable results.

What Is Kybella®?

Kybella® is a prescription cosmetic with deoxycholic acid as its active ingredient. That chemical is found naturally in the human body, where it helps to break down fat as a part of everyday dietary processes. The active molecule serves much the same function in Kybella®, which, once injected under the chin, specifically targets the fat cells there to destroy them. Deoxycholic acid breaks down the cell membranes as part of a cycle known as cytolysis, sending the released fat to be processed and eliminated from the body.

Since the submental fat cells are removed through destruction—not just reduced in size—they can no longer accumulate new fat, making this an effective method for a long-term change. No re-treatment is expected to be necessary once patients achieve their desired results.

By contrast, fat cells that shrink with diet and exercise remain where they are. If an increase in calories or a decrease in physical activity leads to weight gain, the cells can swell again, re-creating the unwanted double chin.

What Causes Submental Fullness?

The problem of a double chin isn't tied to one particular cause. Men and women alike can develop submental fullness as they gain weight due to diet, lack of exercise, and other conditions. It may also appear because of genetics or as a result of physical changes chalked up to natural aging.

No matter the cause of the double chin, Kybella® can reduce unwanted fat cells. Note that the treatment is intended only for cosmetic contouring, not as a strategy for weight loss. Any similar nonsurgical or surgical fat-reduction method should be treated only as an aesthetic tactic.

Some patients find that the problem beneath their chin is also due to loose skin, which generally hangs loose but can also create an unflattering bulge when they look down. This skin laxity may be in addition to excess fat, or be a concern all on its own. In either case, treatments are available to address it.

Brad Bengtson Brad Bengtson

Brad Bengtson, MD, FACS

"Best Plastic Surgeon - Grand Rapids" Grand Rapids Magazine for the past 7 consecutive years.

Elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America® from 1996 to 2016.

Sought-after Global Speaker and Educator on all aspects of Plastic Surgery.

How Will Kybella® Be Administered?

Every Kybella® treatment has its beginning in a consultation, at which the doctor will discuss your aesthetic goals and develop an agreed-upon plan to help you achieve them. A simple exploration of the submental area will reveal whether there's indeed enough fat there for the injectable treatment to be effective.

The injection process itself takes 20 to 30 minutes, and the overall treatment regimen may involve two to four sessions, each spaced about a month apart, though some patients have completed six sessions. The nature of deoxycholic acid means it can dissolve all types of cells, so it is important to choose an injector with the education, experience, and eye for detail necessary for achieving safe, aesthetically pleasing results. Your injector at the Bengtson Center will carefully place the incisions with precision, mindful of your overall face shape, neck anatomy, the extent of the unwanted fat, the desired ultimate look, and more. Training is key, and any of our injectors invite you to ask questions to learn about their background and history with cosmetic treatments in general, and Kybella® specifically.

Patients who receive Kybella® report only minimal discomfort and post-treatment pain. Most people return to their typical daily activities, including work, just a day or two after their treatment. There are no particular aftercare instructions for Kybella® patients, beyond taking good care of yourself and watching as any swelling or bruising fade.

Results should be noticeable within weeks, with the fat reduction becoming increasingly apparent as treatments continue.

What Else Can Help With Facial Contours?

While Kybella® is quite popular at the Bengtson Center, it is not the only option available to men and women who want to change the look of their face.

In terms of fat reduction, CoolSculpting® can chill away the unwanted fat cells that make up a double chin. A special applicator, known as the CoolMini, is designed specifically for the neck area, where it can selectively impact the fat there. Like Kybella®, there are no incisions required, results will appear gradually over time, and multiple sessions may be required.

For some patients, the fat-reducing power of Kybella® may not be enough to create slimmer neck contours. Loose skin can be left behind after fat bulges diminish, or sagging may develop on its own due to genetics and aging, creating a wattle-like look known as "turkey neck." Ultherapy® uses ultrasound energy to tighten lax tissue and give patients an ultimately sleeker appearance.

Patients choosing Kybella® for neck fat may also find that tissues higher on their face have slumped, leading to the formation of jowls and a poorly defined jawline. Pulling up this drooping skin and fat can restore a youthful look. Voluma®, a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler in the Juvéderm® family, adds volume to the mid-face region, creating fuller, rounder angles there that also produce a temporary, subtle lift.

Kybella® results are considered permanent, as long as patients maintain a healthy body weight going forward, because unwanted fat is eliminated from the body. Liposuction is a surgical option that also removes fat cells. The procedure requires incisions for the insertion of a thin cannula to break up and suction out the fat, but results are essentially immediate. Lipo may also be part of a neck lift or facelift, both of which secure loose skin to create defined contours, eliminating any excess tissue. The neck lift can get rid of wattle-like sagging below the chin, while the facelift gets rid of jowls as it re-contours the midand lower face.

No matter the look of your neck, from bulges to bagginess, there is a solution. Dr. Bengtson can assess your face and determine which options, from Kybella® to a surgical lift, is best suited to delivering a sleeker, slimmer neck and face.

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