Many adults suffer from a double chin or submental fullness. This can be for a number of reasons including genetics, ageing and weight gain. A lot of these adults are not overweight but feel that this fullness can make them look bigger than they are. Submental fullness can be a significant cosmetic concern in both women and men.
Until recently the only effective treatment for this problem was by liposuction or surgery. A new product has now been launched in Australia and Dr. Emma Nolan is one of the first Doctors in Adelaide to offer this treatment.
Belkyra(Kybella is the US product name) is a prescription only product that is injected into the chin fat to dissolve it. The active component is deoxycholic acid which we normally produce in the liver to break down fat in the gut (i.e. fatty meals that we eat). This product lyses or completely destroys the fat cells meaning that the fat cannot reaccumulate. The results of this treatment are thought to be permanent.
This product has been available in Canada, USA and Europe for about 18 months. It has recently been approved, on prescription, for the treatment of submental fat in Australia.
Who can be treated?
Belkyra is not suitable for everybody with submental fullness. Ideally the candidate should not have a very small or very large deposit of submental fat and should not have too much loose skin in this area (This product does not improve skin laxity). Certain medical conditions and infections in the area to be treated may need to be taken into consideration and this product is contraindicated if pregnant or breast feeding. Belkyra is suitable for use in men and women over the age of 18.
This table gives you a guide to the degree of submental fullness you have. This most suitable candidates are those with a submental fullness rating of 2 to 3.
What does the treatment involve?
After discussing your medical history and examining the submental area the Doctor will thoroughly discuss the procedure with you. Belkyra is injected via very fine needles into the area of chin fat and ice is applied during and after the procedure.
You will notice swelling and numbness of the area afterwards and, sometimes, bruising and redness This is a normal part of the procedure and indicates that the fat cells are being destroyed. This is most noticeable in the first 48 hours but may last for a week or longer.
A follow up appointment will be made for 6 weeks when the area will be injected again. All patients will require a minimum of 2 treatments – some may require more that this – this will be discussed at your consultation.
How long will it take to see results?
This varies between individuals but most people start to see improvement several weeks after the second injections. Dr. Nolan will keep in touch with you and follow your progress. If more than two treatment sessions are needed this will be discussed with you.
What is the cost?
The cost of treatment will depend on several factors including the amount of submental fat to be treated and how readily this fat responds to Belkyra. Treatment cost is generally $1,250 per session, but this will be discussed with your Doctor at your initial consultation.
An example of treatment before (left) and after (right) Belkyratreatment.