Q: I just heard that there are some shots that were recently approved by the FDA to get rid of a fat neck and a double chin. Does this really work?
A: It’s true! The Food and Drug Administration just approved Kybella, an injection that is used “for improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat in adults.” Basically, this means an adult who has a fatty neck can get injected with Kybella – a deoxycholic acid that is intended to dissolve fat under the chin.
This is great news for patients who do not wish to have surgery. While this sounds fantastic, and it probably is for some patients, my antenna goes up and says – “buyer beware.”
It appears that Kybella’s manufacturer, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, will initially train dermatologists, facial plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons. The company also is planning a slow rollout so that doctors may be trained effectively. In the original studies, patients were noted to have some redness, swelling and hardness at the injection site, which eventually went away. Naturally, this product will not be for everybody. Patients should have good or moderate skin tone so that after the fat is dissolved, the skin may retract.
Because this is a new product, physicians need to gain some experience using it. The procedure will not be perfected until doctors understand what this product can and cannot do. With this in mind, people interested in having these injections should be cautious and ask their physician about the training he or she received and discuss their expectations.
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery, and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.