Product Feature

Everything You Need to Know About Kybella®

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Submental fullness is an ultra-common concern with a one-of-a-kind solution: Kybella®. This stubborn fat pad, colloquially known as a “double chin,” can be a source of insecurity in clients looking for a more defined jawline. That’s where Kybella® comes in. 

Follow along to learn more about this game-changing injectable and how adding this treatment to your services can dramatically enhance your business.

What is it?

Kybella® is a minimally invasive solution for clients looking to slim, sculpt, and define their jawline. This non-surgical injectable targets and destroys excess fat below the jawline, making it a well-tolerated alternative to liposuction. The “double chin” effect is a common complaint of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and gender identities. Submental fullness can be a result of genetics, hormone fluctuations, weight gain, and a number of other uncontrollable sources. Kybella® is the most sought-after treatment to address this concern, regardless of cause. 

A recent consumer survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) found that over sixty-seven percent of individuals feel insecure about fullness in the chin and neck area. With statistics like that in mind, it’s no wonder so many clients are seeking cosmetic solutions and asking their medical providers about Kybella®. Studies also show that over forty-five percent of people being treated with Kybella® were first-time clients. This treatment has attracted a new patient demographic that could ultimately boost your client base.

How does this cosmetic treatment work? 

Kybella® is the commercial name for injectable deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the human body. Deoxycholic acid is a bile acid that aids in the emulsification of fats in the digestive tract through the deterioration of cell membranes. Our bodies have developed a natural reliance on deoxycholic acid to break down these fats for absorption in the intestine. 

Kybella® employs the same science to break down dietary fat–so that the body no longer stores submental fat–and processes it for reabsorption. By administering Kybella®, a medical provider is able to inject this same substance into the subcutaneous fat so that this cytolytic drug is able to achieve the same fat-loss results. This synthetic version has been proven, and FDA approved for use in the chin and neck area. 

What happens to the dissolved fat? After the injection, the targeted fat becomes cellular debris and is able to gradually exit the body through its lymphatic and circulatory systems with the help of specialized immunologic cells. This is a slow process that occurs throughout the span of several weeks. What’s more, the injected dose of deoxycholic acid also gets metabolized and broken down by the body and then excreted as waste.

What is needed to perform Kybella® treatments? 

The only individuals eligible to administer Kybella® in the U.S. are trained medical professionals with state-approved credentials, including doctors, registered nurses, and physician assistants. Depending on state regulations, a nurse or physician assistant may need to be under the supervision of a doctor to administer this treatment.

To perform Kybella® treatments, you will need at least one vial of solution per session, in addition to a large bore needle for proper injection. Each vial contains 0.2 milliliters with a maximum treatment capping out at ten milliliters per session. Each injection should be precisely spaced one centimeter apart until the entire area is covered.

No additional supplies are needed but you may wish to add a couple more steps to increase your client’s comfort. General anesthesia is not required but a topical anesthetic cream is recommended. You may also want to offer an ice pack to the patient to soothe the affected area in between injections.

After the treatment session, provide your patient with a medical compression bandage to decrease swelling.

How long does it take? 

The average patient receives 30-50 injections per treatment from a singular syringe of Kybella®. On average, a Kybella® session takes about 20 minutes to administer from start to finish, inclusive of topical numbing. Depending on results and aesthetic goals, patients should complete two-to-six treatments, about four-to-six weeks apart. 

What is the best way to prepare for treatment? 

As a provider, there are a few small steps you can take to adequately prepare your clients. For one, scheduling a consultation prior to treatment will allow you to gauge candidacy and set realistic expectations. This will also give your client an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. As Kybella® can require up to six treatments, this is an opportunity to ensure the patient is prepared for a long-term treatment commitment. The consultation also allows you and your client to decide the best timing for treatment. Kybella® should be administered at least three weeks before any major events to allow swelling to subside.  

For clients, preparation is fairly simple. Ask your patient to arrive with a clean, makeup- and skincare-free complexion to reduce the risk of infection. You should also let them know to avoid drinking alcohol or taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen for 24 hours prior to treatment, to minimize the risk of bruising.

What does after-care look like? 

Encourage clients to keep their bandages on for at least twenty-four hours after treatment. This area may be tender to the touch, which is to be expected. The night of treatment, patients should sleep with two pillows and their bandages, allowing blood to flow away from the treatment area and reduce swelling.

Swelling typically peaks twenty-four hours after the treatment and can last anywhere from two days to three weeks, depending on the individual patient’s bodily reaction. They may also experience some other mild, non-threatening symptoms like numbness, redness, or areas of hardness where the skin under the chin might feel lumpy, which is caused by swelling in the treatment area. Swelling is a sign the treatment is hard at work, so although it may be an uncomfortable or unsightly side effect, it should be a welcome one.

It is common for patients to be disappointed with the lack of results from the first session. Results can take several weeks to more than a month to be revealed, although most patients will notice more dramatic results after a second session.

Who is the ideal candidate? 

While there is a high demand to minimize submental fat, not all clients would be considered ideal candidates for this cosmetic treatment. 

Before administering Kybella®, it’s important to first determine the cause of their “double chin.” Determine whether or not the lack of definition under the chin is caused by a fat pad, or other conditions such as age-related skin laxity. The latter is not an ideal candidate for Kybella® as this solution targets fat, not excess skin. Younger clients are ideal candidates for Kybella®–increased elasticity in the skin makes for a resilient, traceless recovery. Kybella® is also ideal for patients whose submental fat is genetic rather than weight-related. 

If a patient has trouble swallowing, is pregnant or nursing, or has any kind of infection or medical condition near the planned injection site, they are also not a strong candidate for Kybella®. 

What are the benefits of Kybella®? 

Kybella® offers several benefits for both the provider and client.  

One of the primary benefits of Kybella® is that no upkeep is needed–the  effects of Kybella® are permanent. Once the prescribed amount of sessions have been completed, there are no touch-ups or future costs, unlike other injectable treatments like Botox® and Dysport®. Similar to liposuction, Kybella® works to permanently remove the fat cells. However, it’s important to note that if a patient gains a significant amount of weight (in excess of 15 pounds), they are likely to notice some fullness in the treatment area.

Kybella® is also incredibly safe: Several studies have been performed on the long-term safety and results of the treatment. They’ve revealed that even in the case of rare, but unwanted side effects such a nerve damage or extreme swelling, the effects are temporary and will generally subside within two weeks to two months. This study also touted the high satisfaction rate among treatment recipients. In a participants group of over five-hundred patients, over 82.4 percent reported that their appearance had significantly improved and they were more satisfied with how they looked. You too can offer that kind of satisfaction to your clients!

To learn more about offering this service as a provider, contact a Portrait specialist today.

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