Belkyra, known as Kybella in the United States, is the latest non-invasive treatment designed to melt fat that’s enticing customers worldwide. It’s non-invasive and non-surgical. There’s very little downtime and the contouring is effective. And it’s the first injectable that’s been designed to contour away the fat from the dreaded double chin.
Submental fat can occur under the chin in people of a wide range of ages. The amount of fat under the skin is influenced by various factors including genetics, hormones and weight. With double chin’s affecting more than 68 percent of Americans, it’s no wonder the demand for Belkyra is incredibly strong.
The new injectable promises to treat the submental fat pocket under the chin by dissolving the fat cells. It’s become an appealing alternative to surgery or liposuction for contouring around the face and chin.
What is Belkyra and how does it work?
Belkyra is the latest fat-melting drug approved by the FDA that’s identical to deoxycholic acid – a molecule found naturally in the body to aid in fat absorption. Deoxycholic acid breaks down fat in the digestive tract by destroying the fat cell membrane.
When the synthetic version is injected into the subcutaneous fat, it does the same thing and dissolves the fat cells. You can think of it in a similar way to melting a stick of butter in the microwave where the solid form breaks down.
Immunological cells in the body naturally clear the dissolved fat into the circulatory and lymphatic system where it’s broken down and excreted as waste. This happens over the course of a couple of weeks.
When injected correctly, the healthy cells found around the submental fat remain intact and surrounding nerves and muscles are unaffected by the drug.
A series of treatments can improve chin contouring
The Belkyra treatment only takes 20 minutes where up to 50 small injections are inserted into the targeted area during the one consultation. The deoxycholic acid will begin breaking down the subcutaneous fat ready to be naturally excreted from the body.
A latest New York study has revealed many patients experienced an improvement in their submental fullness after a single treatment of Belkyra. However, most patients are likely to require more than one session to achieve the desired aesthetic results.
After a series of treatments, patients of two clinical trials reported not only a reduction in submental fullness, but also a significant improvement in the contouring of their chin and jawline. The amount of excess subcutaneous fat in the chin region dictates the number of treatments a patient requires, however patients of the FDA study experienced noticeable results following three to four Belkyra treatments.
Up to six treatments of the Belkyra fat dissolving injections can be administered over time to achieve the desired contouring results. Typically, these consultations are scheduled no less than one month apart. Some patients may experience slight pain during the treatment and some bruising and puffiness afterwards. However, the swelling usually isn’t as extreme after subsequent treatments.
Younger patients typically experience the most noticeable results as they’re skin is most elastic and they’re less likely to have additional sagging skin under the jawline. It’s important for the overall results that the double chin and fullness is caused by submental fat and not due to other conditions such as skin laxity.
The developers of the deoxycholic acid injections, Allergan, state the results are long-lasting as once the submental fat is destroyed and excreted from the body it won’t return. Allergan also reveal more than 79 percent of patients who’ve undergone Belkyra treatment reported satisfaction with their face and chin appearance and an improved self-perception as a result.
How does fat dissolving injections stack up against other treatments?
Belkyra is the only non-invasive fat dissolving injectable for the double chin, however there are two other procedures that can treat the area: CoolSculpting and Liposuction. All three treatments are considered safe and highly effective in treating submental fat, but how do they stack up against each other?
Here’s a comparison to help you understand the main differences:
Belkyra verses CoolSculpting
Both these two treatments are non-invasive and have revolutionised the ability for cosmetic surgeons to treat excess fat in smaller areas such as under the chin. CoolSculpting have designed an applicator known as CoolMini which literally freezes the fat cells under the neck region.
Just like with the Belkyra injections, the fat cells are broken down and naturally eliminated from the body. It can take up to several months before final results are revealed. In both procedures, patients experience high satisfaction with their appearance and lasting results.
Belkyra verses Liposuction
Liposuction is considered the gold standard treatment for fat removal. Unlike Belkyra, it is a surgical procedure where small incisions are made for cannula to suction out the excess fat. The fat is physically removed from the body during this procedure rather than allowed to naturally dissolve over time.
While liposuction is a more invasive procedure, there are some clear advantages which make it a far more superior treatment. The fat can be removed during one single procedure rather than the multiple which will be required if opting for fat dissolving injections. Liposuction can also be used to treat other areas of the body, whereas Belkyra is currently FDA approved for the submental area only.
Fat dissolving can help with some skin tightening, although there may be some skin looseness depending on the patient. This won’t occur with liposuction and a more significant level of skin tightening well be seen.
However, with a more invasive, surgical procedure comes longer downtime due to the conscious sedation administered and the compression garment required post treatment. The downtime is less in those you opt for Belkyra.
Is Belkyra right for me?
The interest in Belkyra has been great with cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists in the US stating they have a long waiting list of patients keen to cure their double chin once and for all. Currently, most of the data suggests females are the greater users of the fat dissolving injections, however men are starting to utilise Belkyra to achieve greater definition in the jawline.
While Belkyra is currently only designed to treat the submental fat under the chin, in the future they suspect it will be an effective treatment for other areas such as “bra fat” and under-eye fat pockets.
For now, the fat dissolving injections are ideal for anyone who has noticeable fullness under their chin and who’s looking for a non-surgical way to enhance their facial appearance. It’s extremely effective for those who are healthy, with good skin elasticity and desire contouring of the jawline.
If you’re unsure whether Belkyra is the treatment for you, schedule a consultation at Cosmos Clinic and we’ll discuss the best option to achieve your desired result.