Before body contouring technology like CoolSculpting and Belkyra or Kybella as it is known as in the U.S, a double chin was most effectively treated with liposuction and a neck lift or facelift procedure. A double chin can be deeply concerning to individuals and unfortunately, this can sometimes be hereditary, so even after diet and exercise this sign of aging can be problematic.
CoolSculpting was approved by the FDA in 2010 after Harvard scientists discovered that fat cells could be frozen and permanently destroyed without damaging the healthy, surrounding skin cells. CoolSculpting works by suctioning small sections of fat into the CoolSculpting applicator and dropping the temperature to well below freezing in the chamber where the fat is held. The fat cells experience permanent death and this causes immediate results, manifesting more noticeably over time. One of the most surprising and beneficial aspects of this body contouring technology is that it is virtually painless and most patients read, listen to music or relax while they are receiving the treatment.
More recently the CoolMini has been released which is an add-on applicator for smaller areas like the double chin and neck. CoolSculpting treatments have already been used by over two million patients worldwide and on average, the CoolMini can reduce chin and neck fat that causes a double chin by 20% in 1-2, 60 minute sessions.
CoolSculpting does not have many risks and side effects but some patients do experience tingling and numbing after the treatment and in some cases nerve pain and discomfort.
Belkyra is a drug that is injected into the targeted area and generally requires 5-6 treatments spaced no less than 1 month apart. Oftentimes, the treatment requires up to 50 injections to the site in one sitting but this process only takes about 15-20 minutes. The number of injections will depend on the amount of fat that needs to be eliminated in the chin and neck region.
Belkyra is based on a substance that is found naturally in the human body called deoxycholic acid. This is an acid and chemical substance that destroys fat cells by disrupting their membranes. The fat cells are released when the membrane is no longer intact. The body simply processes these disturbed cells and turns them into waste matter. When the fat cells are destroyed it is considered permanent as long as the patient does not gain a large amount of weight.
While this treatment has shown to be extremely effective there are side effects that patients should be aware of including: bruising, swelling, pain, numbness and small areas of hardness at the injection site. Also, more serious but rare effects include nerve damage that causes an unbalanced smile, facial muscle weakness (4% of those in clinical studies), and trouble swallowing (3% of those in clinical studies). In test groups, nerve damage took 44 days to heal and trouble swallowing cleared up in 3 days.
When comparing CoolSculpting and Belkyra, both have been shown to be effective. CoolSculpting has the benefit of less risk and fewer treatments but Belkyra has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing and eliminating the double chin and excess fat on the jowls and neck area.
Our highly skilled Nurse Injectors will be more than happy to provide more in-depth and detailed information on both treatments and recommend the one that is best based on the patient’s individual requirements and aesthetic goals. To learn more visit our website, calgarysurgery.com or call (403)286-4263 to schedule a consultation.