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Aesthetics Practice Today

How to Choose a Double Chin Solution That’s Right for You

Published December 8, 2015 10:25 AM by Mina Grasso
Women often report that they hate photos of their double chin when caught by surprise when their child takes their photo with their smart phone or ipad. This year much focus has been on aesthetic procedures to deal with one of the most common complaints. Millions of people are bothered with - The Double Chin. In aesthetic surveys, 67% of consumers are bothered by submental fat.

When considering treatment for double chin, the following are discussed to guide patients in choosing the option that best meets their goals:

  • Amount of fat in the neck
  • Amount of loose skin
  • Social downtime
  • Cost
  • Number of treatments recommended
  • Expectations and results

The three non-invasive to minimally invasive solutions popular in 2015 include:

  • ThermiTight Injectable RadioFrequency
  • CoolSculpt Freeze Fat with Cool Mini
  • Kybella an injectable solution to melt fat.

ThermiTight Injectable RadioFrequency

ThermiTight RF is considered the "in-between" for those patients wanting more results that current non-invasive procedures can provide, but do not want to undo go surgery.  ThermiTight is minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that delivers controlled thermal energy. After local anesthetic if applied, a small radiofrequency probe is inserted under the skin. The radiofrequency probe is passed under the skin as the tissue is taken to its target temperature.

An infrared camera is used to monitor the temperature of the skin externally to provide accurate energy delivery while avoiding excessive heat that may result in damage to the tissue being treated.   

ThermiTight RF is used to treat the jowls and neck for fat reduction and skin tightening. Specific temperatures are used for melting fat as well as skin tightening. It is considered to be a one-time treatment, however some patients may choose to repeat the procedure to improve results or wait several years. The treatment time required for the jowl and neck is usually 30-45 minutes.

Some improvement may be seen after a month and continue to improve over time. Daily activities can usually be resumed after 24 hours. Patients may experience minor swelling 2-10 days. Thermitight RF can treat mild neck fat, but the primary focus is skin tightening.

The cost of ThermiTight RF for the jowl and neck is approximately $3,000-3,500 as a one-time procedure. The latest "worth it ratings' on RealSelf reviews rated ThermiTight RF as "94% worth it" (59 reviews) for that last 24 months.

CoolMini - Coolslculpt Using Cryolipolysis to Freeze Fat

Cryolipolysis has been an effective non-invasive method that has been used for several years to sculpt the body by destroying fat cells by freezing the fat under a carefully controlled condition. The neck skin and fat is sucked into a small chamber for an hour while the fat is treated with controlled freezing. Apoptosis is focused directly at selective fat cells while preserving the surrounding skin. "Prolonged, controlled local tissue cooling can induce selective fat cell reduction and subsequent loss of subcutaneous fat, without damaging the overlying skin." This year the Cool Mini was introduced to treat smaller area bulges like the submental area - neck fat.

Inflammatory cells digest the treated fat cells, and the fat cells are gradually eliminated by the immune system, reducing the thickness of the fat layer. On average patients can experience a 20-25% fat reduction of the fat sucked into the chamber, consistent with other CoolSculpting applicators.

No needles, no surgery and no downtime. Minor swelling may be experienced for a couple days. Numbness and tingling may be experienced for approximately 2 weeks. Patients resume regular activities immediately. Eighty-three percent of patients were satisfied with their results. This is a favored procedure with very mild to zero social downtime.

Two sessions with one cycle are generally recommended, six weeks apart. Patients with larger neck fat may require more cycles and more sessions. Each cycle is one hour long. The average cost per cycle is approximately $1,000. Packages of cycles are usually available.

There is no Real Self worth it ratings on Cool Mini yet. Studies showed 83% satisfaction rate. Overall Coolsculpt for various body parts reveal "worth it ratings" (1463 reviews) resulted in 72%.

Kybella - Injections to Melt Neck Fat

Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is a solution used to treat moderate to severe fat submental fat. When Kybella is injected into the neck fat, it physically destroys fat cells. Multiple injections are used in a single treatment session. 

Topical anesthetic may be applied prior to the injections. Some patients experience discomfort following injection. Oral pain medication can be taken for comfort. 

Depending on the fat volume treated and the amount of solution used usually determines the amount of inflammation that occurs post procedure. Usually the more fat volume treated the more inflammation. Some have referred to severe swelling as "bullfrog" appearance. Swelling can result in more social downtime, which may last 2-4 weeks. Smaller volumes may induce very little swelling and less social downtime.

The most common side effects of Kybella include swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and hardness in the treatment area.

Depending on the amount of fat volume, one to six treatments may be required. Treatment sessions are usually six weeks apart with an average cost of $600-$1,200 per session. The latest "worth it ratings' on RealSelf reviews rated Kybella as "100% worth it" in 42 reviews for that last 24 months. 

Evaluation by a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable in different options for treatment of the double chin is crucial to evaluate amount of neck fat and loose skin. Options can be discussed involving amount of social downtime, cost, anticipated number of treatments, frequency and realistic expectations.

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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