Kybella: One Patient's Story

Dr. Griffin prepares the chin and neck area for Kybella injections.

Dr. Griffin prepares the chin and neck area for Kybella injections.

I've always struggled with the insecurity of having a full face and double chin. This was pretty much expected at my top weight (310 lbs), but after a massive weight loss journey (140 lbs and counting), I've had to accept that some parts of my body will never be addressed with exercise. My double chin is one of those areas.

When the Kybella treatments were introduced to the media, I joined the multitudes of women and men closely watching the clinical trials: could it be real? Was it actually possible that a non-surgical, injectable treatment would help me avoid surgery? It almost seemed to good to be true, but after my own research and several consultations with Dr. Griffin, I decided Kybella would be worth it. At 39, I'm just not ready for surgery.

I had my first Kybella session on September 14, 2015 (also the first injectable treatment I've had). While I was a little nervous about the amount of injections involved with each session, it was a positive experience. Here are a few things I learned during and after my treatment:

1. Expect multiple injections in the treatment area.  I opted against a local anesthesia to numb the injection site, although Dr. Griffin offered to numb the area. The needle was small and injections were not painful: in fact, they felt like little more than a tiny pinch. Now that I understand what to expect, I won't be nervous about upcoming treatments, which could be 2-5 more, depending on my progress. I'm told some patients accomplish their goal within 3 treatments, while some require six (as with anything else, every body is different). The total procedure time was less than 30 minutes.

2.  There is minimal pain involved, but it comes after the treatment. My neck was mostly sore and tender for the first two weeks, and while still mildly sore at week 3, most treatment area discomfort has subsided. I experienced a tolerable burning sensation up to 24 hours after the treatment, which was also normal. Dr. Griffin explained this sensation was a result of chemical reaction between Kybella and my fat cells (which is the goal).

The Kybella 'treatment grid' prior to injections.

The Kybella 'treatment grid' prior to injections.

3.  The "Bullfrog Effect" won't last. My treatment area began to swell immediately, and within several hours after treatment, I had a full-on 'bullfrog' neck appearance. This lasted for over a week, and is completely normal. Ice and ibuprofen helped significantly; most of my swelling has subsided at week 3. Numbing is also a side effect that should be expected: my treatment area was numb immediately after treatment and is still a bit numb at 3 weeks.

4.  I can already see results. While some patients report seeing results after the second treatment, I can already see marked improvement [definition] around my jawline. This type of early progress gives me great encouragement for the results I expect to see after 3 treatments.

Kybella is a fat-burning treatment: it isn't for patients who want to address loose, sagging skin. Many patients with double chin and sagging skin are opting for Kybella treatments in conjunction with skin tightening treatments like Exilis or laser. I'm excited to watch my progress in the upcoming months, as are many of my friends who find themselves plagued with double chins. Best of all, I know I couldn't be in better hands than with Dr. Griffin and his team.

-D. Carson: Dickson, Tennessee