NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For anyone looking to ditch their double chin, there's an FDA approved injection that gets rid of the extra fat permanently.
Doctors hear the complaints all the time, and it has only gotten worse with the selfie phenomenon.
"It's the profile, and you know everybody's taking their pictures looking up to avoid the double chin. Nobody takes their selfies head-on," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Crystel Malinski said.
Malinski points to a 2014 survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. It found 68 percent of people polled cited excess fat under the chin and neck as one of their top concerns.
It was bothersome for 26-year-old Megan Tregle.
"With weight fluctuation and genetics too, it's something that I've struggled with for a while," Tregle said.
The esthetician was yearning for a different look to help boost her self confidence.
"I wanted more of that slimmer, contoured face, jawline, like a chiseled look. So if there was something out there that could fix it, I was willing to try it," she said.
Enter a game-changing, FDA-approved injectable solution called Kybella. It's a synthetic product that's identical to deoxycholic acid that's already in our body, breaking down the fat that we eat.
"And it destroys the fat cells permanently," Malinski said. "This is the only thing of its kind, so it's really exciting."
The procedure takes less than 20 minutes and is done in-office. First, the target area is cleaned and marked to allow for the placement of a temporary tattoo. The tatoo is a grid of dotted ink to help the doctor accurately administer the injections.
Malinski does the injections in a very precise and measured way. She said that is why the results are so predictable.
For Tregle, it's her third treatment spaced about six weeks apart.
"Megan's already had such a beautiful result, we're just icing the cake at this point," Malinski said. "After this she'll go home or back to work. She's free, no restrictions on her garments that she has to wear. She may have a little bit of swelling tomorrow, possibly some bruising, but probably not."
Tregle's results are noticeable. And other patient results provided by the maker of Kybella are similar.
In many of the cases, there was no other weight loss contributing to the dramatic difference. In fact, in some of the after-photos, the patient actually weighed more.
"So we definitely see a tightening up of that double chin, a lessening of it, that slope is gone and patients love that," Malinski said.
Doctors say the real results can be seen within about four weeks. Tregle calls it a game-changer.
"I love the results," she said. "It's changed a lot, made a big difference. People notice all the time. People look at me, look at me funny and say what did you do different? They ask have you lost weight? But I haven't."
Kybella is a permanent fix giving her and so many others more reason than ever to keep their chin up.
The cost is between $750 and $1800 a treatment, depending on the size of the area being treated.
Right now, Kybella is FDA approved only for the area under the chin. Some doctors in other parts of the country have started testing out other areas of the body that are prone to fat buildup. But that's considered off-label and not recommended at this time.
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