Ever wondered how to get rid of your double chin? You are not alone. According to a 2014 survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) double chin is the third leading facial aesthetic condition that bothers consumers. Based on this survey, 68% of consumers are bothered by their double chin. There are several solutions for getting rid of a double chin. Options include Kybella, the double chin drug approved in April 2015, and surgical and other non-surgical procedures.
Kybella the double chin drug
Kybella is an injectable drug that reduces fat around the chin without surgery. Kybella uses the chemical deoxycholic acid to dissolve fat. This isn’t a new chemical, it's naturally produced in the body, but it is newly approved for this treatment.
In clinical studies 70% of Kybella treated patients versus 18.6% of patients that received a dummy injection had at least one-grade reduction in fat under the chin. 13.4% of treated patients versus less than 0.1% patients that received placebo had at least a 2 grade reduction in under-chin fat. In a subset of patients, more Kybella treated patients (43%) achieved at least a 10% reduction in fat volume compared to placebo (5%) when evaluated by MRI.
One downside to this treatment is the number of injections required. Patients may receive up to 50 injections into the neck per session, with at least 2-3 sessions for full treatment. In clinical trials patients received an average of 32 injections during the first treatment and on the sixth treatment the average number of injections received was 22. While I am a doctor, I don’t like needles, especially 50 of them!
So how much will Kybella cost? There is much speculation because the price of Kybella has not been released. Here is what I think. Kybella comes in 2 mL single use vials, packaged as 4 vials per pack. A full single treatment of 50 injections will require five 2 mL bottles. Let's do the math: each individual injection is 0.2 mL for a maximum treatment of 10 mL per session. If each bottle is only 2 mL, then that will require five bottles for full treatment for one session. Patients may receive up to 6 sessions, at least one month apart.
Most patients will probably receive less than 10 mL per session. My guess is that the company will require a doctor to buy a full set, which will be 4 bottles (total of 8 mL). The doctor can choose how many bottles to use on a patient but the financial commitment from the doctor may be $350 with a markup of 100% so the cost to the patient could be $700 for an 8 mL treatment. This pricing makes sense because it's in line with the cost for other fillers on the market such as Juvederm and Radiesse.