Doctors see increase of men looking for surgery-free double chin solution

  • Scott, before (image courtesy subject)

  • Scott, after (image courtesy subject)

  • (image courtesy Music City Plastic Surgery)


Although Scott Kaiser had a healthy diet and remained active with regular cardio and weights, he realized that he was developing a double chin, something that seemed to plague the other men in his family.

Sure, he would enjoy a glass of wine or a piece of pizza on the weekends, but “it wasn’t worth the effort to do some of the fun things to lose weight,” Kaiser, 50, said.

Five years ago, he met with plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Burgdorf to talk about liposuction. When Burgdorf told him about Kybella, a non-invasive fat dissolving treatment, which will not require him to go into hiding for a few days, Kaiser was in.

“It sounded like a much better route without downtime,” he said.

Men feel disempowered

Since Kybella played for the first on the market in 2015, experts say they have seen an increase in men between the ages of 30 and 70 the choice for the treatment.

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In fact, 73 percent of the people say that they do not like the extra fat under their chin, and neck, according to a study by the American Society of Dermatological Surgery found.

Between 2000 and 2015, cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures for men increased by 69 percent, according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What’s more, men underwent more than 160,000 procedures of non-surgical fat reduction in 2015, according to a report from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

“People associate masculinity with a kind of chiseled jaw line, a broad bottom, and the absence of a double chin,” Dr. Joseph A. Russo, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Newton, Massachusetts, said.

As soon as that area becomes softer, men tend to feel less masculine and self-confident. Although obesity is a culprit, age, or genetics can lead to a double chin. The extra fat can also look at overweight people, even if they are lean and fit.

Experts say sometimes men, women, or partners to convince them to get treatment.

“Men are a little more skittish about coming into the plastic surgeon and [Kybella] is a bit more of an acceptable treatment,” Burgdorf, the founder and president of Music City Plastic Surgery in Nashville, Tennessee, said.

Before Kybella became available, doctors offered liposuction or a direct cut options for double chin improvement, but both are invasive, carry more risks and side effects and have significant downtime.

Kybella is a more benign option, although this is accompanied with injections and its possible side effects. In clinical trials, 4.3 percent of the participants experienced temporary nerve paralysis as a side effect.

If the solution is injected superficially, the hair follicles may be damaged and lead to bald spots, or a skin sore that will heal. Numbness can take up to six weeks.

Some patients may also feel as if they have difficulty swallowing or breathing after treatment, but it is a mental perception, not a physical side effect, Russo said.

What is the most attractive to men about Kybella is that there is little to no downtime before they can resume their normal activities.

“They want to come, get it done and back to work the next day,” Burgdorf said.

How does Kybella work?
Kybella is a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring bile salt in the body that dissolves fat, is absorbed and excreted through the urine.

Although it can help to tighten the skin, the goal of treatment is to reduce fat. The treatment is permanent, so even if a patient gains weight, he can never create new fat cells in that area.

“As soon as they are gone, they are gone forever,” Russo said.

A typical treatment takes approximately 15 minutes and consists of 25 to 50 small injections of the solution. Although it is not painful, it is uncomfortable.

“You have a warm feeling, almost like you drank a shot of whiskey,” Burgdorf said.

While some doctors use a local anaesthetic or a numbing cream, ice cream may be all that is needed.

After the treatment, welling will occur, because the treatment creates an inflammatory response. Depending on the amount of fat, swelling may last for a few days or a month.

“It’s actually a bit worse before it’s better because of the way the cells are destroyed,” Russo said.

After the treatment, patients should ice to reduce the swelling and take an over-the-counter to relieve pain. They also should avoid shaving for at least two days to prevent the risk of infection. They may have to wait longer if they experienced numbness.

Most patients undergo two to four treatments are divided between the 6 and 10 weeks for the swelling to resolve in between appointments.

The cost of Kybella varies between € 750 and € 1.500, – per treatment.

After Kaiser completed three treatments, he lost five pounds, friends and acquaintances began to take notice and he felt a boost of confidence on the dating scene.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “I look five years younger.”

Julie Relevant, is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the health care. She is also a mother of two. More information about Julie at


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