American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Nonsurgical or minimally invasive options for fat reduction include technology that uses heat, cooling or an injected medication to reduce fat cells.

What is injection lipolysis?

Injection lipolysis chemically reduces the number of fat cells around the injection site. The chemical, called deoxycholic acid, results in fat cell disruption and death. Currently, it is FDA-approved for treatment of the area underneath the chin to eliminate what is known as a "double chin." A commonly known type of injection lipolysis is Kybella.

Reasons patients want injection lipolysis

Nonsurgical candidates and patients interested in a nonsurgical approach to reducing the fat beneath the chin may be interested in injection lipolysis.

Who is not a candidate for injection lipolysis?

Patients with loose skin or poor tone may not be suitable candidates for the procedure.

Does injection lipolysis require anesthesia?

This procedure can be done under local anesthesia, which is injected into the treatment area beneath the chin.

Injection lipolysis procedure

After the local anesthesia has been injected, a precise amount of medication is injected in a grid pattern that has been pre-marked on the skin beneath the chin. The medication is injected as a single treatment.

What are the risks of injection lipolysis?

Complications are uncommon and include nerve injury that can result in an uneven smile. In rare instances, patients have also reported difficulty swallowing after the procedure.

Recovering from injection lipolysis

There is no downtime, but patients may experience swelling, bruising, pain, redness and feel areas of hardness that typically soften with time. Fat reduction is typically visible by eight weeks.

What are the results of injection lipolysis?

Most patients have at least two treatments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, which is the typical duration of swelling. Patients can have up to six treatments to the area under the chin. Your plastic surgeon can develop a plan that best suits your individual anatomy. During the period of swelling the area can look fuller than it did before treatment, but as the fat cells are disrupted and the inflammation subsides, most patients see results by 6 to 8 weeks after a treatment. Unless a patient were to gain weight, the results should be long-lasting.



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