Introduction

Belkyra is the first and only non-surgical injectable to be approved by Health Canada as an effective treatment for submental fullness. Known more commonly as a double chin, submental fat on the chin impacts a broad range of adults, both men and women, of all shapes and sizes. Submental fullness is a condition that can be caused by numerous factors, include age, genetics and weight gain. Up until recently invasive surgical procedures like liposuction, were the only viable options for getting rid of chin fat. The recent approval of Belkyra by Health Canada has introduced a whole door of possibilities for individuals hesitant to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery before. Belkyra helps get rid of a double chin without anesthesia, surgery or excessive downtime needed. It has been proven to be just as effective as liposuction, without the aforementioned disadvantages, making it an excellent alternative treatment.

What is chin fat?

Chin fat, also commonly known as a “double chin,” is submental fat. Submental fat is a condition that can be brought on by a number of factors including aging, weight gain and genetics. It’s a strong cause for concern for many individuals as submental fat is often resistant to diet or exercise. According to a survey done by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 67% of people said they’re bothered by a double chin. With such a high number of people affected by submental fat, the need for fat reduction treatments has grown significantly over the years.

What are the different options for getting rid of a double chin?

There are several different procedures available to get rid of a double chin.

One of the most frequently performed and well-known procedures in the world today is liposuction. It’s an invasive procedure that requires surgery but has been proven very effective in removing unwanted bulges of fat on different parts of the body. It’s designed for individuals close to their ideal weight but with stubborn areas of fat that haven’t responded to diet or exercise. Common treatment areas include love handles, thighs, back, stomach and underneath the chin. Cost of a liposuction procedure depends on the area being treated and the experience of the doctor performing the procedure. One liposuction typically runs from $2,000-$8,000.

Another procedure gaining popularity is CoolSculpting. This non-surgical procedure uses a handheld device, called a CoolMini, to freeze and destroy fat below the skin. Just like with similar procedures that remove submental fat, the CoolSculpting procedure is intended for healthy individuals with stubborn areas fat that have been resistant to diet or exercise. The price of a CoolSculpting procedure depends on the size of the CoolMini applicator needed and the number of treatments required. A typical CoolSculpting procedure can generally cost anywhere between $800-$1,500 per treatment and therefore vary greatly for each patient. A CoolSculpting procedure is quick and painless, generally taking an hour to complete and involves only mild pressure. Results start to show a couple of weeks to a few months after treatment.

When it comes to getting rid of chin fat or a “double chin,” Belkyra is one of the best excellent option for tackling stubborn submental fat in this area. Belkyra dissolves fat cells using a naturally occurring molecule already found in the body. Belkyra was specifically designed to treat areas of the neck and is able to do so without surgery, anesthesia or extensive recovery time commonly associated with liposuction and more invasive procedures, making it one of the safest procedures on the market today.

Kybella (known in Canada as Belkyra) is a non-surgical injectable for reducing moderate to severe fat on the upper neck, otherwise known as a "double chin." The injection contains a naturally occurring molecule which eats away at fat. When injected properly, all other cells are left healthy and intact. Using Kybella for treatment on areas other than the double chin is not approved or recommended.

Who is eligible for Belkyra?

Belkyra is an excellent option for improving the appearance of moderate to severe fat underneath the chin.The treatment is designed for individuals with isolated fat deposits on the neck. It is not effective for individuals with generalized facial fat (this includes excess fat and loose skin) as the surrounding fat wouldn’t be able to be treated and would result in an unbalanced appearance.

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Figure 1. Individuals with isolated fat deposits. These individuals may be suitable candidates for Belkyra. Figure 2. Individuals with generalized fat. These individuals are not viable candidates for Belkyra.

It is also important to note that individuals with the following conditions are not recommended for Belkyra treatment:

  • Patients who are pregnant
  • Patients with an excess amount of lax skin
  • Patients with heart disease
  • Patients with liver disease
  • Patients with uncontrolled diabetes

How does Belkyra work?

Belkyra is an injectable drug made of a synthetic version of a naturally-occurring molecule found in the body called deoxycholic acid. This chemical helps absorb and digest the fat we eat and works the same way for the targeted submental fat on the chin and neck. Once Belkyra is injected into the targeted fat area, the fat cells rupture and are metabolized by the body. The body then flushes out the fat cells naturally over the course of a couple of months.

Is Belkyra permanent?

Belkyra is a permanent solution for getting rid of submental fat on the chin. It dissolves the target fat cells and those cells can never grow back. If someone were to gain weight after receiving treatment, new fat cells may emerge, but not to the same extent as before. For best results, it’s important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle after treatment is complete.

Is Belkyra safe?

On July 27th, 2015, Health Canada approved Belkyra as a safe and effective double chin treatment solution. Known as Kybella in the United States, the injectable drug for dissolving submental fullness was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in early 2015. It has proven to be a great non-surgical alternative for removing submental fat, without the risks associated with invasive surgery. STATS

Are there any side effects?

Belkyra doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia, making it a very safe and reliable treatment option for chin fat reduction. The most common post-op side effects are minor bruising and swelling that generally subside within a few days, and numbness and tenderness in the treated area that might take a few weeks to resolve. The most adverse effects include trouble swallowing and nerve injury that can cause muscle weakness or an uneven smile.

Is there any downtime required with Belkyra treatment?

Downtime associated with getting Belkyra treatment is very minimal. Unlike with liposuction surgery which requires weeks of downtime, patients having just received Belkyra treatment will commonly only need a few days of downtime before being able to go back to their regular routines.

Patients will often experience swelling and tenderness in the treated area which might be noticeable the first few days. For some patients, however, it might take several weeks for the swelling and numbness to subside. A person’s recovery time and results depends greatly on their age and amount of submental fat being dissolved during treatment. The larger the volume of fat being treated, the higher the chance of a longer recovery period. Additionally, those patients with more skin laxity will notice the swelling takes longer to subside than those individuals with younger or tighter skin.

For those concerned about their post-op appearance, we recommend scheduling your appointment on a Friday, so you have the weekend to recover and allow the swelling to resolve.

How many treatments will I need to see results?

The number of treatments will vary for every patient. Belkyra dissolves fatty tissue in the chin but the body needs time to clear this dissolved fat. Some individuals see improvement just three weeks after their first treatment while others require 2-4 Belkyra treatments (spaced 4-6 weeks apart) to see results. It depends greatly on the amount of fat being dissolved and each individual’s body chemistry but 2-4 treatments is considered the average amount of treatments required for full results.

What is the cost of a Belkyra treatment?

The cost of Belkyra depends on the amount of injections needed per treatment. If there is a greater amount of fat to be treated, the cost of treatment will be more since more injections will be required.

The cost of Belkyra is between $700-$1000 per vial. With the average patient requiring 2 vials per session, your cost can range anywhere from $1400 to $2000 per treatment. The average patient requires 2-4 treatments over an extended period of time but will require fewer injections with every treatment. For a proper price quote, please contact our office to set up a complimentary consultation.

Why is Belkyra so expensive?

Belkyra is expensive because it is a new treatment that is the first of its kind on the market. It is the only non invasive injectable approved for the treatment of submental fullness by both the FDA and Health Canada.

Belkyra (or Kybella in the United States) was developed by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, who is the sole patent holder of the injectable drug. Until Kythera’s patent expires, no other company is allowed to develop a similar version to Belkyra. Until then, Kythera (and now Allergen since it purchased the company for $2.1 billion in 2015) will have firm control over the non-surgical injection for submental fullness market.

Additionally, because Belkyra is such a new product available to consumers, the company will want to recoup the money they had to spend during the development and approval process. It’s hard to say if and when the cost of Belkyra will drop, but with Belkyra now owned by Allergen, there is a chance that prices might go down in due time. Allergen is a beauty cosmetics force to be reckoned with and can afford to be more lenient on costs and therefore, also spend more on advertising to boost sales and revenue.