Both my patients and I have been waiting very eagerly for a new applicator for our very popular CoolSculpting® machine. On 9/23/15, Zeltiq announced that it had received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the CoolMini™ applicator which is designed for treatment of submental fat, or the dreaded “double chin”. In the past, I have treated this stubborn area with liposuction through a small incision just under the chin. A small amount of fat was removed, and patients were typically required to wear a compression garment for 2-3 weeks. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, either in the office or in the hospital, and is associated with a small amount of bruising and swelling for several days. While liposuction this region is very effective, it is considered invasive and runs the small risks of bleeding and nerve damage.
I was very interested when Kybella™ received approval from the FDA earlier this year. Kybella™ is a synthetic deoxycholic acid, a naturally-occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath the chin, Kybella™ causes the destruction of fat cells. Once the fat cells have been destroyed, they do not return. The treatment is minimally invasive and requires 2-4 sessions4ks apart, with a series of injections at each session. Each treatment session lasts 20-30 minutes, and patients may return to normal activities immediately. Mild swelling and redness are typically present for several days up to 2 weeks. Best results are seen in 3-6 months.
CoolSculpting® uses the principle of cryolipolysis for the reduction of fat. During treatment of submental fat, a specific applicator is applied to the skin and the tissue is cooled. The fat cells are frozen in a cycle which takes 60 minutes to complete. The treatment is not painful and does not require any injections. Patients may return to normal activity immediately, and may note mild swelling for several days. Most patients require 1-2 treatments, with 4-6 weeks between sessions. Results will be seen within 2-3 months, with an average reduction of 20% of fat. Results a permanent; once the fat cells die, they cannot regenerate.
I am particularly excited to be able to offer the CoolMini™ treatments beginning in late October, as the double chin is a notoriously stubborn area and one of the most commonly cited areas of concern among patients in every age group. It is my hope that this treatment will contribute to a youthful and rejuvenated appearance in the lower face.