In the world of aesthetic medicine, innovation is the name of the game. Companies are forever manufacturing new beauty problems, and attendant solutions for women to agonize over, thus helping to fuel a multi-billion dollar industry. As we have been long reporting in our Facial Injectable report series, patients increasingly prefer non- or less-invasive treatment options compared to invasive surgical procedures that were, at one point, the norm in cosmetic surgery. Non-invasive treatments have a host of benefits, not least of which are the reduced treatment and recovery times. The ability to undergo the procedure and remain undetected by one's peers doesn't hurt, either.
Just last week Kythera Biopharmaceuticals received FDA clearance for Kybella, an injectable indicated for the treatment of submental fat, aka double-chin. The treatment works by destroying the membranes of the fat cells in the area, which are then disposed of naturally by the body's own elimination process. The approval comes after lengthy randomized clinical trials that enrolled over 1,000 patients who were assigned to be treated with Kybella or a placebo. Results were promising, with nearly 70% of patients reporting at least a one-grade reduction of fat in the area. Buzz about this product harkens back to the American Academy of Dermatology conference that I attended back in March, where the results were first reported. Now that the product has FDA approval, interest has grown even greater. Training programs for doctors are being rolled out this summer; it is expected that the treatment will be available to the masses come autumn this year. It will be very interesting to see how this new product is adopted, especially given that unlike Botox or other facial injectables, this treatment requires a series of injections (and thus, a level of patience and commitment on the part of the patient) to achieve optimal effects. If media coverage is any gauge, double-chins will soon be a thing of the past.