Last updated December 2021

Quick Facts

  • Fat accumulation under the chin is due to both genetic factors and body weight and can be a significant concern to those who have this problem.
  • Traditionally, submental fat (double chin fat) has been removed with liposuction.
  • Liposuction still remains the gold standard for removing submental fat but many people do not want to have surgery and may prefer non-surgical alternatives for removing submental fat, such as injectable treatments.
  • In 2017 a new fat dissolving injection. This contains an active ingredient called deoxycholic acid. The brand name and the ingredient of these products cannot be fully named here due to TGA regulations.
  • Another fat dissolving injection has been available for over a decade and contains both deoxycholic acid and phosphatidylcholine together.
  • Generally, double chin fat dissolving injections are for those looking for a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, or for those with smaller amounts of submental fat and no significant skin laxity.
  • Fat-dissolving injections are a permanent treatment.

What causes double chin fat?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a double chin, including:

  • Age – As we age, our skin loses elasticity and gravity pushes it down. This can cause saggy skin under the chin.
  • Excess fat – Carrying excess fat can contribute to a double chin but often isn’t the main reason.
  • Genetics – If a number of your family members have double chins this may be passed on to you.
  • Poor posture – Constant slouching can lead to weakened neck and chin muscles and result in a double chin.

Fat dissolving injections can help improve the appearance of a double chin by destroying the fat cells and rendering them unable to store fat. This procedure can remove a double chin without the need for surgery.

How do fat dissolving injections work?

The injections contain a substance that is able to break down fat and aid the body in absorbing it naturally. The fat cells are permanently destroyed through a process known as adipocytolysis, in which the membranes are disrupted and the cells breakdown. The production of new collagen is also stimulated as a result of this procedure so the skin appears firmer after the fat has dissolved.

What are the benefits of double chin injections?

Fat dissolving injections can be a good option for those who do not wish to have surgery. The main benefits of double chin injections include:

  • Convenience – The procedure itself only takes a few minutes and most patients will require 2-3 treatments.
  • Minimal recovery time – Because this procedure is non-invasive there is not as much downtime associated with it and you may only need 1-2 days off work.

Am I a suitable candidate for fat dissolving injections for my double chin?

A double chin can be a significant concern to those affected by this problem. We often see this concern in those who are not overweight, and weight loss does not always improve the problem. Fat in this region tends to blunt the jawline and cause a lack of definition between the face and the neck. Removal of this fat has an anti-ageing effect by improving the framing of the face.

Traditionally, the treatment for a double chin is liposuction. However, many people do not wish to have surgery and would prefer a simpler, less invasive method of fat removal. Fat-dissolving injections are a viable alternative for those who want to avoid surgery and the risks associated with it.

The suitability for the procedure is determined by the amount of skin laxity and the amount of fat;

  • Generally, these double chin injections are best suited to smaller fat deposits. For larger deposits of fat, liposuction is a more effective solution.
  • It is important to recognise that fat-dissolving injections do not improve loose skin. Skin laxity needs to be addressed with other methods, (for example a surgical neck lift) rather than fat removal alone.

The fat dissolving injections are therefore best suited to those who want to remove smaller pockets of fat and have good quality skin without significant laxity.

We do not recommend fat dissolving injections for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is submental fat?

Submental fat, also known as a ‘double chin’, is the fat that lies under the jawline and chin. It is often an area of concern for those with an excess amount of fat in this region. Weight loss, although helpful in many cases, may not reduce fat in this area to a significant degree. Genetics often plays a bigger role in fat deposition in this area. There are many cases where submental fat is present despite an acceptable body weight.

Fat in this area can contribute to an ill-defined jawline and a blunted angle between the jawline and the neck rather than a more favourable angle of 90 to 100 degrees.

The fat addressed by liposuction or fat dissolving injections is the pre-platysmal fat. This is the fat that lies superficial to the platysma muscle. This is the large sheet muscle of the neck. This fat is separated from the major blood vessels in the neck and the airway by the platysma muscle.

Anterior view of the preplatysmal

Fat Dissolving Injections Vs Liposuction

Liposuction has traditionally been the treatment for removing fat accumulation in genetically predisposed areas. It is mostly done under general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation. Small incisions are made in the skin (usually just under the chin, and behind the ears) to allow the administration of local anaesthetic as well as the removal of fat by a metal cannula with suction. Recovery is typically about a week. Despite the emergence of non-surgical methods for fat removal, liposuction still remains the gold standard treatment. The fat is more efficiently removed rather than relying on the slower process of fat cell destruction with injections. It is also possible with liposuction to measure the exact amount of fat removed. During the procedure, the thickness of the skin and fat can be assessed to see if enough has been removed. With fat-dissolving injections, it is not possible to predetermine the amount of fat that will be removed in each case.

fat liposuction

Fat removed from neck liposuction

 

Fat-dissolving injections do however provide a non-surgical alternative to liposuction of the neck. They provide a less invasive method of fat removal with no incisions or scars. It can be performed in the office setting without a general anaesthetic. The exact names of the brands of these fat dissolving injections cannot be mentioned due to TGA regulations. They induce adipocytolysis or destroy the fat cells. The results from these injections are permanent, as fat cells cannot regenerate once they’ve been destroyed.

The first type of fat-dissolving injections provided a non-surgical alternative to liposuction. The injections were made from a combination of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholic acid. These substances destroy fat cells when injected into areas of fat. It is often still used as a treatment for removing fat on any part of the body, not just submental fat. The effect on body fat was not always extremely effective. The treatments were particularly painful when used on larger body areas, had fairly long recovery times (similar to liposuction) and caused a significant amount of swelling and often hard lumps that stayed for several weeks.

Submental fat treatment with fat dissolving injections tend to be more effective than body treatments due to the smaller amount of fat in the neck. Less product needs to be injected which reduces the amount of pain and swelling with the treatment in comparison to the body treatments.

At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we only use the combined phosphatidylcholine with deoxycholic acid fat dissolving injections. We have found it to be very effective and significantly less painful. 

Case Studies

Two treatments of fat dissolving injections

This patient underwent two fat dissolving injection procedures and is now showing good improvement in the jawline and neck.

lipodissolve fat dissolving injections before and after

Three treatments of fat dissolving injections

After three treatments of fat dissolving injections this patient’s submental fat measurement reduced by more than half from 3cm to 1.2cm.

lipodissolve fat dissolving injections before and after

How do I prepare for double chin injections?

You do not need to do any specific preparation before getting double chin injections. You should limit alcohol and anti-inflammatory medication and try to book your appointment at a time when you can leave yourself a few days for recovery. There will be some swelling after the treatment, so if you are in a client facing job this is important to consider.

Prior to the procedure, you will have an initial consultation with one of our practitioners to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the treatment. During this consultation the practitioner will discuss the possible side effects and the extent of the post treatment swelling.

What to expect during the treatment

Before beginning the procedure, the practitioner will take some time to discuss any questions you might have and to help you decide whether or not you want to use any anaesthetic. You will usually be given the option of using either local anaesthetic, topical anaesthetic, ice or a combination of all three to reduce any discomfort in the area.

Once all the preparations have been made, the practitioner will perform the injections. The injections themselves only take a few minutes.

What can I expect after fat dissolving injections treatment?

This will depend on the size of the treatment performed. In most cases, there is a significant degree of swelling that lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Swelling will be primarily determined by the amount of product injected. The swelling may also get worse in the days following the procedure. Tenderness of the area treated is also present for that time. In some cases, hard lumps form, and these can take some time to reduce in size. Bruising is also a common side-effect and can last up to 2 weeks.

You will be given instructions on how to care for the area after the treatment. You can apply ice for 5 minutes at a time but it’s better to minimise the use of ice in order to allow the treatment to work.

Once the fat is removed with the fat-dissolving injections they do not return. The number of fat cells in the treated area do not regenerate and are permanently removed with the injections in a similar manner to liposuction.

Pain management for double chin fat injections

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we utilise topical anaesthetic prior to the administration of the fat dissolving injections which significantly reduces pain during and after the treatment.

FAQ

What is the price of chin fat dissolving injections?

The price is per session, irrespective of the size of the submental fat deposit or the number of vials used. Most patients will require 2 to 3 sessions. See our current pricing list here.

What are the side effects of fat reduction injections?

Side effects as a result of fat reduction injections are usually mild and will disappear completely within 30 days. Possible side effects include:

  • Swelling – This is a sign that the treatment is working. If the area does not swell at all you should contact your practitioner. You can use ice to treat the swelling.
  • Temporary numbness – This does not happen to all patients but will usually wear off within 30 days.
  • Warmth/Hotness – Many patients will experience warmth under their chin immediately following the procedure, accompanied by redness.
  • Firmness – Many patients will feel firmness under their chin after the procedure. This is not cause for concern.

Rare side effects include the weakness of facial muscles and trouble swallowing. This could occur if the injections affect any of the facial nerves. If this does occur, the problem will be temporary and should resolve itself.

How many treatments will I need?

Most patients will need 2-3 sessions, depending on the amount of fat that needs to be dissolved.

Do the results look natural?

The results are very natural looking because the treatment doesn’t alter facial expressions or affect a person’s natural facial features.

Do fat dissolving injections hurt?

Fat dissolving injections can be very painful if no anaesthetic is used. At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we use topical anaesthetic to ensure discomfort is kept to a minimum during the procedure.

You may feel some pain after the anaesthetic wears off and you can use over-the-counter painkillers and ice to aid this.

Is there any downtime required after double chin injections?

There is no required downtime after double chin injections, but you will experience significant swelling. You may wish to stay at home until the swelling subsides, but you can return to normal daily activities if you wish.

Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of fat dissolving injections?

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we have been using fat dissolving injections for over a decade. We utilise the latest research and technology to provide the best possible results for our patients so that they can feel beautiful and confident in the skin that they’re in. Making the first phone call to book your appointment can be daunting, so many patients prefer to book their consultation online.

You can also contact us to make an appointment on 1300 863 824.