The fight against facial fat

Published: Feb. 24, 2016 at 2:23 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2016 at 1:16 AM EST
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Source: Ivanhoe Newswire)
Source: Ivanhoe Newswire)

BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- As we age, the shape of our face changes. For some, the cheeks may become thinner, and pockets of fat may develop near the neck just under the chin.  Now, a newly-approved procedure may be a huge help to some who are fighting facial fat.

41 year-old Lyn Holman-McCauley has never been completely happy with her face; she's especially sensitive about the area under her chin.

She says, "I've kind of had this all my life, even when I was a kid."

Craig A. Vander Kolk, MD, Director of Cosmetic Surgery at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland says, "We can hide it in other places, but the neck is one of those places where it shows up a lot."

For the first time, Dr. Vander Kolk is able to offer patients a non-surgical way to fix this area. Patients have the precise trouble spot marked off and medical staff fixes a template to the area.

"It's like a temporary tattoo that you put on the neck, and then that shows you where to inject," Dr. Vander Kolk explains.

Then, injections are prepared, each containing a small amount of a newly-approved drug.

Dr. Vander Kolk says, "Basically, it's an acid that is structured in such a way to break down fatty tissue."

Patients receive injections in the trouble area; the procedure takes about five to 10 minutes, and patients can go right back to work the next day.

Holman McCauley says, "I've had Botox before, which I can't stand. I thought it might be a little bit like that, it was nothing; it was almost pain free."

This is her second treatment.  She says she can see the improvement, but soon, others may also notice the difference.

Patients often experience swelling for about 24 hours after the procedure. Dr. Vander Kolk says it may take up to a month for the impact of the injections to be noticeable. The procedure is not covered by insurance, and the cost varies but can average $1,200 per treatment.

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