Collage: Marta Parszeniew
I feel the needle slide into my face, like a cat scratch, and hold my breath. It’s over in less than a second and the clinician smiles down at me. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “Do you need a break?” I say no, I’m fine, and we continue. Approximately 30 injections go into my face over the course of the next 15 minutes until my cheeks and neck begin to swell. My face stings like I’ve just been slapped.
I am getting fat-dissolving injections, also known as lipodissolve or, in the US, as the brand name Kybella. The injections promise to permanently remove pockets of fat by injecting deoxycholic acid, an enzyme normally found in stomach acid that dissolves fat in food. This acid is instead dissolving the fat in my face.
It is also, I hope, the final procedure of my transition. As a trans