Kybella is a nonsurgical injectable product used to remove the fat beneath the chin using a series of deoxycholic acid injections. Treatment doesn’t require incisions and the downtime is minimal in most cases.
Kybella is available for adults 18 years or older with moderate to severe fat beneath the chin. Patients might not be a good candidate if they have had or are planning to have facial surgery, have trouble swallowing, are pregnant or nursing, or have an infection or medical condition in or near the treatment site.
Kybella is FDA-approved for use in the submental area (under the chin).
How Does Kybella Work?
Deoxycholic acid is a bile acid, naturally produced by the body to help absorb fat. Kybella injections use a synthetic form of this acid.
Once injected, the acid destroys fat cells beneath the chin area, eliminating its ability to store fat. It’s important to choose a trained healthcare professional to administer Kybella injections to reduce the risk of affecting other cells.
Before the procedure, the healthcare provider will use a marker to mark the injection sites and administer a topical numbing agent or ice pack to ease any pain or discomfort. Patients will typically need 20 to 30, and even up to 50, injections under the chin. The acid then begins to work to kill fat cells, which are metabolized by the body over the following weeks.
The number of treatment sessions necessary varies for each person. Multiple treatments might be needed to reach optimal results. You can receive up to six Kybella treatments, with at least one month between each session.
How to Prepare For Kybella
During an initial consultation with a healthcare provider, patients will need to share their medical history, as well as any cosmetic procedures they’ve had done on their face, neck, or chin. Patients should also tell their healthcare provider about any difficulty swallowing or bleeding problems. Pregnant or breastfeeding patients should avoid treatment, since the research on Kybella’s effect on a fetus or infant is still ongoing.
Since Kybella is a nonsurgical procedure, there is little preparation required. Patients should avoid scheduling the procedure right before any major events.
It’s also important to wash the face properly before the appointment to help reduce the risk of infection. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen should also be avoided to help prevent post-treatment bruising.
After The Procedure
Most patients will require multiple treatments to achieve their desired aesthetic goals with Kybella. In clinical studies, Kybella patients achieved visible results after two to four treatments. In 59% of cases, patients needed six treatments.
Once the deoxycholic acid has destroyed the fat cells in the submental area, results should remain long-term, and patients shouldn’t require further treatment.
Risks and Side Effects
Though Kybella is nonsurgical, patients may experience the following temporary side effects:
Serious reactions are rare, but may include facial muscle weakness, uneven smile, trouble swallowing, or nerve injury in the jaw. Patients experiencing any of these severe side effects should contact their healthcare provider immediately.