Kybella in a Nutshell

Kybella is a nonsurgical injection technique used to reduce excess fat beneath the chin.  Kybella was approved by the FDA in 2015, and it is a well-tolerated alternative to surgical procedures such as liposuction.  Kybella uses a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, and each treatment takes approximately 30 minutes.

What is Kybella?

Kybella is a nonsurgical injectable technique to target the fat beneath the chin.  The process uses a series of deoxycholic acid injections to target the fat cells in this area.  No incisions are required, and the downtime is minimal in most cases.

The best candidate is an adult 18 years or older with moderate to severe fat beneath the chin and with minimal skin laxity.  You might not be a good candidate if you have had or are planning to have facial surgery, if you have trouble swallowing, are pregnant or nursing, or have an infection or medical condition in or near the planned injection site.

Kybella is currently the only FDA-approved injectable to treat the appearance of a double chin.

How Does Kybella Work?

Deoxycholic acid is naturally produced by your body to help absorb fat.  Kybella injections use a synthetic form of this as an injection.  Once injected, the acid destroys fat cells beneath the chin area so it can’t store fat anymore.

Before the procedure, the clinician will mark the injection sites with a marker and may administer a topical numbing agent or ice pack to ease any pain or discomfort.  Usually 20 – 30  injections are used under the chin.  The acid then works gradually 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.

What to Expect After Kybella

Most people require more than one treatment to reach desired aesthetic goals with Kybella.  In clinical studies, many people who’ve received Kybella treatment achieved visible results after two to four treatments.

Once the deoxycholic acid destroys fat cells in the submental area, the results should be lasting, and further treatment is not expected as the fat cells can no longer store fat.

Risks and Side Effects

Though Kybella is nonsurgical, some common side effects include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, and numbness.  The recovery process associated with Kybella is minimal in most cases, and downtime varies from person to person.  Minor side effects typically subside in one to two weeks.

Serious side effects have occurred, including facial muscle weakness, uneven smile, trouble swallowing, or nerve injury in the jaw.  These side effects are extremely rare.