What Is KYBELLA®?
KYBELLA® (deoxycholic acid) injection is the first and only FDA approved an injectable treatment that contours and improves the appearance of submental fullness, sometimes referred to as “double chin”. When injected into the fat beneath your chin, KYBELLA® causes the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, those cells cannot store or accumulate fat. It is not known if KYBELLA® is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age. It is not known if KYBELLA® is safe and effective for use outside of the submental area.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
The FDA has approved Kybella for the treatment of submental fullness. This is better known as a double chin. While FDA approval has not changed since the drug was approved in 2015, Kybella is now sometimes used off-label to reduce fatty tissue in areas such as bra rolls and the knees.
How Does KYBELLA® Work?
The active ingredient in KYBELLA® is deoxycholic acid, a naturally-occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath your chin, KYBELLA® cases the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, those cells cannot store or accumulate fat.
How Long Does A Treatment Take?
Kybella injections may take 15 to 20 minutes. However, because multiple injections are necessary to achieve uniform results, patients may arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment time to have photos taken and receive a topical anesthetic. Numbing cream applied to the skin can take 15 minutes to achieve full effect. After that, the treatment area is desensitized for the duration of the appointment.
Is It Painful?
It can be mildly uncomfortable to get Kybella injections. Providers use the smallest needle possible, so injections themselves are typically felt as a subtle pinch. The use of topical numbing cream also helps reduce the sensations of the injections, of which there may be a dozen or more. Discomfort is more often attributed to a minor stinging or burning sensation in the subcutaneous area where deoxycholic acid is absorbed into fat cells. To minimize these effects, we will apply an ice pack to the chin and neck as soon as treatment is done.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Kybella?
Kybella is approved for healthy adults aged 18 and older. While younger patients can receive Kybella, this treatment is most common among adults aged 25 and older. Kybella is chosen by patients who want to eliminate submental fullness and give more angular curves to their jawline without undergoing surgery. To be a good candidate for Kybella, one should have relatively firm, elastic skin. Our team performs a careful evaluation of the skin and fatty tissue and discusses the most appropriate actions to take as needed to achieve the very best results. Kybella is not approved for use in women who are pregnant or nursing.
Is Kybella Or Liposuction Better For Double Chins?
Both techniques are performed to eliminate unwanted fat. The way in which they achieve this differs. While liposuction works immediately to extract fat cells from the submental area, Kybella works over time. Getting Kybella injections doesn't require injectable anesthesia and it does not require downtime to deal with bruising and pain. After Kybella, patients can expect some degree of swelling. This is related to the infusion of deoxycholic acid rather than tissue trauma. As the acid absorbs into fat cells, the upper neck and chin area decrease in size. Downtime after liposuction is minimal, two to seven days. During the postoperative period, patients must wear a compression strap around the chin and head to help minimize swelling. Though minimal, there is also a risk of infection at the insertion points of the small liposuction cannula.
Is Kybella or liposuction better? Only you can decide for yourself. Kybella is the treatment that is chosen by people who don't want the risk and downtime associated with surgery and who can patiently await their results as the body processes destroyed fat cells over several weeks.
How Long Is The Recovery Period?
Recovery from Kybella injections is relatively short and, for the most part, comfortable. Patients who receive Kybella can expect some soreness and tenderness at injection sites. The neck and chin appear swollen and may feel "sloshy" due to the insertion of liquid that takes time to absorb. These common side effects typically last 1-2 weeks.
How Many Treatments Are Required To Produce Noticeable Results?
After the very first Kybella session, the deoxycholic acid that gets absorbed by fat cells begins to break down excess fatty tissue. Results may start to appear within a few weeks. That said, it isn't possible to inject enough of the naturally occurring acid in one treatment to affect all unwanted fat. While some patients can achieve their desired outcome in one session, this is pretty rare. Most patients need three to four visits to achieve the amount of fat reduction that is necessary to reveal a more sculpted, contoured jawline. During your consultation, your experienced provider can discuss the expected outcome based on the amount of fatty tissue you have at the time of treatment.
Is KYBELLA® Right For Me?
If you’re bothered by submental fullness or double chin, KYBELLA® may be right for you. KYBELLA® treats submental fullness caused by fat cells, it does not treat loose skin. A consultation is needed in order to determine if KYBELLA® is the right choice for you.
How Many People Have Been Treated With KYBELLA®?
KYBELLA® has been the focus of a global clinical development program involving over 20 clinical studies with more than 2,600 patients worldwide, of which over 1,600 have been treated with KYBELLA®.
Will I Experience Any Side Effects?
The safety profile of KYBELLA® is well characterized. The most common side effects are swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness around the treatment area. Icing the treatment area for 15 minutes after the treatment is recommended to help minimize swelling.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
You and your provider will customize your KYBELLA® treatment regimen, including how many treatments you need, based on your desired chin profile. Many patients experience visible results in 2 to 4 treatment sessions. During these sessions, your provider will administer KYBELLA® into the fat under your chin using multiple injections. Up to 6 treatment sessions may be administered spaced no less than one month apart.
In clinical studies, results for KYBELLA®-treated patients who had a ≥1-grade composite improvement were 8% (1 treatment), 28% (2 treatments), 43% (3 treatments), 55% (4 treatments), 66% (5 treatments) and 72% (6 treatments)
In clinical studies, results for KYBELLA®-treated patients who had a ≥2-grade composite improvement were 0% (1 treatment), .2% (2 treatments), .8% (3 treatments), 3.5% (4 treatments), 3.9% (5 treatments) and 15% (6 treatments)
59% of subjects in the clinical trials received all 6 treatments
How Long Will The Results Last?
Kybella affects fat cells in a way that stimulates their removal from the body via natural elimination processes. The fat cells that are affected by Kybella release their contents. These are picked up as cellular debris and eliminated from the body. While Kybella treatment does not remove all of the fat cells that live under the chin (nor do we want to do that), the cells that are compromised can no longer accumulate lipids and other products. Provided that the patient maintains a relatively stable weight, the results of Kybella are expected to last many years if not indefinitely.
Who Should Not Receive KYBELLA®?
You should not receive KYBELLA® if you have an infection in the treatment area.