What is Kybella and is it Worth Getting Done?

August 10, 2021

Want to get rid of your double chin? You’re not alone. A survey from the American Society for Dermatology Surgery found that the majority (68%) of participants were concerned about having excess fat under their chins. Injectables are making it possible to get rid of this fat without surgery.

Kybella is a popular, injectable treatment that improves the look and profile of your chin. It’s the first and only FDA-approved injection for double chins.

What is Kybella?

Kybella reduces excess fat from small areas where the treatment is injected into the skin. The treatment works to dissolve fat cells by using deoxycholic acid. The treatment is often used to remove submental fat, or the fat that causes a double chin.

Doctors are now using Kybella as a way to remove small amounts of fat from other areas of the body, including the elbows and knees.

Many people also seek Kybella treatment for:

  • Upper arm fat
  • Bra fat
  • Etc.

The course of treatment will depend on the level of fat in a specific area of the body. Multiple injections are common during treatment, especially if trying to target abdominal fat.

But for most people who seek out Kybella, they want to achieve cosmetic improvements with a primary focus on the chin.

What to Expect During Kybella Treatment

Treatment involves an anatomic analysis by a doctor. A full assessment is performed to analyze the chin, or other area of the body, and photos may be taken. Treatment areas are then marked and the injection sites, too.

The area will be sterilized by the doctor, but you won’t need anesthesia. Instead, a topical cream will be applied to the face to reduce any discomfort you feel from the injections.

A series of injections are made once your face is numb. The injections are quick, and the needle is small. In total, you may need 20 to 30 injections in a single treatment session. You'll likely spend 30 minutes getting injections.

Multiple treatment sessions may be necessary to successfully reach your goals.

After Your Treatment – What to Expect

You should be able to continue with your normal routine after the procedure. You may experience some bruising or swelling for up to two weeks.

The most common side effects of Kybella include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Areas of hardness at the treatment site

Although less common, some people do experience serious side effects, such as:

  • Nerve injury in the jaw
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bruising, hair loss or tissue damage at the injection site

It may be best to avoid strenuous exercise for the first week after the treatment. The increased blood flow from exercise may increase swelling. 

When Will You See Results, and How Long Do They Last?

In most cases, patients will need at least two treatments before they start seeing results. It takes about 4-6 weeks for Kybella to work, so you’ll need to space your treatments out at least four weeks.

The great thing about Kybella is that the results are permanent. You shouldn’t need additional treatments once you reach your desired results. Kybella kills fat cells, so once they are gone, they are gone for good.

Kybella Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A non-invasive way to dissolve fat cells
  • A quick, 15-minute procedure
  • Downtime is minimal

Cons

  • Multiple treatments may be required, with 4-6 weeks downtime in between
  • Only suitable for small pockets of fat
  • Some people experience severe swelling

If you’re looking for a permanent way to get rid of unwanted fat, Kybella may be a good option for you. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your final decision.