From the makers of Botox, Latisse, and Juvederm comes the first fat-melting injectable treatment: Kybella.
1. What is Kybella?
Kybella is an injectable formulation of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of fat. When injected into areas of unwanted fat, Kybella causes the destruction of fat cells. In 2015, the FDA approved the use of Kybella to treat submental fat, otherwise known as a double chin. However, over the course of the following years it has been discovered to also help destroy fat in other areas and has been called “mini-liposuction in a syringe”.
2. What areas can be treated with Kybella?
Kybella is most commonly used for the removal of fat underneath the chin. However, Kybella can also be used to treat the unwanted fat along the lower jawline, armpit fat, bra bulges, and lower buttock fatty folds.
3. Are there any off-label uses for Kybella? If so, are they safe?
Off label, Kybella can be used for smaller areas of unwanted fat on the body:
- Armpit pooches
- Back fat
- Bra bulge
- Inner knee fat
- Lower buttock fatty folds
- Lower belly bulge
- More! The general rule of thumb: if you can pinch it, you can treat it.
4. Kybella vs. liposuction vs. laser? Which would you recommend and what is the difference?
Kybella is perfect for people who have small areas they are unhappy with, and do not want to undergo surgery. Kybella is a safer, easier alternative to liposuction or laser, and although multiple sessions may be needed — a lot of patients prefer the quicker, easier, less invasive options. Kybella treatments do not leave any scars, and when treating with a trained professional, has minimal risks and downtime.
5. What is recovery like for Kybella injections?
It is normal to experience some swelling immediately after a Kybella treatment, which typically is most prominent in the first 2-3 days and at most — usually resolves in a week. After day #3, most swelling is unnoticeable to others, (although for the chin / jaw, a scarf or a mock turtleneck can help camouflage any swelling.)
Over the following month, you may feel (but not see) some bumps under the skin of the treated area. This firmness signifies Kybella is working to dissolve the fat. Once the fat is dissolved, your body will naturally absorb the fat cells.
6. How long do results from Kybella injections last?
The results gained with Kybella are considered permanent and the fat will not return once dissolved if the patient’s weight remains stable. FDA studies show maintenance of improvement at 5-years after treatment when patients maintained a stable weight.
7. What happens if I do gain weight after using Kybella?
Because double chin fat, or any area treated with Kybella is composed of fat cells, with significant weight gain, the fat area can possibly but not always return.
8. Are Kybella injections painful?
There is little pain during the Kybella procedure. There is a slight burning sensation when the product is administered, but ice (and possible numbing agents) are used to help ensure comfort for our patients.
Two to four sessions are recommended with a follow up of 6–8 weeks between each treatment.
The treated areas may feel sore for a few days after treatment, but this is normal and should not interfere with any normal activities.
9. Post-treatment Recommendations:
- DO hold ice packs on the areas that are treated with Kybella gently for a few times day of treatment.
- DO expect treated areas to be red, inflamed, swollen, and bruised for the first 2-7 days. (This will not necessarily occur, but it is better to mentally prepare for the full onslaught of downtime.)
- DO wait to resume all normal activities (including exercise) until the day after treatment.
- DO feel free to take Tylenol if needed for discomfort after the treatment.
- If bruising occurs, DO apply topical Arnica gel, drink fresh pineapple juice, and/or take Bromelain supplements to help bruising resolve faster.
- DO feel free to apply makeup to hide any bruising.
10. How long is a Kybella treatment?
Kybella is an incredibly quick and easy “lunchtime” procedure. Most patients are in and out within 30-minutes, most of the time is used to take “before” pictures are review after-care instructions.
11. How many Kybella treatments do I need to see results?
Every patient is different, most patients need 2-4 sessions spaced 6-8 weeks or more apart. Our providers’ extensive experience and expert technique with Kybella will allow them to help give you a realistic expectation of how many treatments may be needed to achieve your aesthetic goals.
12. When will I see results?
Although noticeable results will occur, they are not immediate. Kybella works gradually to destroy the targeted fat cells. Results can take 6-8 weeks to appear after each treatment.
Once the desired results have been achieved, further treatments of Kybella are not expected.
* Please note that individual results may vary.
Before receiving a Kybella treatment:
It is important that you communicate all of your medical conditions prior to any injections; including if you have had (or plan to have) surgery on your neck, face or chin, have bleeding problems, etc. (It can never hurt to be over-cautious, and the more information you share about your medical history, the better!)
Allergan is the parent-company of Kybella, so you can earn and use Alle points with every treatment!
* Please note that individual results may vary.
(With Khloe Kardashian as the official Kybella spokeswoman, you know the treatment has to be good.)