What is Kybella?

Weight gain, genetics, and aging all contribute to creating the fat deposit known as a double chin. Technically this is referred to as “submental” fullness, meaning “fullness beneath the chin.”

Once it makes its appearance, attempts to reduce this fat can be frustrating.  Unfortunately, although diet and exercise can help the individual lose weight and tone on just about any other area of the body, they rarely have an effect on reducing a double chin.

Fortunately, a recently approved product called Kybella is available to address this exact problem.

Kybella is a non-surgical procedure used to remove or reduce the fat that creates a double chin. It was formulated by Allergan, the makers of Botox, and approved by the FDA in 2015.  

Kybella is a man-made form of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring material that helps the body break down fat. Deoxycholic acid destroys the cell membrane of fat cells causing fat cells to die and become absorbed into the body and eliminated. Reducing the number of fat cells reduces fat under the chin.

Treatments with Kybella can take the place of liposuction or any other invasive fat-elimination technique used to address fat deposits under the chin (and several other areas). Through a series of injections, Kybella breaks down the fat cells in the submental collection, allowing the body to resorb them and leave behind a sleek, slim chin.

Although Kybella has only been approved by the FDA for treatment of submental fullness, the product is being used successfully “off-label” to address the fat that can collect in the underarm area and inner thighs. The plastic surgeon may also inject Kybella to treat small irregularities after liposuction.

What Happens During a Kybella Treatment?

Kybella is administered as an injection into the fat tissue in the submental area. There is normally no need for anesthetic.  But if you’re sensitive to injections, a numbing agent can be used to reduce any discomfort. 

Kybella treatments revolve around a series of injections – averaging 12 to 20 per visit. Each visit is around 15 minutes. Treatment of the submental area typically requires 2 to 4 visits, given about 6 weeks apart. 

Is Kybella Safe?

Kybella has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of a double chin and is known to be both safe and effective. There are, however, some common and some uncommon potential side effects.

Some common side effects include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, and numbness. These typically subside in one to two weeks.

Serious side effects are rare but include facial muscle weakness, uneven smile, trouble swallowing, or nerve injury in the jaw.

When Can I Expect to See Results?

The recovery time associated with Kybella is minimal and varies from person to person.

Usually, it takes two to four visits to see results, with typically 6 weeks between treatments.

The great news is, once the double chin is gone, it’s gone. Results from Kybella treatments are long term.

Kybella Before and After Photos:

Kybella before and after photo

Photos courtesy of Allergan.

Contact our office today to schedule a private consultation to learn if Kybella is right for you.

COVID-19 Policy Update

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified our routines and protocols to maximize your comfort and safety while continuing to provide you the best in plastic surgery. We are now applying some of the same high-level sterilization and air purification techniques that we use in our operating room to the rest of our office and patient care areas. Our office flow and routines have also been adjusted to optimize social distancing.

As always, we are seeing patients on Mondays and Thursdays and performing surgery in our private state-of-the-art fully-accredited surgical center. We also continue to offer limited online consultations. Skin care products can be delivered by mail. Virtual gift cards are also available. Please call us (973.942.6600) or fill out our online contact form if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment. We will continue to provide you with the best in plastic surgery!