What is Kybella?
Kybella is an injection specifically for submental fat reduction.
Kybella is administered in the office with small needle injections (similar to Botox) and the actual treatment takes about 5 minutes. The area can be numbed with local anesthesia although many patients only need ice packs to numb the skin.
Submental fullness is fat deposits under the chin in the upper neck. This occurs in some patients from heredity and some patients from aging or weight gain. Many patients have this double chin fullness that is resistant to diet and weight loss. This has been traditionally treated with liposuction or facelift but now there is a non-surgical treatment that takes only minutes per treatment. In June of 2015 the FDA approved Kybella as the first and only non-surgical filler specifically for submental fat reduction.
The most important in this treatment is to determine if patients are appropriate candidates. Kybella™ is not a treatment for excess skin or extreme fat deposits on the entire neck. Appropriate patients are those with isolated fat under the chin and without sagging skin.
Kybella is a synthesized bile acid that is made naturally in the body and aids in digestion. It works by dissolving the cell wall of the fat cells and the body digests the fat and the drug is cleared for the body by natural processes.
After the treatment the patient will develop minor discomfort and swelling. Most patients do not take pain pills for the discomfort which is generally controlled with medicines like Advil. The swelling is usually mild to moderate but any patient undergoing this treatment for the first time should perform it on a Thursday to allow ample recovery time if swelling or bruising prohibits them from going to work.
Most patients will require 2-4 treatments that are spaced 8 weeks apart. The fat that is dissolved is permanent and retreatment is not necessary. This is not to say that weight gain and future aging changes won’t affect the double chin.