What is Kybella?
Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is the first and only injectable drug that is FDA approved to treat submental fullness. It is a quick and relatively painless non-surgical treatment for men and women to eliminate double chin fat or fat in other areas of the body and face. Prior to Kybella, the only options for fat removal in the neck was surgery and liposuction.
How does Kybella work?
Kybella is the answer to double-chin and neck fat, also known as submental fullness, which is caused by localized fat deposition. This injectable solution may be an alternative to liposuction and neck lift surgery for mild to moderate cases of submental fullness. This cosmetic injectable is based on a natural substance made by the body, deoxycholic acid. This is an organic compound that the body uses to break down dietary fat. This targeted use of deoxycholic acid proves a powerful adversary to eliminate localized deposits of fatty tissue.
Kybella works by injecting deoxycholic acid into a small treatment area, the middle portion of the upper neck, to destroy fat cells. When deoxycholic acid is absorbed by fat cells, it liquifies the fat which is then metabolized by the body and excreted naturally over time. Bye-bye double chin!
What to expect during and after a Kybella Treatment?
Kybella treatment is conducted in the office with no need for anesthesia or numbing medication. Patients may apply ice prior to their treatment session to improve the comfort of multiple injections. After thoroughly marking the neck area for injections using a carefully-planned grid, a few dozen small injections are administered. It is relatively painless but some may experience a moderate heat sensation. The entire treatment should be complete within approximately 20 to 30 minutes. It does, however, take several treatment sessions to achieve optimal results.
Are there any side effects from Kybella?
As with any injectable treatment, there are minor side effects that may occur after Kybella. The most common side effects that occur after Kybella injections include redness, swelling, and bruising. These may last from a few days to 2 weeks Numbness may last up to 6 weeks. Other rare side effects include hair loss in the treatment area, infection, pain, allergic reaction, itching, trouble swallowing, an asymmetric smile from nerve damage, tissue necrosis, tingling, burning, and change in the pigment of the skin.
How long does swelling from Kybella last?
One of the most prominent side effects of Kybella treatment is swelling. This may be the result of the body’s natural inflammatory response to numerous injections, or it may have to do with the swelling of fat cells as they absorb the product. It may come down to the amount of product that is introduced to such a small area. Whatever the ultimate reason for swelling after each Kybella session, this is a temporary side effect. Some patients remark that they look like a “bullfrog”. In many instances, swelling peaks at 3 days and slowly subsides from there. Because multiple sessions are scheduled to obtain optimal results, it may feel as though swelling persists for weeks. In the end, the final result from the repeated Kybella treatments is the reward that is worth a few days of “hiding” here and there.
How long do the results last?
Due to initial swelling, results from Kybella treatment are usually first noticed approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the first treatment. It can take 2-6 treatments to achieve your goals. At this point, thanks to clinical trials, we know that the results from Kybella treatments are permanent. However, there are various factors, such as subsequent weight gain, that remain somewhat questionable. To date, studies show that even slight weight gain does not seem to cause submental fullness to return. That being said, patients are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyle habits to sustain a healthy weight and to retain the results achieved from Kybella. Results from Kybella could last many years with such habits.
Who is NOT a good candidate for Kybella?
Certain patients are not good candidates for Kybella treatment. These include patients with a bleeding disorder, patients who are pregnant or nursing, patients who have recently had surgery or cosmetic procedures or are planning to in the near future, patients who have trouble swallowing, patients with nerve damage to face or neck, and those with active infections.
American Dermatology Associates is proud to offer our highest standard of care to patients from the Sarasota area. To learn more about Kybella, call (941) 379-6647.