Kybella is the first and only FDA-approved non-surgical treatment for the reduction of submental fat, also known as “double chin.” This treatment gives patients an alternative to the surgical procedure liposuction.
The “double chin” effect can be due to a variety of causes in both men and women. Genetics, weight gain, and aging can all contribute to the fat collection in the under chin area, which, even with diet and exercise, may not disappear. Excess fat in this area can make you look older and heavier than you actually are.
The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When Kybella is injected into the fat beneath your chin, it causes the destruction of fat cells, which are then unable to store or accumulate fat. Fat cleared from the treatment area is processed through your body’s natural metabolism.
Each treatment takes approximately 30 minutes. Three to six treatment sessions are typically required for maximal results. The most common side effects are transient swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness around the treatment area. Serious side effects include trouble swallowing and nerve injury in the jaw that can temporarily cause an uneven smile or facial muscle weakness. In clinical studies, nerve injury in the jaw resolved on its own in a median of 44 days (range of 1 to 298 days), and trouble swallowing resolved on its own in a median of 3 days (range of 1 to 81 days).
In clinical studies, 79% of people treated with Kybella had improved satisfaction with the appearance of the area beneath their chin (compared with 34% of people treated with placebo) 12 weeks after last treatment (source: Kybella patient brochure). Because Kybella destroys the fat cells, results are typically long-lasting and further treatment is not needed.