Are you bothered by stubborn fat below your chin that won’t go away no matter how much you exercise or diet? “Double chin” no longer needs to be treated by invasive procedures such as liposuction or surgery, which is riskier and requires substantial healing time. Kybella is the new and revolutionary non-invasive injectable solution to the problem of submental fat.
What is Kybella?
Kybella is a noninvasive alternative to cosmetic surgery that uses a series of injections of deoxycholic acid to dissolve the fat beneath the chin. Deoxycholic acid is a natural substance produced and secreted by the body, and breaks down dietary fat in the gut. Kybella is a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid and is used to break down fat in unwanted areas of the body. When injected into submental fat, the acid dissolves the fat which is then naturally removed by the body.
The number of necessary treatments varies from person to person, but you should not receive more than six total injections. Each injection must take place no earlier than a month from the last, and most people have an average of 3 treatments. The actual number of treatments depends on the amount of existing submental fat and your desired outcome.
Recovery time for Kybella injections is short, and you should be able to return to your normal activities soon after treatment. However, there is noticeable swelling that persists for an average of 2 weeks in the area of injection. This procedure should only be done on adults 18 years or older. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should not receive Kybella injections. It is not yet clear whether Kybella affects the fetus or if it is passed through breast milk.
How to Prepare for Kybella
Before receiving Kybella treatments, meet with your healthcare provider to ensure the procedure is right for you. During this appointment, you should discuss your medical history and current medications. Inform your doctor of any problems you have near the treatment site, like swelling, bleeding, or infections.
Due to potential side effects, it is best to schedule the injections at least two weeks before traveling or important events. Washing your face before your appointment also lowers your chances of infection.
Risks of Kybella
Few serious risks and side effects are associated with Kybella. More commonly, you may have bruising or swelling for a couple of weeks after the injections, but the swelling eventually spontaneously resolves.
More severe side effects are less common but can include the following at or around the injection site:
- Nerve injury or sensitivity
- Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
- Muscle weakness
- Uneven smile
- Hair loss
How Much Does Kybella Cost?
Kybella is classified as a cosmetic procedure, which means insurance does not cover it. The cost also depends on how many treatments you have and your healthcare provider costs.
Most Kybella treatments cost between $1,500 and $1,800 per treatment.
Can Kybella be Injected in Other Areas of the Body?
Kybella is FDA approved for injection to underchin fat only, but it has commonly been used to treat other areas of the body as well, such as the “love handles”. Not all areas of the body can be injected due to safety reasons.
Care After Kybella
Post-treatment care for Kybella is minimal but essential to creating your ideal result. Avoid touching the area except to ice it, and drink plenty of water. For pain relief, try using Arnica gel or acetaminophen. Stay away from ibuprofen and aspirin. Avoid processed foods like refined sugars after treatment, as they can worsen swelling.
If you experience any severe side effects like ulcers or difficulty swallowing, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Kybella is a lasting treatment, and once it is completed, the treated submental fat is permanently dissolved.