What is Kybella?
Kybella is an FDA-approved cytolytic drug, used to cosmetically treat chin and neck fat in order to reduce the appearance of a double chin. Kybella treatments are far less invasive than the average cosmetic surgeries for neck contouring (liposuction, lifts, etc.), offering incredible results for patients with far less discomfort and downtime.
The drug Kybella is an exact synthetic replica of deoxycholic acid, a secondary bile acid that is naturally occurring in the human body and is responsible for the absorption of fat. Since its discovery, deoxycholic acid has been used in a variety of ways, but with the approval of Kybella by the FDA in 2015, it has become one of the most common and effective treatments for submental fat, or fatty pockets in the chin that can make people appear older and heavier.
How does Kybella work?
The process begins with an initial consultation, during which you will learn how Kybella works, what to expect during the procedure and Kybella recovery, and what results are possible. Before you can start the process, though, you need to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Kybella is approved for use in patients aged 18-65, and while most people in this age group turn out to be good candidates for the Kybella Facial Procedure, there are certain criteria, which must be met prior to the procedure taking place. The main consideration is skin elasticity.
Kybella works by destroying the structure of fat cells. In other words, it dissolves the fat that causes a double chin. When this occurs, elastic skin will naturally tighten and bounce back, creating the slim neck and more defined jawline you crave.
Kybella does not tighten skin. If the elasticity of skin in the area is poor, the skin will sag once fat has dissolved and the body has flushed it from the chin and neck.
In addition, Kybella may not be right for patients seeking quick results. Unlike liposuction, where results are more or less immediate (recovery notwithstanding), patients who undergo the Kybella Facial Procedure will have to wait for the full results of fat reduction and skin tightening, which can take some time.
If it is determined that you are a good candidate for Kybella, you will schedule an appointment for the first procedure. During the procedure, patients receive a local anesthetic to ensure optimal comfort throughout.
From there, a grid is drawn on the skin as a guide for injections, after which Kybella is injected into predetermined sites about 1cm apart. You may receive up to 50 injections of about 0.2mL each during a treatment session, for a total of 10 mL of Kybella.
The number of sessions needed will depend on the patient, but generally speaking, 4-6 treatments (at about 1-month intervals) are required to achieve optimal results. You may begin to see improvement after just one treatment, but with several you will realize the best results.
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What does Kybella treatment recovery entail?
Unlike surgical procedures, the recovery process for Kybella is quite short. Patients should expect some swelling and bruising following treatment. Swelling may last only 2-3 days or possibly a bit longer, depending on the patient. With proper Kybella aftercare (icing, elevation with pillows while resting), there should be minimal downtime. Side effects like swelling tend to lessen with each treatment as fat cells dissolve.
What results can I expect?
Actual results will vary by patient, but you can reasonably anticipate significant fat reduction in the chin and neck area, and with skin tightening, you could alleviate or even eliminate a double chin, making for a slender neck and a more defined jaw. Because the process requires several treatments at 1-month intervals, it could take about 4-6 months to achieve final results.
Because Kybella is relatively new, long-term effects are unknown. The Kybella Facial Procedure reduces the number of fat cells in the chin and neck area, but remaining fat cells could grow and expand if patients gain weight after the fact.
About Dr. Julio F. Gallo
Dr. Julio Gallo, MD, FACS is a highly skilled, experienced, and accomplished cosmetic surgeon, board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery located in Miami, FL. He is an international authority in his field, and his commitment to understanding the latest industry advances and providing the best results for every patient has earned him a strong reputation for professionalism and success.
Dr. Gallo was one of the first physicians to undergo training in the Kybella Facial Procedure, selected by the manufacturer to participate in the initial training workshop. Dr. Gallo is a certified injection specialist and instructor with years of experience, making him more than qualified to successfully administer Kybella.
Frequently Asked Questions
A consultation with an experienced medical professional can help determine if Kybella is right for you.
Each person is different, but the usual case is 4-6 sessions spaced one month apart each.
Liposuction and CoolSculping are alternative methods to reduce a double-chin vs Kybella. Consult with a medical professional to determine which treatment is appropriate for you.
Submental fat, also known as a ‘Double Chin’ occurs when a layer of fat forms below the chin. It can often be associated with weight gain, but it’s not required to be overweight to have a double chin. Genetics, jaw lines, or looser skin resulting from aging may also be the cause of a double chin.
Absolutely, Dr. Gallo’s practice provides Kybella and many more double chin treatements in Miami, FL.
The fat cells that are removed due to the Kybella treatement in the chin and neck area are permanently gone, however remaining fat cells could grow and expand if patients gain weight after the fact.