Ever wish you could blast away your double chin in an instant? Instant fixes just aren’t possible; even surgery takes time. But there is a new noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure on the market that can effectively melt a double chin. Kybella, an injectable treatment for submental fullness, is quickly gaining popularity. Here’s what you need to know to decide whether it’s right for you.


Kybella is currently the only injectable fat for submental fullness (excessive fat deposits under the skin). This revolutionary formula contains deoxycholic acid, a substance first approved by the FDA three years ago, in 2015. Treatment is delivered via multiple injections into the affected area spread out over a period of one to six individual sessions.

Kybella is remarkably effective. Testing prior to the formula’s approval showed that nearly 83 percent of patients who received injections reported satisfaction with their noticeable results. Most importantly, Kybella was effective for patients at multiple age ranges, high and low weights, and multiple condition severities.


Submental fullness is a complex problem; it can stem from weight loss, genetics, or a combination of both plus additional environmental factors. That’s also why it’s such a difficult problem to fix. Medical aestheticians have struggled for years to find good, reliable treatments with fewer side effects than surgery.

Where Kybella is unique is in its ability to actually melt fat cells. Instead of simply plumping, reshaping, or cutting away fat tissue, it causes fat cells to self-destruct without damaging healthy tissue, such as skin and muscle, in the surrounding area.

Once Kybella begins to break down fat cells, the body can flush them away just as it would any other waste fluids. Fat loss happens much more rapidly than with ordinary weight loss; most patients see peak results after just a week or two. However, patients do often need multiple sessions to fully correct submental fullness. You should expect to attend an average of six sessions before your treatment completes.


Kybella itself is fairly new, but the idea of using chemicals to reduce fat cells certainly isn’t. In fact, the first such treatments were tested in France in the 1950s. The treatment concept was first used not in cosmetics, but to resolve fat embolisms in patients recovering from traumas, including broken bones or accidents. This earlier formula, called phosphatidylcholine, saved many lives.

The fact that Kybella is inspired by older, more studied medications helped medical aestheticians feel confident about its safe use. In fact, by the 1980s, a formula containing both phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholic acid was being used in the bodybuilding and modeling industries to help reduce sticky fat deposits where it mattered most. It wasn’t until almost 2000 that researchers realized that it was the deoxycholic acid fixing the problem, not the phosphatidylcholine.

Fast forward to now. Aesthetics spas have been using Kybella effectively, safely, and efficiently for several years. Patients get the look they want; treatment providers feel confident about recommending it as a solution.


It depends. Generally, Kybella injections are not extremely painful or even anything more than slightly uncomfortable. The needles used to inject Kybella are extremely fine and thin, and thus, most patients barely feel them. Some people do report slight discomfort as Kybella is injected and as it diffuses through the skin.

Because of the nature of how Kybella works – by destroying fat cells – some discomfort in the first five days to two weeks after treatment is expected. Swelling, bruising, and redness may also occur; these are undesired, but unless excessive, are simply a sign that the formula is working as it should.

By the two-week point, any pain related to Kybella should be largely resolved. If you’re concerned about treatment pain before this point, know that we do have options to relieve pain during and after injections. Just as your medical professional to tell you about your options before your session.


If you have submental fat, Kybella may be an excellent treatment option for you. It is especially useful for patients who have genetic fat without the presence of general obesity, or the development of submental fat later in life.

Kybella can also be used to treat obesity-related submental fullness, but you should be aware that additional weight gain may reverse results. It should also be given after weight loss, rather than before, to maximize improvements. Weight loss can produce loose skin, especially if you currently weigh over 400 lbs; it’s important to give your skin time to shrink or bounce back first.

If you’re considering Kybella as an adjunct to other surgeries, know that this treatment can, and often is, used in combination with everything from Botox to chemical peels to full-body liposuction. Your medical spa just needs to know which procedures you’re having so they can stagger sessions and/or keep your healing process in mind.


What can you expect from Kybella?

Primarily, a loss of volume in the area directly underneath the chin. Some people also notice loss of volume in other fat-prone areas close by, such as the jowls or the neck. Loss of volume is subtle at first, and more prominent by the end of treatment.

Results manifest over a period of time, so you shouldn’t expect instant transformation as soon as you leave the clinic. Instead, you should overlook any changes in the first five to seven days. By the two-week mark, you can assume you are seeing most, but not all, of Kybella’s results from your last session.

The two to six treatment session schedule doesn’t necessarily apply to every patient. In very mild cases, one session of Kybella may be enough to melt submental fat. In more advanced cases, patients may find they need more than six treatments. However, as mentioned further up in the article, the average “magic number is six.

Once your sessions are completed, you are encouraged to monitor your appearance closely. Many patients never need treatment again; others may need very occasional maintenance sessions if fat begins to build up – no more often than once every few years. Kybella is designed to be permanent, but sometimes, the human body’s ability to heal does regenerate some fat cells.

Overall, Kybella is a faster, more effective, and less invasive treatment method for submental fullness and undesired fat deposits. Compared to surgery, recovery time is much, much lower, and discomfort, swelling, bruising, and other similar issues manifest on a much lesser scale. If you’ve been shying away from surgery because you don’t want to go under the knife, you should consider this option.

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