Kybella is the first and only FDA approved injectable drug that contours and improves the appearance of submental fullness or “double chin.” We also use Kybella “off label” to reduce the fat deposits causing jowls. Kybella is composed of deoxycholic acid. It is synthetic but identical to a fat dissolving product made by our gall bladder to help break down fat. Kybella is not a treatment for lax or excess skin, vertical bands or horizontal lines on the neck
It takes a minimum of 2 treatments to appreciate any results. Most patients will achieve their desired results within 3 months after their 3rd or 4th treatment though up to 6 treatments may be administered. Treatments are performed 4 to 8 weeks apart. It is possible that you will not see improvement despite multiple treatments due to your underlying anatomy, skin tone or other factors.
The improvement in the submental area is very long lasting and retreatment is not expected. Normal aging changes in the skin and other tissues of the neck will continue to occur, however. Though the treated fat cells are removed and replaced by collagen, a small amount is left behind. If you gain a great deal of weight, the remaining fat cells may expand giving a full appearance.
All patients should expect swelling in the treated area. This is more pronounced when treating the submental area, but less dramatic when treating jowls. This is most dramatic in the first 3 days after the first procedure. Subsequent treatments generally result in significantly less swelling. Swelling will steadily decrease but may still be noticeable at a month post-treatment. Tenderness, discomfort, and numbness in the treated area is very common and can last weeks. Redness and firmness in the area are also common. Bruising is possible and will generally resolve in a week.
Difficulty swallowing can occur generally lasting for a few days post-treatment and is thought to be due to swelling of the area. A “pins and needles” sensation, itching, skin tightness, headache, nausea, discoloration of the skin, swollen glands, hives in the area, and neck or throat pain, ulceration of small areas of the skin have also been reported. An uncommon side effect is a temporary injury to the marginal mandibular nerve resulting in an asymmetrical smile lasting an average of 6 weeks. No cases of this side effect were indefinite. In the beard area of men, injections could cause small patches of hair loss in the treatment area.
You may not be treated if:
- You are pregnant or nursing.
- You have difficulty swallowing.
- You have nerve injury or weakness in the lower face.
- You have an infection in the area.
Inform your doctor if:
- You are on blood thinners.
- You have had procedures or surgery of your lower face or neck.