Kybella is an injectable prescription medication used in adults to improve the appearance and profile of moderate to severe fat below the chin (submental fat), also known as a “double chin”.  The active ingredient in Kybella is synthetic deoxycholic acid.  Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat.  When injected into the fat beneath the chin, Kybella destroys fat cells, resulting in a noticeable reduction in fullness under the chin.  Once destroyed, these cells can no longer store or accumulate fat, so further treatment is not expected once you reach your desired aesthetic goal.  It is not known if Kybella is safe and effective for use outside of the submental area and so at this time treatment is not recommended in other areas of the body. 

What should I expect during treatment?
At the start of a treatment session, topical numbing cream is applied to the treatment area for several minutes to lessen the discomfort of the injections.  The area to be treated is then cleaned with alcohol and multiple tiny injections of the Kybella solution are deposited into the fat layer under the skin using a small needle.  The entire treatment takes just a few minutes.

What are the possible side effects of Kybella?
The most common side effects of Kybella include swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness, and areas of hardness in the treatment area.  These are to be expected after the treatment as the medication is working to dissolve fat cells, and this inflammation can be managed with cold compresses, ice packs, and by taking anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen.  Kybella can very rarely cause more serious side effects, including nerve injury in the jaw (which can cause a temporary uneven smile or temporary facial muscle weakness), or temporary trouble swallowing.

How many Kybella treatment sessions will I need?
Since everyone’s chin profile is different, the number of treatments varies from patient to patient. Your healthcare provider will help determine how many treatment sessions you need based on the amount and distribution of your submental fat and your personal treatment goals.  Each Kybella treatment session is given at least 1 month apart, and you may need up to 6 treatments.

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