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What Is kybella?

Kybella is a non-surgical injectable technique used to target the fat beneath the chin. The process uses a series of deoxycholic acid injections to target the fat cells in this area. No incisions are required, and the downtime is minimal in most cases.

The best candidate is an adult 18 years or older with moderate to severe fat beneath the chin. You might not be a good candidate if you have had or are planning to have facial surgery if you have trouble swallowing, are pregnant or nursing, or have an infection or medical condition in or near the planned injection site.

A 2015 consumer survey done by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) found that 67 percent of individuals are bothered by excess fat under the chin or neck. Kybella is currently the only FDA-approved injectable to treat the appearance of a double chin.

How does Kybella work?

Deoxycholic acid is a bile acid, naturally produced by your body to help absorb fat. Kybella injections use a synthetic form of this as an injection. Once injected, the acid destroys fat cells beneath the chin area so it can’t store fat anymore. Make sure that a trained healthcare professional administers your Kybella injections since deoxycholic acid can kill other cells in the process as well.

Before the procedure, your healthcare provider will mark the injection sites with a marker and may administer a topical numbing agent or ice pack to ease any pain or discomfort. Usually 20 to 30, and up to 50, injections are used under the chin. The acid then works gradually to kill fat cells, which are metabolized by the body over the following weeks.

The number of treatment sessions necessary varies for each person. Multiple treatments might be needed to reach optimal results. You can receive up to six Kybella treatments, with at least one month between each session.

Risks and side effects

Though Kybella is nonsurgical, some common side effects include pain, swelling, bruising, redness, and numbness. The recovery process associated with Kybella is minimal in most cases, and downtime varies from person to person. Minor side effects typically subside in one to two weeks.

Serious side effects have occurred, including facial muscle weakness, an uneven smile, trouble swallowing, or nerve injury in the jaw. Any post-treatment discomfort should be discussed with your healthcare provider. If you experience any of these severe side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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