March 12, 2024 | Non-Surgical Procedure

5 Things to Know Before a Kybella Treatment

woman sideview confident kybella

Ever looked in the mirror and wished your jawline had a sharper definition? 

Stubborn submental fat, also known as a “double chin,” can be a source of frustration. If you’re considering Kybella, a non-surgical injectable treatment, to address this concern, you’ve come to the right place. 

Before scheduling your appointment, dive into these 5 key things to know about Kybella to make an informed decision and achieve your aesthetic goals. 

What is Kybella?

Kybella is a non-surgical injectable technique used to target the fat beneath the chin. Below, you’ll find detailed information on what makes up Kybella, its purpose, and what to expect before treatments.

Active Ingredient

Kybella contains deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath your chin, Kybella causes the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, these cells can no longer store or accumulate fat.

Treatment Purpose

The primary purpose of Kybella is to reduce moderate to severe fat below the chin, often referred to as a “double chin.” This treatment is suitable for individuals looking for an alternative to surgical options like liposuction.

Initial Consultation

During your initial consultation, your healthcare provider will evaluate your health history and examine the area under your chin to determine if Kybella is right for you. They will also discuss your aesthetic goals to ensure that Kybella can meet your expectations.

Pre-Treatment Requirements

Before receiving Kybella, it’s important to:

  • Inform your provider of any medical conditions, especially those related to the neck or bleeding issues.
  • Discuss any medications, especially blood thinners, that you’re currently taking.
  • Avoid ibuprofen and acetaminophen before treatment to reduce the risk of bruising.

What Else Should I Know About Kybella?

1. Kybella Works

Kybella offers a targeted approach to reducing fat under the chin. In a study, over 68.2% of patients experienced a noticeable improvement compared to only 20% who received a placebo. 

Additionally, more than 79% of Kybella patients reported feeling happier with their facial appearance after treatment. 

  • The number of treatments varies per individual, with each session spaced at least 1 month apart.
  • Some individuals might see visible improvements in 2–4 treatments, while others may require up to 6 sessions for optimal results.
  • Since Kybella specifically targets fat cells, it does not affect other cells in the area.

Treatment Response to Kybella

Number of TreatmentsExpected Results
2Mild improvement
4Moderate improvement
6Optimal results

2. Sessions are Quick

Each session typically takes 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, you’ll receive a series of small injections under your chin.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Check-in: Upon arrival at the clinic, a quick check-in is required.
  • Preparation: Your provider will mark the injection sites and may apply a topical numbing agent.
  • Injection: The actual injection process is swift, often taking less than 5 minutes.

3. You May Need Multiple Treatments

One session may not be sufficient to achieve your desired results. 

  • Initial Consultation: Your plastic surgeon will assess the treatment area and discuss your aesthetic goals to determine the number of sessions you may need.
  • Treatment Plan: A typical treatment plan may include:
    • 2 to 4 sessions for visible results
    • Up to 6 sessions in some cases
    • Sessions spaced 1 month apart
  • Progress Evaluation: After each session, your clinician will monitor your progress and adjust the plan if necessary.

Remember, Kybella treatments are cumulative, and you will likely see more significant results with subsequent sessions. Your body needs time to process the destroyed fat cells, so patience is crucial.

  • Session Duration: Each session typically takes 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Customization: Treatments are personalized, so your experience may differ from others.

4. Kybella Injections are Safe

While Kybella is FDA-approved and considered safe, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects, although uncommon. A small risk exists for temporary nerve damage leading to an uneven smile or swallowing issues. 

5. Recovery is Important Post-Treatment

After receiving Kybella injections, prioritizing your recovery is essential to achieving optimal results. Expect to experience some common side effects, which are typically temporary.

Here are some recovery steps to take after your Kybella session:

non-plastic surgery
  1. Avoid strenuous activity: For the first 48 hours post-treatment, reduce physical activity. This helps minimize swelling and promote healing.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help flush out the degrading fat cells.
  3. Healthy diet: Stick to a balanced diet to support your body’s healing mechanisms.
  4. Sleep position: Sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling.

Remember, each individual’s recovery period can vary. Follow your healthcare provider’s specific post-treatment instructions. Contact your cosmetic surgeon if you have any concerns or if symptoms persist.

Preparation for Kybella Treatment

Initial Consultation

  • Discuss your medical history, including any medications you take.
  • Talk about your aesthetic goals with the practitioner.
  • Have your submental region examined to assess treatment suitability.

Two Weeks Prior

  • Avoid blood-thinning medications as advised by your doctor.
  • Stop taking supplements such as vitamin E, fish oil, or St. John’s Wort.

One Week Before

  • Confirm your appointment and recovery period availability.
  • Schedule any necessary time off work for recovery.

48 Hours Prior

  • Wash the treatment area and maintain clean skin to reduce infection risk.
  • Plan loose-fitting clothing for the day of the procedure to minimize discomfort.

Night Before

  • Rest well: ensure a full night’s sleep for optimal well-being.

Day of Treatment

  • Eat a light meal to minimize discomfort.
  • Arrive on time to complete any remaining forums or discussions.
  • Stay calm: you’ve done the prep; now trust in your practitioner’s expertise.

Post-Treatment Care

Immediate Aftercare

  • To reduce swelling, apply ice to the treated area for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 hours.
  • Gently clean the area with mild soap and water, taking care not to rub or massage the injection sites.
  • For the first 24-48 hours, refrain from engaging in vigorous exercise or activities that could increase blood flow to the face.

Long-Term Care

  • Protect your skin from the sun with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, as UV exposure can affect the treatment area.
  • Maintain a stable weight, as significant weight gain can alter the results of your Kybella treatment.
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your practitioner to assess your progress and determine if additional treatments are needed.

Kybella Results

After treatment, you can expect a noticeable reduction after 2 to 4 sessions. Individual results may vary, and some patients may require up to 6 treatments for optimal outcomes.

Factors Affecting Efficacy

Several factors can influence the result of your Kybella treatment:

  • Patient’s Unique Physiology: Your age, metabolism, and the number of fat cells can affect results.
  • Area Treated: The size and concentration of the submental fat can impact effectiveness.
  • Treatment Protocol Compliance: Following the recommended spacing between treatments, usually 1 month apart, is crucial.
  • Lifestyle: A healthy diet and regular exercise can enhance and maintain results.

The Final Verdict: Considering Kybella for Your Chin?

Kybella offers a non-surgical option to address submental fat and potentially boost your confidence. 

Remember, consultation with a qualified healthcare professional is key to discussing if Kybella is right for you and to understanding the risks and benefits involved. 

With realistic expectations and thorough preparation, Kybella can help you achieve a more sculpted jawline. 
Talk to us at the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery to learn more.