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Kybella is one of our more popular cosmetic procedures at our NYC based office.  Introduced by Allergan, it is a nonsurgical injectable that is used to target fat and dissolve it.  Kybella is composed of Deoxycholic acid which is a chemical that appears naturally in your gut and dissolves fat.  This synthetic form of deoxycholic acid is safe and effective and was developed to dissolve the fat under your chin, the submental fat.  Kybella has become an extremely popular injection and is used now in other places of the body to dissolve fat, including chin fat or cheek area.  No incisions are needed, just injections, and in general the recovery time is quick, with minimal swelling which lasts a few days.

There are many patients who are good candidates for Kybella. The first consideration is if there is excess skin in the neck or submental fullness in the area, along with the degree of skin laxity (loose skin).  If there is a large amount of skin laxity then Kybella may not be the best approach for you. The second consideration is the amount of fat under the chin.  If there is a large degree of fat then the best advice is to first treat the area with the Coolmini.  The Coolmini is the Coolsculpting applicator which is designed specifically for the neck area. Coolsculpting will decrease the fat in the area by 25% per treatment.  Once the fat has decreased then Kybella can be injected and the remainder of the fat in the submental area will be dissolved.

Kybella, 1 treatment, 1 month post treatment

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A 2015 study conducted by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) found that 67 percent of people were bothered by the excess fat under their neck. Typically, it takes 3 to 4 treatments of Kybella in the submental area to reduce and remove the fat.  Kybella is a permanent procedure and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015.  Each treatment of Kybella costs approximately $1500.  There is a huge patient satisfaction rating associated with Kybella since the treatment is permanent with little or no downtime.  The procedure itself consists of a topical numbing cream applied 30 minutes before the procedure and the injection itself takes only a few minutes.

Potential side effects and swelling

The side effects that are involved with Kybella treatments are all temporary.  If the injection is not placed in the appropriate location the submandibular nerve may be irritated and a temporary droop may occur.  Localized bruising in the injection site can also happen and that is why we advise our patients to discontinue Ibuprofen, Aspirin, or any blood thinners for at least one week before the injection.  The most common side effect is localized swelling.

How long does Kybella swelling last?

The swelling typically lasts several days and typically is the most noticeable during the first treatment session since there is the most fat then to be dissolved.  The swelling is a result of an enzymatic reaction whereby the deoxycholic acid dissolves the fat and this reaction in turn causes swelling.   Rarely, the swelling can be quite significant with a “bullfrog” appearance and can take up to a month to resolve.

If there is light swelling, you can use ice or cold packs after your treatment. or apply warm compresses within the first few days after the treatment.  However, in most cases there is little or no downtime, and in all cases, any swelling in the treatment area or pain post-treatment should be discussed with your doctor.

It is best to consult a specialist in Kybella like Dr. Michele Green for this permanent injection and removal of submental fat. Dr. Green will determine if you are a good candidate for Kybella and minimize and side effects of this procedure.  Often Dr. Green combines Thermage with Kybella as Thermage will tighten the skin around the jowls and neck while Kybella permanently removes the fat.

Find out more about Kybella injections and how you can remove fat on the upper neck and chin areas, and say goodbye to the “double chin” – contact board certified dermatologist Dr. Michele S. Green to schedule an appointment or call 212 535 3088 today.

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