Kybella® was approved by the FDA in 2015, and it certainly presents a very appealing proposition. The active ingredient in Kybella is deoxycholic acid – a natural biochemical also produced in the body. Deoxycholic acid breaks down and dissolves fat cells. When injected into neck skin, it can reduce the appearance of a “double chin,” improving the contour of your neck. The procedure can be done in the office with minimal pain or discomfort, and no need for anesthesia. There is no down time, and generally patients can return to their normal activities immediately.

Kybella is not a cure-all. It can dissolve some fat cells, but it is not as effective as liposuction or surgery for removing large amounts of fat. As a result, several sessions (3 to 4) of Kybella injections are usually necessary to achieve a good result. In addition, while fat is dissolved, the overlying skin is not affected significantly. As a result, if you have excess or sagging skin, a neck lift may give you a better result.

Who is a good candidate for Kybella:

Most patients can be candidates for Kybella, but a lot depends on how much excess skin and fat you have in your neck. In your consultation with Dr. Nagarkar, the two of you will discuss in some detail your goals and expectations, and he will perform a facial examination as well. This will allow you to determine together whether Kybella can get you a result that will delight you or whether additional procedures such as liposuction are needed.

What to expect on your treatment visit:

Getting Kybella injections is a relatively quick process. After your neck area is cleansed, a topical anesthetic will be applied to help reduce any discomfort from the injections. Dr. Nagarkar will then map out and mark the areas where the medication will be injected. Using a tiny needle, he will then inject each area with a small quantity of the Kybella. You will not need any anesthetic, sedation, or pain medication, and you should be able to return to normal activities immediately after your visit. The entire process only takes around 30 minutes.

What to expect afterwards:

You will be able to return to all normal activities including work or exercise immediately after your treatment. Initially, you should expect some swelling and numbness in the areas of the injection as your body reacts to the chemical. This will resolve after a few days. Since Kybella works by dissolving away fat cells, the effects are not visible immediately. Your body will respond to the effects of the injections by slowly removing the dissolved fat away from the neck, and the improvement in your neck contour will become visible very gradually over the course of a month or so. Remember that most patients need multiple treatment sessions (3 to 4) to achieve their desired result.