KYBELLA® is the first and only injectable drug approved by the FDA (in 2015) “for the treatment of moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat in adults”. In lay terms, this drug improves the appearance and profile of moderate to severe fat below the chin, or “the double chin”. KYBELLA® is deoxycholic acid (DOCA), a cytolytic drug, which, when injected into the tissue, physically destroys the cell membrane causing lysis, i.e., permanent death to the fat cell so it can no longer store or accumulate fat, regardless if the origin of fat is genetic, weight gain or aging.
This is an office procedure involving multiple injections with a very tiny needle into the fatty area below the chin. A topical anesthetic is applied beforehand for comfort. Afterwards, an ice pack is placed to reduce swelling. While normal activities may be resumed, because of the likelihood of swelling, social downtime for a few days is recommended. The average treatment uses 2 to 4 vials, and the average patient requires 2-4 treatments at monthly intervals. Once the result is achieved, further treatment is not necessary. This is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction in this area of the body!
The most common adverse reactions (>20%) include injection site edema/swelling, bruising/hematoma, pain, numbness, erythema/redness and induration/firmness. Edema/swelling was reported as mild in 79.5%, moderate in 19%, and severe in 1.5%. Ice packs, head elevation and time resolve this reaction. Risks include frequent bruising/hematoma reported in 72%. Marginal mandibular nerve injury resulting in an asymmetric smile was reported in 4%; spontaneous resolution occurred in a range of 1-298 days, median 44 days. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) was reported in 2%; spontaneous resolution occurred in a range of 1-81 days, median 3 days,
Deoxycholic acid (DOCA) is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. Endogenous DOCA (that which normally circulates in the body) is a product of cholesterol metabolism and is excreted intact in the feces. DOCA from KYBELLA® joins the endogenous bile acid pool in the liver circulation and is excreted along with the endogenous DOCA.
Before and after photos can be viewed at MyKybella.com.