If you are new to Kybella®, you may have heard it delivers results that could very well be permanent and life-changing. The FDA-approved treatment is designed specifically to dissolve fat below the chin (submental fat). This is significant because chin fat is notoriously stubborn to get rid of, even if you are normally mindful of your diet and exercise habits. Part of the reason for this is because it’s often difficult to directly target fat in this area. There are certain chin exercises you can do; however, exercise alone does not directly target fat cells. If you are looking for a long-term chin fat removal option, here’s what you need to know about Kybella®.

How Does Kybella® Target Chin Fat?

In order to understand why Kybella® is considered a permanent treatment it helps to first know how it works on chin fat. This non-surgical injectable procedure consists of injections of deoxycholic acid. This is a bile acid that dissolves dietary fat. After the injected material dissolves fat tissues in the chin area, the affected cells are permanently removed by way of the body’s natural waste processes. Benefits typically associated with Kybella® treatment include: 

  • No need for incisions
  • Little or no downtime
  • No need for maintenance treatments

Can Lasting Results Be Seen Elsewhere?

It would be wonderful if all areas with stubborn fat tissue could be permanently treated. But Kybella® is only approved by the FDA for use on excess chin fat. However, this is a highly visible area, so targeting fat within the chin area can definitely have a big impact on overall facial appearance.

The chin is also one of the common problem areas many individuals wants to do something about. In fact, a survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery found that nearly 70 percent of respondents surveyed reported being bothered by chin and/or neck fat.

So, if you do perceive your chin to be your top problem area when it comes to visible excess fat, being able to have that fat tissue removed without surgery could provide a much-appreciated self-esteem boost. You may even find yourself confidently wearing necklaces and certain styles of clothing you once avoided because you are suddenly pleased with the appearance of your chin!

It’s even possible that the results you see from Kybella® treatment in your chin area could inspire you to take steps to improve other problem areas you may want to target. This doesn’t mean you need to have several other treatments similar to Kybella® done. In some cases, improving other areas where you have excess fat issues may only require a customized fitness and exercise program and appropriate dietary adjustments.

What Happens before Kybella® Treatment?

You’ll be more likely to enjoy lasting results with Kybella® if you are considered a suitable candidate for this injectable treatment. For this reason, the first step when preparing for possible Kybella® injections is to have a thorough examination and evaluation. This process typically begins with an examination of your chin and neck.

Also expect to be asked about your medical history. The purpose of doing so is to identify any underlying health issues that may need to be considered when determining your suitability for Kybella® treatment.

You may also be asked if you had any previous cosmetic treatments performed on your chin or neck. This doesn’t automatically mean Kybella® won’t be right for you if have had previous work done to target fat tissue in your chin. However, it does help to know what was previously done to the skin and fat tissues within your chin area before injections are administered.

During your initial examination, you’ll likely be asked about skin conditions as well, bleeding disorders, or swallowing difficulties you may have. Bleeding disorders, in particular, can be problematic since excess bleeding can present certain risks during treatment. If you take blood-thinning medication for another condition, you may be asked to stop taking it prior to treatment to reduce your risk of experiencing bleeding issues.

It can also be helpful to stop smoking if you are a smoker. The reason for this recommendation is because smoking can affect circulation, which may slow down your body’s natural healing processes in the area of your chin that’s injected. Additionally, it’s important to let us know if you are nursing or pregnant or planning to have children in the near future. Research regarding the use of Kybella® by nursing or pregnant women is still ongoing, which is the reason for this advice.

How Are Kybella® Injections Given?

There is very little preparation needed once it’s been determined that you are a good candidate for this chin fat removal process. If there are multiple areas within your chin area that need to be treated, a topical anesthetic or numbing gel may be applied to make the injection process more comfortable for you. An ice pack is sometimes applied to the treated area as well. These same numbing techniques may also be used if you are only having a specific, single area of your chin treated.

The main reason why results from Kybella® treatment are considered long-lasting is because the deoxycholic acid destroys fat cells in the chin area after the injections are administered, but not immediately. Precautions are also taken to carefully place injections to avoid unintentionally damaged healthy cells that aren’t fat cells. This is important because you do want healthy an abundance of healthy cells that are not part of fat tissue within your chin area.

Prior to Kybella® injections being given, marks will be made to indicate the designed injection sites. It should be noted that the areas targeted for treatment will be predetermined prior to scheduling your treatment season. The marks will be based on how much of your chin has excess fat tissue.

After the marks are made as a guide for the injections, the numbing agent or ice pack is applied to the chin. Each treatment session consists of somewhere around 20 to 30 Kybella® injections.

In some instances, up to 50 injections may be necessary to fully target all affected areas of the chin. Again, the number of injections necessary will be determined during the initial consultation stage when your chin is assessed to identify areas with excess fat.

How Long Does It Take to Notice Results?

As mentioned above, Kybella® results are not instant. However, the results are usually noticeable after several weeks. This happens because it takes time for the type of acid used in the injections to work on fat cells to the point where they are damaged or entirely destroyed.

During follow-up visits, the treated area will be evaluated to determine how the treatment is working for you. It’s also during follow-up visits that injections sites are typically evaluated to make sure skin tissue has sufficiently healed. The injection sites are small, however, so most patients will not see any evidence of having had an injection-administered treatment.

If another treatment session is recommended, patients are typically advised to wait for at least a month to schedule additional chin injections. Typically, patients can receive up to six total Kybella® treatments spaced out over time if necessary to achieve the desired results.

Can Kybella® Be Combined with Other Treatments?

Kybella® only targets fat cells in the chin. Therefore, if you have skin in the chin area that’s sagging or populated with significant fat tissue, you may be advised to consider skin-tightening treatments to complement Kybella® treatment. And because skin laxity is not affected, sagging may be even more noticeable and personally distracting after chin fat is gone.

In particular, sagging may be more visible within the neck area or along the jawline. So, while Kybella® does provide lasting results with fat cell elimination, you may not be completely satisfied with the results if there are other issues that might need to be addressed with different treatment options. Additional procedures can be discussed during your initial consultation. This is also the time when you’ll be able to discuss your goals with chin fat treatment. 

You are more likely to appreciate the results from Kybella® and any complementary treatments you may prefer to have separately if you start with clear goals in mind. It’s good to have this discussion prior to treatment since your personal preferences and goals will determine how satisfied you are with results.

What Can Be Done to Enhance or Extend Results?

Fat cells won’t come back after they’ve been targeted with Kybella® injections. However, there is one important caveat. In order to enjoy lasting results with Kybella®, you’ll need to maintain your current weight after treatment is completed and fat cells have been destroyed.

Should you gain weight at some point after treatment, new fat cells could develop in the same area of the chin that was treated. If this happens, you will once again have excess chin fat to deal with since the fat cells will be entirely new and not the same ones that were treated.

If your goal is to reduce your risk of putting on excess weight after Kybella® treatment so that your results are truly permanent, there are several lifestyle adjustments you can make to increase your odds of achieving this goal. Common recommendations include: 

  • Eating more green, leafy, nutrient-rich vegetables
  • Enjoying a balanced diet that also includes lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and fruit and other healthy snack choices
  • Avoiding or minimizing sugary snacks and processed foods
  • Drinking more water on a daily basis
  • Getting regular exercise in a way that’s enjoyable

Yes, Kybella® results are permanent since destroyed fat cells can no longer store fat. As for how many treatments it takes to see the desired results, this is generally determined after results are observed from your initial session. However, there are clinical studies suggesting optimal results are typically experienced after 2-4 treatments. With nearly 60 percent of Kybella® patients studied, six treatments produced the desired results. Consider The Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center in Williamsville if you are interested in this treatment. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!

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