FAQs Kybella

What is Kybella?

Kybella is the first and only FDA approved injectable drug that contours and improves the appearance of submental fullness or “double chin.” We also use Kybella “off label” to reduce the fat deposits causing jowls. Kybella is composed of deoxycholic acid. It is synthetic but identical to a fat dissolving product made by our gallbladder to help break down fat. Kybella is not a treatment for lax or excess skin, vertical bands or horizontal lines on the neck.

When will I see results?*

It takes a minimum of 2 treatments to appreciate any results. Most patients will achieve their desired results within 3 months after their 3rd or 4th treatment though up to 6 treatments may be administered. Treatments are performed 4 to 8 weeks apart. It is possible that you will not see improvement despite multiple treatments due to your underlying anatomy, skin tone or other factors.

How long will the results last?

The improvement in the submental area is very long lasting and retreatment is not expected. Normal aging changes in the skin and other tissues of the neck will continue to occur however. Though the treated fat cells are destroyed and replaced by collagen, a small amount is left behind. If you gain a great deal of weight, the remaining fat cells may expand giving a full appearance.

What are the most common side effects?

All patients should expect swelling in the treated area. This is worse when treating the submental area, but less dramatic when treating jowls. This is most dramatic in the first 3 days after the first procedure. Subsequent treatments generally result in significantly less swelling. Swelling will steadily decrease but may still be noticeable at a month post treatment. Tenderness, discomfort and numbness in the treated area is very common and can last weeks. Redness and firmness in the area is also common. Bruising is possible and will generally resolve in a week.

What are less common adverse reactions?

Difficulty swallowing can occur generally lasting for a few days post treatment and is thought to be due to swelling of the area. A “pins and needles” sensation, itching, skin tightness, headache, nausea, discoloration of the skin, swollen glands, hives in the area, and neck or throat pain, ulceration of small areas of the skin have also been reported. An uncommon side effect is temporary injury to the marginal mandibular nerve resulting in an asymmetrical smile lasting an average of 6 weeks. No cases of this side effect were permanent. In the beard area of men injections could cause small patches of hair loss in the treatment area.

You may not be treated if:

  • You are pregnant or nursing.
  • You have difficulty swallowing.
  • You have nerve injury or weakness in the lower face.
  • You have an infection in the area.

Inform your doctor if:

  • You are on blood thinners.
  • You have had procedures or surgery of your lower face or neck.

Pre-Kybella Treatment Instructions

  1. To minimize potential bruising, discontinue aspirin for 7 days, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), other non-steroidal medications (Aleve) and Vitamin E for 5 days prior to the procedure. If you have been prescribed one of these medications, ask your doctor before you stop taking it.
  2. Tylenol will not cause bruising and is preferred for the week prior to treatment.
  3. Plan your procedure so that you can have 4-5 full days before returning to work or important social engagements. Have a scarf or other neck covering available to camouflage swelling and bruising.
  4. Have ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Zyrtec (an antihistamine) available at home for discomfort and itching that may result from the procedure.

Post- Kybella Treatment Instructions

  1. You may elect to ice the area post treatment but must do so very carefully. Use an ice pack with the fabric side against the skin, or wrap a soft plastic ice pack in a wet thin towel. Apply the ice pack approximately 15 seconds on, and 15 seconds off. Icing too vigorously can cause frostbite and scarring.
  2. Sleep with your head elevated on at least 2 and preferably 3 pillows for 1-2 nights.
  3. Do not scratch, pick or traumatize the area in any way. You may apply your normal moisturizer and sunscreen normally.
  4. Call the office at 781-416-3500 if you have any difficulty swallowing, crusting or scabbing, asymmetry of your smile or any other unusual symptoms.

Take the First Step – Request A Consultation

Please fill out the form on this page to request a consultation and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Krauss Dermatology will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Wellesley, MA office directly to schedule – (781) 416-3500.

Krauss Dermatology serves the greater Boston area.

*Individual Results May Vary*