Kybella is a new non-surgical treatment for submental fullness, otherwise known as a double chin. According to a 2015 survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), 67% of consumers are bothered by this problem.
Kybella injections are performed monthly for up to six months. Nearly 70% of patients experienced a ≥1-grade improvement with Kybella injections.
Kybella (deoxycholic acid) injection is indicated for improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe fullness associated with submental (under the chin) fat in adults. Deoxycholic acid is a natural product found in the human digestive system. It is able to dissolve fat. When injected into subcutaneous fat, Kybella causes the destruction of fat cells. Once destroyed, those cells cannot store or accumulate fat.
Many patients experienced visible results in two to four treatment sessions spaced at least one month apart. The number of injections and the number of treatments are tailored to the individual patient’s submental fat distribution and treatment goals. Kybella is administered by subcutaneous injections directly into submental fat via injections spaced 1cm apart using a small needle. In clinical trials, the average dose was typically 2-3 vials (4-6 mL) per patient treatment session. In-office treatment sessions are typically 15-20 minutes.
Overall, 68.2% of subjects treated with Kybella experienced a ≥1-grade improvement with Kybella compared to 20.5% of placebo-treated subjects, based upon validated physician and patient measurements.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions clinical trials were: injection site edema/swelling, hematoma/bruising, pain, numbness, erythema (redness), and induration (hardness). Pain, swelling and bruising are likely to occur. In clinical trials, 72% of subjects treated with Kybella experienced hematoma/bruising. Any injection, including Kybella, can result in an infection. Cases of marginal mandibular nerve injury, manifested as an asymmetric smile or facial muscle weakness, were reported in 4% of subjects in the clinical trials. All cases resolved spontaneously (range 1-298 days, median 44 days). Kybella should not be injected near a facial nerve. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) occurred in 2% of subjects in the clinical trials in the setting of administration site reactions, e.g., pain, swelling, and induration of the submental area; all cases of dysphagia spontaneously resolved (range 1-81 days, median 3 days). Kybella should be used with caution in patients with bleeding abnormalities or who are currently being treated with antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy as excessive bleeding or bruising in the treatment area may occur. To avoid the potential of tissue damage, Kybella should not be injected into or in close proximity (1-1.5 cm) to salivary glands, lymph nodes and muscles.