Summary: Kybella is one of those hot new procedures that comes along once in a while. It makes excellent claims and seems to showcase some fantastic results. But is this a cosmetic surgery fad or is Kybella here to stay? Let’s take a look at some evidence in Kybella’s favor, if only because this evidence points to the notion that Kybella will be with us for quite some time!
Does Kybella Really Work For Patients?
So you want to get rid of some weight, but you’re already dieting and exercising as hard as you can. What’s the next step? In some cases, the next step will be liposuction, as that’s one of the only surgical means you will have for getting rid of stubborn areas of fat. But liposuction isn’t right for everyone.
If the fat you’re trying to get rid of is located beneath your chin, you might be in luck. There’s a new injectable on the market called Kybella, and Kybella is designed specifically to eliminate stubborn chin fat (the so-called double chin). Now, this claim might sound too good to be true: with just a few injections of Kybella, you can get a stubborn double chin to, basically, melt away.
But does Kybella actually work? Like I said, it sounds too good to be true. There must be a catch. Well, let’s look at Kybella and how it works to find out if these claims hold water.
An Injectable to Eliminate Fat
Cosmetic surgeons have long been looking for a way to eliminate fat without the need for diet, exercise, or surgery. (In fact, hasn’t that been the holy grail of just about everyone since, well, ever?) This might seem somewhat far fetched, but it’s not when you stop to think about it.
After all, your body has natural processes for breaking down fat. It has to—otherwise all the fat you ever eat would just stick around in your body forever (and you would never lose weight). In fact, that’s the purpose of fat: to be broken down later for energy. It’s a reserve power source.
The trick that Kybella pulls off, according to the Carillon Clinic, which offers Kybella in Minneapolis, is that it mimics this process. It is, therefore, an injectable that is used to eliminate fat.
How Does Kybella Work?
As we mentioned, Kybella works by mimicking your body’s natural fat mitigation processes. It’s composed of a substance called deoxycholic acid. Kybella’s deoxycholic acid is synthetic, but the natural deoxycholic acid in your body serves to break down fat. You can see where this is going.
When the Kybella synthetic deoxycholic acid is injected into the jawline area, it begins breaking down the fat just the same way the natural stuff does (in fact, the only molecular difference between the two is where and how they’re produced). The fat that breaks down gets absorbed into your body, just as it would if it were to naturally melt away through, for example, exercise or dieting.
The end result is an area of fat that slowly dissipates. Kybella is specially formulated for the submental jawline (the double chin), so for now that’s what it’s been given FDA approval for. It remains to be seen whether that approval will extend eventually to other areas of the body, such as the belly area.
Kybella Works for Most Patients
There are a couple of caveats to know about when it comes to Kybella. First and foremost, everyone’s body is different, so it’s not going to work for all patients. There will be, in fact, a very small number of patients for whom Kybella does not work.
Second, Kybella will not treat excess skin. So if your double jaw is composed of skin instead of fat, you might need some kind of body contouring procedure to get results.
That said, the vast majority of patients do experience excellent results from Kybella. Those results may take several weeks to manifest (in some cases, up to six weeks). But those patients will notice marked and obvious improvements in the composition of their jawline.
For all intents and purposes, it will appear as though the double chin is “melting” away.
Treating a Problem with Injectables
With the success (and popularity) of Kybella, I would not be surprised to see more treatments like this begin to crop up. It’s no shock that everyone is looking for some easy solutions, some easy answers (there are enough complicated problems in the world, after all).
Getting rid of fat with little more than an injection will be a huge help to those patients who are having trouble targeting specific areas of fat. Liposuction is quite effective, but it can be a significant investment in time, money, and recovery. Injectables such as Kybella can offer a concrete, non surgical alternative for patients who just want a little bit taken off the top. Does Kybella really work? Yes—and you can expect more like it in the future.