Kybella: What is it, and Does it Work?

Posted by Jordan Wutkee on

Soon after the fat-reduction drug Kybella got its FDA approval in 2015, it started to take the cosmetic world by storm. For patients hoping to reduce the appearance of double-chin fat, it promised a fast and non-surgical alternative to liposuction.

Since those early days, however, enthusiasm for Kybella has fallen. Many cosmetic surgeons and medical spas still offer it, though. Why was it such a big deal at first, and now less so? Today, we’re going to take a look under the surface , and also see how Kybella compares to other non-invasive treatments, like Coolsculpting.

The Science Behind Kybella

Kybella is a synthetic version of the same bile acid that our bodies naturally use to break down and absorb fat in the foods we eat: deoxycholic acid. Its FDA-approved application is in the reduction of submental fullness, the medical term for what we call a double chin.

The way it works is that by injecting small amounts of the drug into the fatty area in question, we can destroy significant percentages of the fat cells there. The acid breaks down the cell membranes, and over the course of several weeks, your body naturally metabolizes the now-unprotected fat itself.

Kybella Advantages and Drawbacks

Kybella is meant to be an alternative to liposuction, which is an invasive surgical procedure. Whereas liposuction delivers instant results over the course of a single weekend, including mandatory recovery time, Kybella can require up to six sessions of about 20 to 50 tiny injections each, spaced about a month apart from each other. There’s no real downtime with Kybella, though, because it’s non-invasive and requires no debilitating anesthetic. Sessions are fast, only about 20 minutes long, so if you can’t afford to take time off from work, Kybella may be the better option.

Kybella injections can involve some pain, and there’s almost always some initial swelling and redness, since the drug’s effect provokes an immune system response. This response offers a side benefit, though: during that process, the body naturally produces more collagen and helps the skin retract into place.

The slower pace offers another advantage over liposuction: any fat reduction procedure around the neck can reveal other causes of an unsatisfying appearance. Once a liposuction reveals them, though, there’s not much else that can be done to mitigate them. With Kybella, the treatment plan can be adjusted to target those areas in the most optimal way before it’s too late to correct them.

Kybella vs. Coolsculpting – What’s the Difference?

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of fat-reducing injections, which can cause unpleasant side effects, and worse issues if not properly handled, Coolsculpting offers a strong alternative.

In some ways, it works based on the same principle of destroying fat cells and letting your body naturally remove them over time. The big difference is that rather than via drug injection, Coolsculpting uses precise temperature control to destroy the fat cells.

Since fat freezes at a higher temperature than the water that makes up most of the cells in our bodies, it’s possible to destroy fat cells without damaging the skin above them. This can only be done with special equipment designed exclusively for that purpose, though.

Which Fat Reduction Treatment Option is Right For You?

Not every fat reduction treatment option is always right for every person. The quality of the undesired fat and the characteristics of the skin around it can make some options unsuitable or even unlikely to succeed.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to schedule a professional consultation before deciding on a procedure. At Avahlee Medical Spa, we offer such initial consultations for free. We do it so you can feel completely confident and comfortable with your decision, and with us!

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, and see if Kybella is right for you or if another option will more likely provide you with better results!

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