What to Know About Kybella for Double Chin Removal

Medically Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on May 21, 2023
4 min read

Kybella is an injectable, FDA-approved prescription medicine that can help you get rid of your double chin. It’s a popular cosmetic treatment with minimal downtime that’s a good alternative to surgical procedures.

Kybella is generally an effective way to get the face and chin you want. Read on to learn more about Kybella’s benefits, risks, and more.

Also known as deoxycholic acid, Kybella is a natural substance that dissolves fat in your body. Once injected, Kybella attacks fat cells’ membranes, liquifying them so the body can absorb them.

It’s generally used to get rid of double chins, also known as submental fat or submental fullness. While some people can reduce their double chins through exercise and changing their diet, others have double chins due to genetics. In such a case, you may want to try Kybella to reduce your double chin.

Kybella is a popular alternative to surgical methods of getting rid of double chins, such as fat excision and liposuction. While these traditional methods require anesthesia and can cause bruising, infection, and scarring, by contrast, Kybella has fewer side effects and is less time-consuming.

It generally takes around several weeks for the results of a Kybella injection to become evident.

The cost of Kybella treatments varies depending on your personal goals and the distribution and amount of your submental fat.

It will also depend on how many sessions you need to get rid of your double chin entirely. Generally, multiple treatments will be required. Most patients have three to five injection sessions with an average of 4.5 sessions.

Generally, Kybella treatments should be permanent. Kybella destroys the fat cells that make up your double chin, so you will have long-term results.

However, gaining weight can cause your double chin to return. So, it’s important to stick to a healthy lifestyle and diet after getting Kybella injections.

Kybella was approved in the United States in 2015, meaning it's still a relatively new treatment. Long-term, follow-up studies will reveal more about its permanence.

Not everyone who's bothered by their double chin should get Kybella.

Kybella is meant for adults, so if you're younger than 18, you'll have to wait until you’re an adult to get it.

If you have conditions such as difficulty swallowing, bleeding problems, weak facial muscles, and infections under your chin, it may not be the best idea to get a Kybella injection. 

If you have a lot of sagging skin, Kybella may not be a good choice. This is because Kybella is meant for people who have excess submental fat. If you have a double chin due to excess skin on your chin, you won’t get the results you want with Kybella. You may want to look into tightening devices or surgery to increase skin tightness instead.

In any case, clarify any questions or concerns you have with your surgeon. In addition to telling your surgeon about your medical history, you should also inform them if you’ve had prior aesthetic or surgical treatment in the area you’re getting a Kybella injection, as well as any scar tissue that may impact results.

Kybella can typically be used with other treatments, but talk to a cosmetic surgeon to make sure.

To get Kybella, you need to have a consultation with your cosmetic surgeon before getting the actual procedure. This ensures you are a good candidate for the injection and also gives the cosmetic surgeon a better idea of what you want to accomplish with Kybella.

After establishing your treatment goals, your cosmetic surgeon will explain how the treatment works and how your goals will be met. You and your cosmetic surgeon will be able to estimate what the results will be like.

The Kybella injection is brief and minimally invasive:

  1. The cosmetic surgeon will give you an ice pack and numbing cream to make the procedure more comfortable. 
  2. After that, they will mark and prepare the injection area. 
  3. Kybella will then be injected under your chin. This will take around 15 to 20 minutes. You will feel minimal discomfort.

A single treatment can have up to a maximum of 50 injections about 1 centimeter apart from each other.

The most common side effects of getting a Kybella injection are:

You may also experience the following side effects, though these are much rarer:

  • Contouring abnormalities
  • Weakness in your facial muscles
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nerve injury in your jaw

In general, you’ll be able to return to work after getting the treatment. The side effects should disappear within a few days. If they don’t, contact your cosmetic surgeon for a follow-up.