Kybella is an FDA-approved, non-surgical treatment for “submental” fat — aka, the double chin. It’s been around for a few years now, and yet a lot of our clients still haven’t heard of it (I’m a beauty and aesthetics junkie and I admittedly only learned about Kybella about a year ago).
So, what’s the deal with Kybella? How does it work? Does it hurt? Do you swell? You’ve come to the right place!
The Kybella Basics
Kybella is an injectible acid that, quite simply, kills fat cells. Your body then metabolizes the dead cells out over a period of 6 to 12 weeks, leaving the area slimmer and more refined. The most common use for Kybella is for under-chin fat, but it can also be used on a few other specific “problem” areas, like armpit rolls. It usually takes at least two treatments spaced about one month apart to get the desired results.
The Kybella Process
Kybella is injected into the target area in 20 specific places (your doctor or specialist will literally place grid lines on your skin so they know exactly where to inject the product). The injection process is fast and takes about 15 minutes.
Okay, But What Does Kybella Feel Like?
Great question! I actually booked a session with MedBeautyLA’s very own Dr. Aliksanian so that I could answer this question firsthand (not to mention I was pretty excited to potentially get rid of my stubborn double chin — which is one of the first places I show weight gain, even when it’s only a few pounds).
The 20 injections themselves hardly felt like anything at all, and they were done before I knew it. However, within several minutes I felt what can only be described as a kind of burning sensation under my chin. It wasn’t anything crazy or unmanageable, but it was definitely noticable. Dr. Aliksinian gave me an ice pack and advised me to ice the area off and on as much as possible for the next 24-48 hours.
A Note on the Swelling (Because You Will Definitely Swell)
While the session itself is relatively painless and super convenient, Kybella is a treatment that requires a little downtime — if only because your underchin area will swell and you likely won’t feel like you look your best for about 10-14 days. You can absolutely go about your daily tasks and can be as productive as usual, but you realistically won’t want to plan a session right before a big event. You’ll also experience soreness in the area afterwards, peaking on about day three and gradually subsiding over the next couple weeks.
My Tips for Minimizing the Swell
I personally really didn’t want to experience more swelling than was needed, so I scheduled my appointment on a day when I knew I could be super vigilant about icing for the next couple days, and even borrowed my boyfriend’s ACE bandage, which I wore around my head as much as possible for two days (I wrapped it under my chin and then over the top of my head to ensure firm and consistent pressure).
My vigilant icing and compression seemed to work. While I definitely experienced swelling, it wasn’t by any means the extreme “bull frog” look I feared. I don’t think anyone who didn’t know me would really notice — they’d just think I had a rounder lower face than I actually do. (Grant it, this was just my experience. Different bodies can react differently to the same treatment. So again, I’d just avoid scheduling any important events two weeks post-procedure to be extra safe).
I’m currently 25 days post my first session and will be getting my second and final treatment in about two weeks. (Dr. Aliksanian recommended two treatments total to achieve my desired results.) I haven’t seen any noticeable difference yet, but the majority of patients don’t see results until about a month after their second round. Basically, I’m remaining patient. However, I do know that for me, this process is preferable to surgury. It’s less costly and, while the results take longer, I avoided surgery-related anxieties.
I can’t wait to update the blog with my final results in about a month!
Interested in Kybella for yourself? Book a complimentary consultation with us here.
Authored by Toria Sheffield