Kybella is made of deoxycholic acid.  This is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that helps break down fat.  This medication is FDA approved to dissolve the fat cells under the chin.  The injections are done in the office after numbing cream is applied to the skin.  Multiple injections in the area under the chin are performed about one cm apart to cover the entire area.  Most patients will need more than one treatment to obtain the desired result.  Because it takes time for the fat to dissolve, the result is not immediate and it will take a few weeks to see the final result.  Thus, the treatments are done at least 1 month apart.  Immediately after the injections, you can experience burning sensations in the injected area.

What are the most common side effects of Kybella?

Swelling, pain, firmness, numbness, and redness in the area of injections can occur.  Swelling can be significant but will resolve in 1-2 weeks. Numbness can take longer to resolve and rarely is permanent.

What are the serious side effects of Kybella?

The most concerning side effects include nerve injury causing uneven smile or muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, tissue necrosis and open wound.  These are very rare complications.  It’s important to have the injection done by a trained specialist to minimize the risk of these complications.