What is it?
Kybella (also known as Belkyra in Canada) is the generic brand name of deoxycholic acid, a manmade form of a substance, the human body makes to absorb fats. Kybella is a non surgical compound used for injection purposes on the upper neck (otherwise called a ‘double chin’) to reduced moderate to severe fat deposits. Kybella is US FDA approved for submental fat removal. There are many products in other countries similar to Kybella, like Faceline and S Line in Korea, etc. Kybella is predominantly designed for the chin and upper neck area and is no approved or recommended for use in other areas. If injected correctly, all the other surrounding cells are left intact.
How does it work?
Deoxycholic acid is a natural compound produced in the human body that works by absorbing fat cells. Kybella is the artificially synthesized form of the same acid and works by destroying the fat cells in and around the area where it is injected. The naturally occurring molecule eats away at the fat deposits and thus reduces the hanging double chin notably. We also use this form of non surgical liposuction and lipolysis injections in the jowl area and other body parts like the stomach, the flanks, inner thighs and arms etc, as ‘off label’ uses for non surgical liposuction and lipolysis.
It is a non surgical procedure, used as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction or any other type of surgery used to treat double chin fat. A double chin is one of the first things that ruin the shape of a face and in the modern world susceptible to excess skin and fat, more than 80% of the people are worried about it and would like to remove it.
But most of these people are also apprehensive about using surgical procedures to get rid of the excess fat in their upper neck. Kybella is the solution to these people. Finally, a non surgical procedure is available to reduce that unsightly double chin.
What Kybella isn’t.
Kybella, though, is not the solution for saggy chins or other similar skin problems. The main work of the molecule is to remove fat by melting and disintegrating it and it serves only that purpose. Tightening saggy skin might be a favourable side effect of using Kybella where the fat reduction automatically works to tighten the skin but that is not the actual intended purpose of this drug.
It also is not very effective in dissolving fats in some other parts of the body. Kybella is developed to fight fat in the neck and chin area and the FDA has approved the use of this compound only for this. Basically developed to concentrate on a smaller cluster of fat cells, Kybella cannot work on the areas like lipomas (the collection of fat cells under the eye and on the upper cheek) or eye bags because of other safety risks of affecting the closely twined nerves underneath. Research is on to use Kybella on these areas but it has not be approved thus far.
Side effects of Kybella
There are some common side effects of Kybella – this includes bruising, swelling, pain, numbness and hard unyielding areas in and around the injection sites. But these might resolve over time as the body adjusts to the intrusion
On the serious side, Kybella can cause an injury to the marginal mandibular nerve – the nerve that is responsible for (or helps control) facial expressions. This might affect jaw movement and change the way you smile, sometimes resulting in an uneven, off balance smile. The restricted jaw action might also affect chewing and swallowing. Though serious, this occurs only on improper administration of Kybella, too close to the mandibular nerve, paralysing it.
Is it expensive?
Kybella costs around USD 550 per treatment, and requires more than one sitting for lasting effects. And because it is a cosmetic procedure, insurance policies might not cover it.
Kybella can be the best alternative to one of the most prevalent cosmetic surgery requirements but since many of its effects and uses are still under research, it must be used with caution for best results.
The Esthetic Clinics provide many state of the art treatments for non surgical liposuction and lipolysis, Kybella type compounds being one of them. Other treatments include Ulthera, Venus Freeze, High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) to remove fat non-surgically and safely as well as tighten the face and other parts of the body.