The FDA recently approved an application for the Kybella, a fat-killing injectable. Specifically, the injection has only been approved for one use: destroying fat under the chin, the so-called double chin. But is this injection right for you?
Kybella is made up of deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a secondary bile acid, meaning that it isn’t produced by our body, it’s produced by bacteria in our body. It helps to break down fat in our foods so it can be absorbed by our intestines. In other words, it works by “digesting” the fat in your chin, making it more soluble so it can enter the bloodstream and be removed.
Treatment with Kybella involves a lot of very small injections. About 50 injections are used per treatment, and not everyone gets good results from one treatment. People may need up to six sets of injections, which should be spaced at least one month apart.
Does It Work?
It seems like it works at least enough to get approval. The clinical trials used a total of 1022 individuals with moderate to severe fat levels under their chins. People were randomly assigned to get either the Kybella or a placebo injection. People with Kybella were more likely to see reductions in fat.
That said, we don’t really know how well it works, and many plastic surgeons are downplaying expectations. It seems odd that the parameter tested was how often people saw fat reduced, not how much fat was reduced. This may be another sign that the impact may be minimal.
Is It Safe?
Again, it’s safe enough for the FDA to approve it, but there are many cautions and caveats coming along with approval. The most serious side effects of Kybella is the potential for nerve damage in the chin, which could lead to an uneven smile, muscle weakness, and even difficulty swallowing.
But the more common side effects were swelling, bruising, redness, and hardened areas where treatment was done.
Is It Right for You?
If you are considering Kybella, you have to make sure that fat under your chin really is your problem. Many people may think that they have excess fat under the chin, but what’s really happening is that teeth get worn down (or lost), and the position of the jaw changes, causing the well-defined jawline to be obscured under tissue that developed to cover a larger jaw and chin.
Before getting Kybella, consider a non-surgical facelift or FOY Dentures®, which can move your chin back to its youthful position, potentially resulting in significant improvement in your facial appearance–and improving your smile at the same time.