Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) treatments are non-invasive, non-surgical and have minimal downtime. Deoxycholic Acid is injected directly into your unwanted areas of fat – which then melt away gradually over the course of about 6-8 weeks. In general, a series of 2-3 treatments are required for optimal results, and these results are permanent as long as your weight remains stable.
What is Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella)?
Deoxycholic Acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorptions of fat. When injected into areas of unwanted fat, Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) causes the destruction of fat cells. In 2015, the FDA approved the use of Deoxycholic Acid to treat submental fat, otherwise known as a double chin. Other areas of fat can be treated on an off-label basis.
What areas can be treated with Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella)?
Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) is most commonly used for the removal of fat underneath the chin. At Restor we can also use Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) for sculpting other areas. Generally speaking – Deoxycholic Acid works best on fat bulges that are small – no larger than your open hand – and soft. Some fat (such as the fat on the outside of the thigh) tend to be tough and fibrous and do not respond well to Deoxycholic Acid injections. Off label, Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) can be used for other smaller areas of unwanted fat on the body, and has shown great results in patients for:
- Armpit pooches
- Bra line bulge
- Inner knee fat
- Lower buttock fatty folds
- Flanks (love handles)
Come in to RESTOR for a consultation to find out if Deoxycholic Acid is the right choice for your stubborn fat deposits.
Am I a good candidate for body sculpting?
A good candidate for Body Sculpting is a person who is close to their ideal weight but can’t seem to lose stubborn fat deposits that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Body contouring is not meant for weight reduction and ideal for patients who do not want to undergo surgery to reduce areas of unwanted fat.
What is the recovery or downtime for Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella)?
There is swelling right after Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) treatments, which typically is most prominent in the first week. You will notice the swelling is 70-80% gone in one week and totally gone in two to three weeks. After one week, most swelling is not noticeable to others, although loose clothing or a scarf (for double chin treatments) can help camouflage it. Over the following month, you will likely feel some bumps (called “nodules”) under the skin of the treated area. This firmness signifies Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) is working to dissolve the fat. Once the fat is dissolved, your body will naturally absorb the fat cells and these nodules will go away. Most patients will have a few small bruises over the treatment area as well. This usually fades in about a week.
Because of the swelling – some patients notice that the area is “jiggly” and bounces when they exercise (especially when running). At Restor we recommend that you avoid strenuous activity for about a week after Kybella® treatments to avoid this sensation if it is uncomfortable for you.
Treated areas may be red, inflamed, swollen, and bruised for the first 2-3 days. DO resume all normal activities include exercise as long as it is comfortable for you. If bruising occurs, apply topical Arnica gel, drink fresh pineapple juice, and/or take Bromelain supplements to help bruising resolve faster.
Will Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) injections hurt?
There is a burning sensation during the Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) procedure, which starts a few seconds after the injections and lasts about 15-20 minutes. After this – the area will remain “achy” for about 4-6 hours. The treated area will also be tender to the touch for about a week after the treatment. The reason for this is that the destruction of fat cells results in an inflammatory response to “clear out” the dead cells – so this is a sign that the procedure is working as it should. During and after the treatment we use ice for pain control.
How long does a Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) treatment take?
Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) is an incredibly quick and easy “lunchtime” procedure. Most patients are in and out within 30 minutes, most of the time is used to mark out the treatment grid and allow icing to numb the area.
How many Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) treatments do I need to see results?
Every patient is different, but most patients need 2-4 sessions spaced 6-8 weeks or more apart.
How can I tell if my problem areas can be treated with Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) injections?
Pinch the area you are concerned with. If there is more than an inch between your thumb and forefinger – then you are a candidate for Deoxycholic Acid injection body sculpting. If there is less than an inch – it is likely just excess skin and will not improve with Deoxycholic Acid injections. If the area is larger than your open hand – then CoolSculpting® or liposuction may be a better option. If you are not sure, come in to RESTOR for a complimentary consult and find out!
How long do results from Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) Injections last?
The results gained with Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) are considered permanent. The fat will not return once dissolved if your weight remains stable.
What will happen if I gain weight after using Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) for body sculpting?
The fat cells treated with Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) die and are naturally flushed out of the body. Since those fat cells are dead, you cannot gain the weight back into the treated area. However – if you do not maintain your weight, you can gain the weight back into different areas of the body. This is why we do not recommend body sculpting as a weight loss tool – only a contouring tool.
What is the difference between body sculpting with Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) and other methods like CoolSculpting?
Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) and CoolSculpting® are both relatively non-invasive treatments for fat reduction that work very well to reduce stubborn fat deposits. Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) uses deoxycholic acid injections to achieve results, while CoolSculpting® uses cryolipolisis technology to “freeze” and destroy fat cells. As a general rule, Deoxycholic Acid is better for small areas of fat, while CoolSculpting® works better on larger areas. If the fat you want to remove is larger than two “handfuls” then CoolSculpting® or liposuction will likely work better than Deoxycholic Acid.
Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) vs. Liposuction: Which one is right for me?
Both procedures have pros and cons. Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) treatment requires 2-4 sessions where liposuction typically only requires 1 (although the downtime after a surgical procedure is longer and a non-invasive one). Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) treatment does not leave any scars as it is injected through a very small syringe, and is considered non-invasive where liposuction is a surgical procedure. Deoxycholic Acid treatments are generally cheaper, but can only give good results for small, isolated areas of fat. If your problem area is larger than your open hand – then liposuction may be a better option for you. Both procedures work best on people who are at a healthy weight – and only wish to remove a small to moderate amount of fat for contouring purposes – neither should be thought of as a weight loss tool. If you are unsure of which one to pick – come in to RESTOR for a complimentary consultation!
Is it safe to do Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella) ater having had a liposuction procedure done on the same area?
While there are many practices that will do Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) injections over an area that has had previous Liposuction, and RESTOR we do not do this procedure on areas that have had any previous surgery.