Yes! Kybella was approved by the FDA in 2015. Designed to be an alternative to liposuction or surgery, it uses a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid to destroy fat cells. In our digestive tract, deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When a trained health professional injects Kybella into subcutaneous fat, it can break down fat in targeted locations. Over a period of several weeks, both the dissolved fat and deoxycholic acid get cleared into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and excreted as waste. Best of all, once destroyed, these cells can no longer store or accumulate fat, so further treatment is not expected once patients reach a desired aesthetic goal.
The most common application for Kybella is to improve the appearance and profile of moderate to severe fat below the chin. The medical term for this is “submental fat,” which you and many people call a “double chin.” Many people feel that this condition makes them look older or heavier than they actually are. It can develop for some people even if they eat well and exercise. Kybella is the first and only FDA-approved prescription medication that can treat this condition, and avoid surgery. Results are typically noticeable in only a few weeks.
During a 15 to 20-minute treatment, patients receive multiple small injections under the chin. Treatments are one month apart, with the total quantity dependent on the amount of fat that a patient wants to remove to achieve their desired profile, with a maximum of six treatments.
This article is written by Dr. Paul Vanek and is featured in The New-Herald’s “Health Focus” column.