Is Kybella contraindicated if you think you may need/want a full face lift with in 5 years?

62 y.o female, family history of double chin. lower jaw seems to be shortening with age. concerned that at this age, if most of the submental fat is lysed, i will be left with extra skin. i never had a turkey neck...there has been plenty of fat to fill it out. no pictures-i hate my pictures! thanks in advance for any guidance.

Doctor Answers 31

Kybella and a Facelift

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Thank you for your question. As the principal investigator for the FDA trials on Kybella, and with over 400 treatments performed, we found that Kybella injections result in significant improvement in the appearance of convexity or fullness associated with submental fat. Kybella is injected as a solution below the skin surface into the fatty tissues. It acts by destroying fat cells in the area injected. The lysed fat cell contents create an inflammatory reaction, resulting in skin contraction and tightening (in addition to reduction of fat). Kybella treatments consist of a series of injections (usually 4-5) to improve contour in even the fattest of necks without surgery. Both liposuction and Kybella injections are equally effective in treating the fat underneath the chin. Kybella is a non-surgical option, resulting in gradual improvement. There is modest swelling after the treatment and is directly related to the amount of fat present and the amount of kybella injected. A compression garment worn for a few days should help with the mild swelling. If you have excess neck skin or platysmal bands, however, this is not addressed with Kybella injections; rather, a lower facelift and platysmaplasty are the procedures of choice for these conditions. Kybella injections do not preclude you from undergoing a facelift in the future. Prior to any intervention, however, a proper physical exam is necessary. I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


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Thank you for your question nanamama4. I understand your concern. Kybella is the first and thus-far only FDA-approved non-surgical injectable treatment for the double chin. It is difficult to make an assessment without photographs. We have not found that loose skin is left over after Kybella treatments. On the contrary there seems to be some tightening of the overlying skin. For my patients with loose skin I recommend fractional CO2 laser resurfacing.

Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Kybella and Facelifts

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There is no need to hold off on your Kybella treatment just because you are considering a full rhytidectomy (aka facelift) 5 years from now. If you are sufficiently bothered by the fat under your chin that you don't even want to look at photos, then having your double chin removed may help you feel better about yourself.  I commonly combine it with fillers to the chin and jawline to give the soft tissue support and improve any laxity that comes from a lack of structural support.  Depending on the whether some saggy skin is still left, Ultherapy or ThermiTight can be done afterward to improve any remaining loose skin. Please consult a board-certified dermatologist to see if you are a candidate for this ground-breaking fat-removal technique.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

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Kybella & Future Facelift

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Obviously, without seeing a photo or better yet examining you in person, this is all conjecture, but no, there shouldn't be an issue getting Kybella now and then having a facelift in 5 years. If you have extra fat under the chin, it would need to be removed with your facelift anyway. However, your best bet would be to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to be assessed in person and discuss.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Kybella Facelift

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Facelift results may not last five years if the fat in the jowls or double chin regions are not addressed.
Diminution of the fat in these areas with injection may be an adjunct to surgery or liposuction.  
Injections do not appreciably tighten skin.

Please use this information when consulting in person with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. They will be most capable of advising what is best for you.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Kybella and a Facelift

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Thank you very much for your question.

No, I don't think Kybella is contraindicated if you want to have a facelift later.  Kybella works to dissolve the fat, and may leave behind some scar tissue in the region, but that scar tissue should be manageable at the time of facelifting.  I recommend you see a skilled injector to discuss if Kybella is right for you.  Best of luck!

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Kybella and a facelift

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Kybella is not contraindicated prior to a facelift; however, Kybella works by causing fat cells to die.  When cells die they cause an inflammatory reaction.  The inflammatory reaction results in at least some scar tissue being deposited.  Any scar tissue in an operative area makes the operation more difficult but does not mean it should not be done.  That being said, consult with a reputable plastic surgeon in order to determine whether Kybella is right for you.  

Best wishes,

Cody Koch

Cody A. Koch, MD, PhD
Des Moines Facial Plastic Surgeon

It is complementary, not contraindicated

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If you have a lot of fat under your chin, this will need to be discussed at the time of a facelift if it is still there. Often liposuction under the chin is done to complement the surgical face-lift.

The beauty of Voluma is that a lot of lifting can be achieved on the face, with a lot less fuss and risk than a surgical face lift.  

Kybella can be used under the chin to remove the fat.  The inflammation from the Kybella injections dissolving the fat does seem to tighten the skin there, even though it isn't currently an official FDA approved use.

Choose what bothers you the most and proceed from there to a Board Certified Dermatologist's or Plastic Surgeon's office.

Marla M. Klein, MD
Lake Oswego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Is Kybella contraindicated if you think you may need/want a full face lift with in 5 years?

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Hello nanamama4,

The use of Kybella does not prevent you form having a facelift in the future.  It might make the surgery slightly more difficult but should not really be a problem.  It is important to realize that Kybella is not surgery.  It will help with the fat in the double chin area, but it is not approved for tightening of the skin.  It does appear to cause some tightening but no where near what you would get out of a neck lift.  If your biggest concern is submental fat, it should be able to help you.

What I would recommend is you consult with a facial plastic surgeon to go over what to expect with Kybella as well as develop a long term plan for facial rejuvenation.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Kybella is safe for patients who may get a surgical face lift in the future

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Kybella treatments target the fat tissue that lies beneath the skin.  This is done by injecting a substance that basically dissolves fat into the area beneath the chin.  This does not preclude you from getting a face lift in the future.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.