Is there a negative side to Kybella which keeps some of the best cosmetic surgeons from using it?

I'm considering Kybella. I asked the office in Beverly Hills where just I got a major cosmetic procedure done if they offered it & they seemed to be so negative about how it causes so much swelling and they did not offer it. I asked the same thing at the local place where I get my basic dermafillers etc. which is also a high end place near LA & they sort of said the same thing. If Kybella is one of the latest & newest treatments for the chin, why do they seem so negative about it?

Doctor Answers 17

Kybella Treatment

I use a great deal of Kybella in my office and I have found that it is an amazing product and patients are very pleased with the results.  There is swelling after the procedure but that is a necessary part of the process.  Please consult a board trained dermatologist who is experienced with Kybella.  Best, Dr. Green

Kybella is effective

As a surgeon and a frequent Kybella user, I can tell you I have had great success with Kybella. Some practices choose not to use it because they are either not comfortable doing it or may focus more on the surgical aspect of their specialty. 

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Kybella Treatment

Thank you so much for your question!  Kybella is an excellent treatment option for patients who want to improve their appearance and profile.  We are excited about Kybella as it is the only injectable product for submental fullness (double chin).  The procedure is quick and minimally invasive, making it an ideal choice for patients seeking an improvement in their neck fullness but not wanting liposuction.  

As with all treatments, there can be a few post-treatment side effects.  The main concerns with Kybella are swelling and possible bruising.  The amount of swelling varies from person to person, and some people may consider the amount of swelling to be the reason to select an alternate treatment. In general, the swelling is greatest for a few days after the treatment and patients can feel a bit self-conscious for around a week or so post-treatment. In the second week, there is still some swelling, but it is easier to get away with it at this point. If additional sessions are required, the swelling seems to be less of an issue for subsequent sessions (usually spaced 6 weeks apart). In our office, we take measures such as avoiding injectable anesthetic, use of compressive neck wraps, and application of pre- and post-treatment ice to minimize swelling. Coolsculpting and neck liposuction are other in-office procedures which can help with the double chin/neck fullness. As with all aesthetic procedures, it is best to schedule a consultation and discuss the risks and benefits with a board certified facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or cosmetic dermatologist. 

Kind regards,

Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

In the Right Patient, Kybella Works Very Well

Great observation.  As with almost all the products or procedures, it often takes a while for us to figure out how well the new option works, and in what kind of a patient they work best. Kybella is going through this process right now. Very good offices, who have not had much experience with it, simply haven't figured out the answer to these questions yet.  In this situation, you want to the office to be careful and err on the side of safety.  With that said, it appears that as we gain more and more experience with Kybella, it turns out that it works very well when used for the right reasons in the right patients.  Look for an office that has had a decent amount of experience with Kybella and they will be able to tell you whether or not you are a good candidate for this.  I can tell you that in my experience, in the right patient, Kybella works very, very well. Good luck.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


Hello, and thanks for your question. Doubtful. Kybella is a great product for the right candidate. In order to determine the best treatment plan for you, I recommend an in-person consultation with an expert. Best of luck, Dr. Frucht.   

Corey Frucht, MD, PhD
Santa Barbara Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Swelling after Kybella

Thank you for your question Sunshine8497. Kybella is the first and thus far only FDA approved non-surgical injectable treatment for the double chin. One of the biggest concerns our patients have after a Kybella treatment is the amount of swelling. Swelling can be significant and last 1-2 weeks. May people do not have such time for recovery or are not comfortable being seen with such swelling. This is especially true since a series of treatments is required. However we discuss this with patients prior to treatments and those that are ok with the swelling enjoy significant and permanent results without having surgery. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations.  Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Kybella Results -- takes a series of treatments

Kybella works but can never give lipo-like results.  that is why i do a small amount of it compared to liposuction.  It also gives swelling and induration that can last for weeks. I suggest you see an expert for treatment options.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Kybella to use or not to use?

Hello Sunshine8497,Thank you for your question. All procedures whether invasive (surgical) or non-invasive (non-surgical) will have both positive and potentially negative events associated with them. There are differing levels of discomfort, cost, downtime etc. associated with them as well. All procedures also have limitations associated with them as to how effective they can be, how much can be treated at one time and how many times a particular treatment "needs" to be done to achieve a desired outcome. Kybella is no different. Whether a particular physician or clinic chooses to add Kybella to their "toolbox" has many variables associated with that decision that has nothing to do with its effectiveness or safety. Their patient population and demand, other services they offer that could potentially compete with it, profitablility and the like. Rest assured Kybella is a very good non-surgical alternative to treat submental fat.

Paul Pietro, MD
Greenville Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Pros and cons of Kybella

Kybella does work well for reducing fat under the chin, and the primary advantage is that it is not surgery. Disadvantages include:
  • swelling that lasts several days
  • most patients require multiple treatments
  • discomfort

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Any negatives to Kybella

So far the patients who I have treated with Kybella have been pleased with the improvement.  Kybella injections can be uncomfortable, but we have virtually eliminated patient discomfort by using local anesthetic prior to injecting Kybella. This has made the injection experience much more comfortable for my patients.  There is some swelling afterwards but it generally resolves within a couple of weeks.  One downside to Kybella can be cost.  It is a relatively expensive product.  However, it is a unique product which has been clinically proven to reduce neck fullness.  Many of my patients don't want surgery but are willing to consider a non-invasive treatment to improve their appearance.  Patient selection is important.  It is best for mild to moderate sub mental (neck below the chin) fullness.Best,Dr. Ort

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.