Is there a reason that Kybella works for some and not others?

Can someone get poor results , even when done correctly? When someone has no results, do you refund them? I have read that it has not worked on a few women. It's very expensive. How is this more beneficial than lipo? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 13

The product is very expensive for the doctor so refunds are not provided if the treatment is unsuccessful.

We do not really understand why the Kybella is effect for some but not for others.  It is essential to understand that 60% of treated patients require 6 treatment sessions.  It is also important to understand that this service is really best for folks who really do not want to have a lower face and neck liposuction.  If you need help in the neck, but do not want surgery, it is worth taking the risk that Kybella may be ineffective. However, liposuction is a very successful minimal downtime treatment what can be done on a thursday or friday and you can return to work on Monday.  The treatment is very comfortable under local anesthesia or with very light intravenous sedation if you simply don't want to be aware of what is going on. Choose accordingly. 

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Kybella Works for Most Double Chins

Kybella does an excellent job of permanently eliminating under-chin fat in most patients. However, no procedure is guaranteed. To increase the chances of success with Kybella, it is important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist who can determine if you are a candidate. There are no refunds when you don't like a procedure or it doesn't give you the results you want, which is another reason to spend time finding the best practitioner and to give a thorough and honest history. Most patients will need more than one session to get their desired results, as the deoxycholic acid in Kybella will only eliminate about 20% of fat per treatment. 

As for Kybella being more beneficial than liposuction, the answer is that it's not - however, many patients prefer Kybella over liposuction for the sole reason that it is not a surgical procedure. Chin liposuction in the right candidate can in fact remove more fat in a single session than Kybella, but it is a surgical procedure that will require some downtime. Kybella, on the other hand, is an injectable procedure that doesn't take long in the office, doesn't require anesthesia, and has little downtime. I suggest seeing a board-certified dermatologist to find the best way to remove your double chin.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews


Some clients are irresponsive to Kybella and there may be different reasons for that. Some clients need more sessions than others, but in general Kybella is highly successful in treating that double chin and excess of fat in the area. If you have excess skin and loose muscle tissue, then Kybella is not for you, since it aids fat dispersion. If you have excess skin or loose muscle, then liposuction may be the right option for you. Best of luck! 

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


Kybella will permanently destroy submental fat cells for the right candidate. You really must consult with a medical professional who is experienced with Kybella. Kybella is an excellent treatment for the right candidate. You are right, it is very costly and not refundable if you are not happy with your treatment. That is why you really should consult with a qualified provider. Hope this helps.

Patricia Faraz, MD
Ladera Ranch OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


There are several reasons that a patient may not get a good result from kybella. Patient selection is important . The patient must be evaluated by a practioner who can do an appropriate assessment to determine if Kybella would be an appropriate procedure to address the patient's concerns. Also, it is important that the dosing is appropriate for that patient. The patient must also understand that several treatments may be needed to obtain the desired results.

Jean M. Casello, MD
Northborough Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Not everyone has a good result from every procedure.  Each individual's tissues and biology vary.   As such the results can vary.  Suggest if you are considering Kybella that you see a physician who has experience with it and obtain their opinion as to whether you can potentially benefit from it.  For some people it is an alternative to liposuction.  For others it may not be an alternative.  One important variable for anyone considering Kybella or liposuction of their neck is the neck skin elasticity.  This can be best determined by your physician at your consult.

Paul Carniol, MD
Summit Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Efficacy of Kybella

Kybella is a fat desolving agent used to inject the submental area to reduce fat below the chin. It is a very effective treatment when performed in the right patient. I perform Kybella injections as well as perform liposuction and the results can be equal in the properly selected patient. When there is minimal improvement following the injection of Kybella, it is usally because the patient has a layer of fat below the muscle that must be addressed to get good resultst... again, proper patient selection. In patients that have excess fat above and below the muscle beneath the chin, I prefer to perform liposuction and remove a portion of the muscle and fat located below the muscle. This is called a "platysmaplasty" and is done through a small incision underneath the chin. Lastly, Kybella can be more expensive than traditional liposuction if 3-4 Kybella treatments are needed.     

Michael P. Morrissette, DDS
Ventura Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Kybella results

Thank you for your question spawoman. Kybella is the first and, thus far, only non-surgical injectable treatment for the double chin. Results for any treatment vary from person to person. We include this in our informed consent form that all patients sign prior to any treatment. In our office we do not provide refunds for treatments performed; this is also in our consent form that all patients sign prior to a treatment. I have never had this happen but if I have a patient who undergoes six treatments without any improvement I would offer a complimentary other treatment such as Botox. With Kybella a series of treatments is required. I have my patients plan for at least two treatments and possibly up to six. This should be discussed up front and the patient should know this prior to having the first treatment. The biggest difference between Kybella and liposuction is that Kybella is minimally invasive and does not require tumescent nor general anesthesia. This is a key factor for many patients choosing Kybella treatments. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!


Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

No results with Kybella ?

We have seen a result in every patient.  The consensus from speaking to several doctors using Kybella is that the biggest reason for inadequate results is under-treatment, ie, too few vials.   If there is submental fat, then it does respond to the Kybella.  But not right away- there is swelling at first as the Kybella goes to work and then at 3-4 weeks you will start to see the result, which continues to improve for 3-4 months.   I would say that I am more likely to recommend 3 vials to start with for many patients- the swelling is not worse but the results are better.  Patients need to know that most will desire 2-4 treatments to reach their goals.  And you need to wait a little to see the result.   It is not a face lift or a liposuction result, but it is also not surgery.  It may actually be better than liposuction for patients with decreased skin elasticity- Kybella is not specific for tightening skin, but most patients seem to get some tightening and in the studies, patients did not develop increased laxity of the skin, such as we would see after liposuction in patients with decreased elasticity.  My recommendation is to consult with a board certified plastic or facial plastic surgeon and look at some photos of their patients after one or more treatments to get a better idea of what to expect.  

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Kybella results

The key to a good Kybella result is first, the patient needs to be the right candidate for the procedure which means that the fat he or she wants removed is localized to the area under the chin. Second, you need to see an experienced injector. And last, you need to manage your expectations. It takes anywhere from 2-4 sessions to get your final results. What I like about Kybella is that it is extremely effective and the results are permanent. Hope this helps. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 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.