Kybella / ATX 101 / deoxycholic acid - Where can one go for treatment of the abdomen / belly fat?

I understand that the procedure is currently only FDA approved for submental fat. I am just interested in learning about potential uses for the abdomen. For argument sake, cost, traveling, and downtime are no object. Safety is a concern. In addition, how does "off-label" work. (Will consider similar alternatives, excluding: liposuction of any kind, surgery that leads to the formation of a scar, or ultrasonic type of laser procedures.) Thanks!

Doctor Answers 14

Kybella will work

Kybella will work for tummy fat. The problem iKybella vials are priced for the small amount of chin fat.
Multiple vials and a high cost would be needed for treating a whole abdomen.
Kybella will work nicely for small touch up areas after liiposuction.

Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Kybella for abdominal fat

Use of Kybella outside the submental area is referred to as off label.  There is nothing dangerous or illegal about a licensed physician using products in off label areas.  That being said, I think Kybella would be quite expensive to use in large areas where more traditional treatments would be equally effective:  liposuction, CoolSculpting and RF devices such as Vanquish or Thermi250.   I would strongly suggest you get some consultation input on what treatment would be best for you.  Try to find an office that offers multiple modalities, as one size does not fit all!~

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Kybella & the Abdomen

While Kybella isn't approved for treatment on the abdomen, I am sure that there are surgeons playing around with "off label" use of it in that area (off label is any use that isn't FDA approved). The potential problem would be cost. Kybella is designed to treat a small area of fat so the amount of injections that you'd need for the stomach would be costly. I would think your best best would be liposuction. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Kybella and the Abdomen

Currently Kybella is only FDA approved for submental fat.  I would suggest Coolsculpting as a much less expensive and safe alternative to treat your abdominal area.  Please consult an expert.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Kybella for the abdomen? Probably not the best option

Kybella, as you mentioned, has only been FDA approved for use beneath the chin.  There have been no significant studies to investigate the safety and efficacy of using Kybella to decrease fat volume on the abdomen.  Given the cost of Kybella and the amount that would be needed to evenly treat an entire abdomen, it probably won't be a realistic option anytime in the near future. There are more cost effective (and probably more efficacious) procedures available to treat this area, such as CoolSculpting or Liposuction.

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


Thank you for your question, tea7890. SculpSure is the most effective FDA-approved treatment because it can eliminate 25% of your unwanted stubborn fat in a 25-minute treatment described by our patients as "feeling like a heating pad." Please consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 reviews


Thank you for your question. As you mentioned Kybella is currently FDA approved to treat submental fat. I would not be surprised that in the future we will be using Kybella to treat fat in different areas of the body including the abdomen. Presently I would not use Kybella to remove fat in the abdomen. 

UltraShape is a wonderful non painful no surgical FDA approved treatment to permanently remove tummy fat. 

I hope owe you find this information helpful. 

Joshua Halpern, MD, PA
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Why not to use kybella for large areas

Kybella can be a great solution for small pockets of fat like the submental area.   However, its use for larger areas are a problem for a few reasons.  First, it takes alot of product to reduce a small area, so large areas would take so much product that it would be incredibly expensive.  Second, there would be increased risk for systemic side effects from that much of the drug.  Third, and most important, deoxycholate would be unpredictable in a larger areas leading to irregularities.  Consider the non-invasive alternatives: Coolsculpting or Sculpsure if you want to avoid surgery or ultrasound treatments.

Kyle Coleman, MD
New Orleans Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Kybella for belly fat

This has become a common question. As you mentioned, it is currently only approved for treatment of submental fat.  This means that the FDA trials were conducted for this indication and use outside of this body part has not been studied and evaluated by the FDA.  Currently, the price of Kybella would make it impossible to use on larger areas of the body.  It will probably have additional FDA indications as time passes, so be very cautious with doctors who are using the product on other parts the body. 

Josh Waltzman, MD, MBA
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Kybella Abdominal Fat

Phosphatydl Choline Deoxycholate has been safely used for years in America, Europe and South America.  Protocols for effective and safe use have been published.  We have used this combination for years with success.
Please consult in person with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon prior to making treatment decisions.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.