Why is Kybella so expensive?

I've read that Kybella will cost just as much, and probably even more than liposuction. The only benefit of Kybella is privacy, not having to wear that garment for 1 week, and advertise to the whole world you got lipo. I'm pretty sure, whatever the results, it will never be as good as lipo. I don't see where the cost is coming from, is supposed to be lower than lipo since is only injections, and after being hyped so much, you're just basically paying for the doctor's degree, and vacations.

Doctor Answers 51

Kybella Cost

Yes, the cost-of-good (price per vial) set by the company is exorbitant, to put it mildly. Yes, liposuction (between $1500-4500, depending on the provider and area of the country) remains a phenomenal treatment for submental fat. Yes, the cost of the Kybella procedure will likely drop precipitously in the not-too-distant future as a result of poor demand due to cost.


Austin Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Pricing for Kybella

Kybella was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of excessive submental fat. Currently, it is the only product on the market with this indication. The company has set a high price point initially to offset the cost of extensive testing to ensure safety and efficacy of the product. Depending on demand, it is possible that the price will be lowered in the future.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Kybella and Cost

Kybella is a very expensive procedure but works extremely well.  Allergan bought the company that developed Kybella and now increased the price to market it.  Since there is no direct competition they can set the price.  It may take quite a while before the price comes down.  The price may drop in the future if there is a similar product. I often combine Kybella with Thermage to treat the neck area and tighten the skin laxity at the same time. If you have a large area of submental fat you can have the Cool-mini performed by Coolsculpting and this may be less expensive for you. I often use several different modalities to treat my patients in the neck. I find that this combination yields the best results in my office.  Best, Dr. Green

Kybella Expense

Kybella is expensive for two reasons. First, it is a new treatment, and the only non-invasive injectable approved for the treatment of submental fullness. Second, the company which developed Kybella is the sole patent holder and wants to recoup costs incurred during the development and approval process. Until the patent runs out and other companies can develop competing alternatives, Kybella will, unfortunately, continue to be expensive.

Suzanne M. Quardt, MD
Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Kybella is Excellent for Small Double Chins

Kybella is an excellent alternative for small double chins.  Liposuction or Smart Lipo would entail more time, costs, and recovery.  One or two vials of Kybella can be injected at one sitting and no surgery is required.
My experience is very positive.  I do agree if several treatments will be necessary, it might be better to do a formal Smart Lipo to the chin.

Kybella Avoids Surgery for Those who will Avoid Surgery at Any Cost!

Kybella was developed by Kythera and recently purchased by Allergan.  It was an expensive purchase and some of that has been passed on to the final cost.  

A reason that Allergan paid dearly is because the clinical trials involved thousands of patients.  Many of the important questions (how much to be effective, how much to stay safe) were worked out pretty thoroughly in the expensive clinical trials.  

Most patients need 3- 4 treatments, one month apart.  It is true that liposuction of the neck is less money than most Kybella series.  

I offer both options, and let patients choose.  Some patients simply do not want to have a short (30 minute) outpatient procedure, and now they have a safe and effective choice.  

Kybella Is Expensive Because Allergan Paid Too Much For It

I have to agree that Kybella is expensive.  As a matter of fact, it just got MORE expensive for a treatment because Allergan has doubled the recommended dose.

The short answer to your question is that Allergan has priced this product way too high.  I don't think the executives were thinking about the treatment properly when they bought the product from Kythera last year (actually, they bought the entire company for $2.1 Billion).  Now, they seem to want all the profit and plan to leave the doctors holding the bag with patients who are frustrated with the results.

We continue to offer Kybella in my office, but I don't suggest it for everyone.  I'm trying to be very careful about who gets it.

Thomas P. Sterry, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Kybella vs. submental liposuction

For uncomplicated liposuction under the chin (submental  suction lipectomy), we charge $1500. This includes the preoperative appointment, procedure, and all postoperative followups. We have laughing gas available at no additional charge.  The procedure requires a single 4 mm (less than 1/4") incision and takes about 45" to an hour.  You will have to wear a compression garment 24/7 (minus showers) for 2 weeks and 16/7 for an additional 2 weeks. Please read the realself reviews of our practice, as some of our patients have posted pre- and postoperative photos of liposuction under the chin.

Kybella is a very reasonable alternative for those patients who do not wish to undergo liposuction.  However, it requires more treatments, more downtime, and greater expense.  Kybella typically requires 2 to 4 treatments, each with at least 2 weeks of associated social downtime due to bruising, swelling, and redness and typically runs $2000 to $4800.

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Kybella cost -vs- liposuction

The cost-of-goods (price per vial) for a Physician set by the company is exorbitant, to put it mildly. The best case scenario for those with smaller volume of unwanted chin fat would be if a patient paid only for what was used on them. In other words according to the number of vials needed as opposed to the same cost for every double chin. Similar to Botox being charged by units and not by sites for those with less overactivity of those muscles.  Chin/neck Liposuction (usually $2500, depending on the provider and area of the country) remains a phenomenal treatment for submental fat.

Ritu Malhotra, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Why does Kybella cost almost as much as Liposuction

Kybella will give you near liposuction results but its not cheap and there is some downtime.Allergan charges a lot for the product which in turn is passed along to the patient.  It is much more cost effective for both patient and physician to perform liposuction.  To the patient because the cost is nearly the same and only one treatment is needed.  With laser liposuction (i.e. Smart Lipo) there is minimal downtime.  The advantage for the physician is the results are accomplished with one procedure vs. 3 to 4 treatments.   Supply costs to the physician for liposuction are far less.  So why do I anticipate Kybella will gain increasing popularity?  Because there is a large patient population that wants results without any surgery and consider liposuction invasive.  I also think that Allergan will lower the price for Kybella which will make it more affordable.  

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 152 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.