Why is Kybella not working on me? Have had 3 rounds of injections over 6 months.

Why is Kybella not working on me? Have had 3 rounds of injections over 6 months.

Doctor Answers 19

Kybella Works Well on the Right Candidate

Dear anon2000:

Kybella (Belkyra in Canada) works well and effectively to reduce sub-mental fat or fullness in the right candidate.  My recommendation is to follow up with a plastic surgeon to discuss alternative neck treatment options with you.  All the best.

Kybella Results

Sorry to hear about your experience with Kybella. I have been injecting patients with Kybella since it first came out over a year ago and I have to say when injected in the appropriate patient with the appropriate number of vials and treatment sessions, it almost always works really well. It is hard to determine why it has not worked for you without seeing photos or evaluating you in person. Your issue maybe skin laxity rather than submental fat. You may also have post platysmal rather than preplatysmal fat. Finally, your condition maybe related to something other than fat. I recommend you followup with an experienced aesthetic physician to determine the appropriate next step.

Kybella effectiveness

Kybella is a great option for non-invasive fat reduction under the neck; however, effectiveness depends on a lot of factors including the amount of fat, the position of the fat, the amount of product injected and the skin quality of the area treated.  In general, kybella works best in patients with a small amount of fat localized under the chin.  For larger amounts of fat, more treatments and more volume of Kybella need to be used often making it costly.  In the studies most patients had 4-6 treatments.  Return to your physician and have an open conversation about your results and expectations; it may be that you need more treatments or a different approach.  Best of luck.

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


Be sure you are seeing an experienced injector for this procedure.  Usung Kybella requires vast knowledge of the head and neck anatomy and the underlying structures.  Without pictures it is difficult to determine what is going on. Many patients seek out Kybella, when their problem is not fat, it is skin laxity that needs tightening.  I would expect to see results after 3 treatments. Best of luck. 

Shahin Fazilat, MD, FACS
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Why is Kybella not working?

Thank you for your question on Kybella. Kybella is FDA approved for fat reduction of the submental area. However, if your neck has significant platysma bands, skin redundancy, and / or deep post platysmal fat or you have a small jaw, Kybella may not be a good option. I would consult with a Facial Plastic Surgeon to discuss options. 

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Kybella not working

kybella dissolves fat in the area injected. It is pretty effective in reducing the fat burden of the area injected. Perhaps there is not as much fat in the area as thought. The fat could also be deep to the muscle; an area not affected by the medicine. Perhaps the injection is not reaching the target area (e.g. The needle isn't going deep enough). I would also recommend looking at your pictures before and after to make sure you haven't become used to your new look and have forgotten what it looked like before injection. 

Jennifer Parker Porter, MD, FACS
Bethesda Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Kybella appropriate candidates

Thank you for your question. It is difficult to comment without more history and an examination. Appropriate candidates for Kybella injections should certainly see improvement after 3 treatments. Kybella is indicated for treatment of excess subcutaneous fat in the central neck. Reasons for failure of treatment could be that the undesirable neck contour is not the result of subcutaneous fat accumulation but rather some other cause. Sometimes a double chin is caused by excess fat in a deeper tissue plane in the neck underneath the platysma muscle. Kybella should be injected superficial to the platysma and it is not safe to target this deeper fat compartment with these injections. An obtuse chin-neck angle may also result from excessive loose skin. Kybella works by dissolving fat and does not substantially tighten or reduce skin excess. It would be best for you to be under the care of a board certified surgeon who is an experienced injector and an expert in head and neck anatomy, aesthetics and the full spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.

Max Polo, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


If it did not work at all the first time the treatment should have been scrutinized for you specifically.  I have had very good results with one and two treatments.  Speak with your provider or go to a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an opinion regarding injectables and other facial rejuvenation techniques.

Kybella Will Only Reduce Fat: Consider a Neck Lift

It is unfortunate that Kybella was injected 3 times prior to the realization that it wasn't working. Typically, the injector is not a surgeon and will not have the experience to determine if a neck lift would be the better choice. Kybella does work, though the number of patients that a excellent candidates are a minority. Most necks would benefit from at least 2 out of 3 issues corrected: skin, fat and muscle. Consider a neck lift consultation when after about 6 weeks from your last injection.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Without photos it is very hard to determine why Kybella did not work for you.  It could be many factors. Each Kybella treatment may require multiple vials depending on the individual. I would recommend following up with your provider to discuss your concerns.

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.