Does Kybella work?

There's been a lot of noise around Kybella/ ATX-101 but does anyone know if it actually works?

Doctor Answers 42

Does Kybella really work for fat reduction?

Kybella was extensively studied prior to its FDA approval.  Because Kybella is a medication vs. a laser procedure, its efficacy has to be demonstrated in many patients and the degree of improvement has to be far greater than laser procedures in order to receive FDA approval.Kybella wouldn't have received FDA approval for moderate to severe submittal fullness if it didn't work.  In my experience both in its use and as a clinical trainer in its proper use by other physicians treatments have failed to match those results seen in the patients submitted for FDA approval due to improper technique.  In addition, 2 to 4 treatments are required.  One treatment will not give you optimal results.  

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Does Kybella work?

Kybella Is very new to the market, and according to the physicians who have performed the initial clinical trials, it does work. It will take multiple sessions over a period of several months to see the beneficial effect. It also only has an FDA indication for submental fat, and the sub-platysmal fat will not be removed with this product. Most patients have sub--platysmal fat, for which a neck lift is required. Kybella will not help with platysmal bands or loose skin in the neck either.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

How effective is Kybella?

In terms of effectiveness, Kybella has proven itself effective especially if it is used where it is intended. Prior to getting its approval from the FDA, extensive research and studies were made for it. The process for getting its FDA approval is no small feat. Since Kybella is not a procedure, but a medication, its potency needs to be verified in a lot of patients. Moreover, its improvement degree should be far greater compared to its laser counterparts. All of this just to get the approval of the FDA. Logically, it will not be receiving any FDA approval if it is not effective.

Based on my experience and practice, Kybella will not be as effective if the technique on how it is administered is not correct or it was used on parts, which are not intended for its use. Currently, Kybella is approved to be used to reduce fats under the chin, other places than that, may see less satisfactory results.

If Kybella is to be used to reduce fats under the chin, at least 2 treatments, to a max of 4 may be required. If you are to opt for just a single Kybella treatment, you will not be able to see satisfactory results.

Hope this helps!

Robert W. Sheffield, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Kybella works

Kybella is an amazing new treatment unlike any other that helps dissolve fat in the injected areas. It's fast, safe, effective, and is permanent (as long as you don't gain a lot of weight)! Not toomany treatments can make that claim! I was one of the first doctors in my area to offer the treatment when it became available in the Fall of 2015.

Regarding efficacy, there is no question that this treatment works. Deoxycolic acid is made in the gall bladder and is something your body secretes every day to digest the fat you eat. This chemical has been isolated and can now be injected into pockets of fat to dissolve them.

As wonderful as it is, it does have some side effects. First, the is some pain associated with the injections, usually 4-7 on a scale of 1-10, starting within a few minutes of the injections. I typically have patients ice immediately afterwards which helps tremendously. Alternatively, I can inject lidocaine in those areas which eliminates the pain but increases the second side effect which is swelling.

Swelling is usually highest with the first treatment because the amount of fat being treated is the greatest. The more fat you have, the greater the swelling. It peaks at 24 hours and usually persists for up to 4 days. Temporary numbness and tenderness has also been reported though this has not been an issue with any of my patients.

A month after the procedure, you will notice a definite reduction in fat and tightening of the skin in the treated area. That continues to improve over 3-6 months. I generally recommend one treatment a month for a total of 3-6 treatments for maximum results, depending on the amount of fat you're starting with. Most patients will start with 3 treatments after which we assess the results together to decide if further treatments are needed. 

Cost is dependent on the amount of fat in the treated area as well as the total number of treatments being performed. Most of my patients will spend $1200-$1800 per treatment and we offer a 20% discount for a package of 3 treatments. This procedure has a very high satisfaction rate!

Peterson Pierre, MD
Thousand Oaks Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


Hello and thanks for your question.  Kybella does work and I have seen great results using this product in my office.  Kybella wouldn't have received FDA approval for moderate to severe submental fullness if it didn't work.  The amount of injections needed can vary between 10 to 30 injections per session, depending on the severity of a double chin. You may need to visit the clinic two or four times, with visits spaced around one month apart. Each session should take less than 15 to 20 minutes.  I recommend booking a consultation with an experienced physician.  Best of luck to you.

P. Alexander Ataii, MD
San Diego Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Does Kybella work?

YES! Kybella is very new to the market and it does work by destroying submental fat cells. Kybella was extensively studied prior to its FDA approval. It is a great non-surgical permanent treatment for submental fat.It typically takes about 2 treatments for patients to get the desired results. If you are interested, I would recommend an immediate consultation with me.

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

Kybella (Belkyra) Works

Yes, Belkyra does work by destroying submental fat cells.  One may require 2-3 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart to achieve optimal results.  Best wishes.

Praven Chetty, MD
Kelowna Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Kybella: An Excellent Option for Most with Submental Chin Fat

Submental fullness, sometimes referred to as “double chin”, is a common yet undertreated facial aesthetic condition. It can impact a broad range of adults, including both men and women, and can be influenced by several factors such as aging, genetics and weight gain, and is often resistant to diet and exercise alone.
In our experience , we find great results in as as few as 2 treatments but some patients may need as 4 .
Only the subcutaneous fat is reached with the KYBELLA injections. Occasionally we combine these treatments with other non-invasive skin tightening devices if this is necessary to improve the contouring.

Ronald Moser, MD
San Juan Capistrano Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Does Kybella work?

YES!  Kybella is a great non-surgical permanent treatment for submental fat.  As with any other surgery or procedure, picking the right patient makes a big difference.  This means that not every person is an ideal candidate for Kybella.  It typically takes about 2 treatments for patients to get the desired results.  If you are interested, I would recommend a consultation with a trained Kybella injector to see if this treatment is right for you.  Best of luck!

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

Kybella and success

Kybella definitely does work! Kybella is very successful with proper patient selection at permanently reducing a double chin.  It also tightens the skin under the chin by at least 20% at the same time as the injection.  I usually combine Thermage with Kybella to tighten the skin to have the best cosmetic results.  Patients have been thrilled with this combination approach.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.