Are the Kybella recovery periods that are being promoted realistic or am I an outlier?

I've had Kybella three times now. The pain during and after the procedure I would rate an 8. It goes down to a 5-6 the next two days. I get extremely swollen and when I go back to work 5 days later I need to wear a big scarf. Is this unusual dangerous? I don't understand the doctor statements that it is a painless procedure and that you can go back to work immediately. (3vials first event and 2vials on subsequent events).

Doctor Answers 17

Kybella Pain

Deoxycholate injections are painfull and produce swelling for two weeks.  Some patients do not tolerate this well; they choose different options.  Considering that injections yield 10-12% reduction in submental fat other options may be more desireable. Liposuction and Smartlipo result in up to 50% reduction in fat,  Sureshape 25% and Ultrashape 20% without significant pain, swelling lasts up to four weeks.

Please consult in person with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon prior to making treatment decisions.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Pain with Kybella?

There is minimal pain at the time of injection as we pretreat with some injectable lidocaine.  There definitely some swelling, tenderness and firmness to the treated area for 5-10 days depending particularly on the amount of fat and the number of vials used.  This inflammatory reaction, in my opinion, is actually good as it contributes to the overall reduction in tissue laxity after the fat is processed by your body and moved away.  Subsequent treatments usually show less swelling and pain than the first.

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


Sorry to hear about your pain with Kybella.  Our extensive experience with Kybella has been significantly different than yours, in that after anesthetizing the area patients report virtually no pain with the procedure itself.

After the procedure, patients report numbness, along with mild soreness.  Swelling after the first round of kybella can last several days to even weeks, although this swelling lessens significantly with subsequent treatments.

Most patients with mild fullness require 2 treatments, and patients with larger necks require 3 or possibly 4.

Best of luck!

Jeffrey B. Wise, MD, FACS
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

Kybella swelling is significant, and can last for several days

While this is a nonsurgical treatment, there is definitely a recovery process with each treatment.  what you're describing is on the longer end, but certainly not unheard of.In my practice, although we offer Kybella, for patients who have the chin shape necessary for the Cool Mini treatment, we prefer it by far.  Swelling is minimal, and the total cost is a fraction of Kybella. 

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 199 reviews

Kybella & Post Op Pain

As is always the case on these sites, we tend to talk about what generally happens. And yes, in general, my Kybella patients tolerate the procedure extremely well. Unfortunately, this has not been your experience. The good news is that now that the fat is gone, it's gone for good and you won't need any more injections.


Kouros Azar

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

Pain from Kybella and Recovery

I have treated many patients with Kybella and we both numb the patients topically and inject locally so that the main is minimal.  The swelling afterwards is typical and can be anywhere from two to five days.  I often combine Thermage with Kybella for skin tightening the neck and jowl area for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

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

Kybella recovery

Thank you for your question. Swelling and pain is normal after treatment. The degree of swelling and pain varies for each individual. However, there is no downtime because the treatment is minimally invasive so our patients are able to return to work after. Some patients have lower tolerance than others to the pain and in your instance you should speak to your doctor so that he can help offer you options to alleviate it.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Thank you for your question. We inform our patients that Kybella treatments will result in swelling and pain. We utilize a combination of Motrin and Benadryl when treating our patients. The Motrin helps to minimize the discomfort, and the Benadryl helps to minimize the swelling. 

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

Kybella problems

Thanks for the question

Sorry about your pain and swelling your are experiencing.  I wouldn't be alarmed by what you are experiencing, but I would agree you are an outlier.  The majority of patients have about as much discomfort as Botox and usually minimal to moderate swelling for the first 24-48 hours.  

Good Luck

"The above answer been given without seeing this patient and cannot be substituted for actual in-person examination and medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

Brian Arslanian, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Kybella Treatment

Carrie Arizona, thank you for your question regarding Kybella! First off, I am sorry to hear about your level of discomfort during your treatments. I see many patients for this treatment as my practice was among the first to be trained and offer Kybella in Beverly Hills. We have not had a patient with the same level of pain as you have experienced. Typically our patients have very minimal discomfort during the injections. Although, everyone does have a different pain tolerance, the practitioner who's injecting can play a role in your level of discomfort. Your swelling is normal and a common occurrence. We give our patients ice after the treatment and suggest arnica to help with swelling. I hope this helps.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 9 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.