During kybella how long does it take for the deoxycholic acid to break down the fat (not the bodys process of eliminating fat)

how long does the separate process of the acid is working take? and how long after does it take for the body to eliminate the fat sell? does diet and alcohol has any affect on the result after the acid has done it's job? thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

Kybella and fat breakdown timing

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Thank you for your question. Kybella works instantly and starts to break down the fat cells immediately after the injection. Your body will then go through an inflammatory response, and it may take several weeks to months for it to fully take effect.

Kybella process

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Thank you for your question. After the doctor injects Kybella, the deoxycholic acid will immediately begin to break down the fat. It will usually take 3-6 weeks for your body to eliminate the fat cells from your body. However, some patients continue to see results up to 5 months later. In terms of alcohol or your diet, speak to your doctor about this because if you are prescribed any pain or swelling medication, you should not be drinking.

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

How long does it take for Kybella to work?

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The impact of Kybella injected into fat is almost immediate.  The bulk of cell destruction occurs within several hours.  It is the cell death, breakdown and release of fat that occurs over a week or so.  This is what causes the swelling, redness and tenderness that first week. The destroyed fat moves through your lymphatics and is processed by the liver and excreted in your stools.  Diet and alcohol should have no impact on the results.  

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


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Thank you for your question chloelattman. Kybella is the first and thus-far only FDA-approved non-surgical injectable treatment for the double chin. It is thought that the fat destruction is complete within an hour or so after a treatment as the product is cleared from the body in that time. Also the burning patients feel for about 15 minutes after a treatment is from the fat being dissolved. The body eliminates this fat slowly over months. Patience is important and multiple treatments are required. It is important to maintain a healthy diet after the treatment so as not to gain weight.

Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!


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Thank you for your question. As the deoxycholic acid destroys the fat cells, the unwanted fat cells can then be safely eliminated by the body. It make take between two (2) and six (6) Kybella treatments for optimal results, although most patients begin to see results after only two treatments and as early as two weeks. I suggest that you move forward and consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. The in-person examination will illuminate some of these answers based on your health profile and desires. 

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Kybella results

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The Kybella will start o work on breaking down the fat immediately. However, it may take your body several weeks to eliminate the fat. Every individual is different but you can expect to be swollen for anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Kybella starts working instantly

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Immediately after the Kybella is injected, the deoxycholic acid starts to dissolve the fat cells. The next couple weeks after your injection, the body goes through the process of clearing out the dissolved fat cells and eliminating them from the body. 

Michael T. Somenek, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Kybella and Fat

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Kybella works almost immediately after the injection to break down the fat.  Over the next few weeks the body will eliminate the fat.  You can see the break down of the fat by the swelling and immediate reaction after Kybella is injected.  Best, Dr. Green


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Kybella breaks down fat almost immediately so that after treatment the neck feels softer and more like jelly.  The body will slowly eliminate the fat over several weeks.  There is some swelling the first couple of days then the result becomes apparent in several weeks.  We typically retreat at about one month.  In my practice most patients average 3 treatment spaced one month apart.  Small neck will require one vial while large necks require 2 vials per treatment.  Each vial contains 2.0cc Kybella.  Our office charges a fat fee for each vial so you only pay for what you need.

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 59 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.