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where can kybella be injected?

Summary: Where can Kybella be injected if you’re looking to get rid of fat without needing to undergo liposuction? Well, the answer to that depends on whether your surgeon is will to provide “off-label” treatment or not. There’s nothing inherently wrong with off-label treatment–it simply means using Kybella in areas of the body that haven’t necessarily been approved yet by the FDA. In these cases you should, of course, proceed with caution, and discuss all possible risks with your cosmetic surgeon.

Where Can Kybella Be Injected?

Kybella is an injectable approved by the FDA for use along the jawline. Where can Kybella be injected other than the jawline? Well, according to the FDA, nowhere. But that hasn’t stopped some surgeons from administering off-label uses directed at other parts of the body. Generally speaking, these off-label uses are relatively low-risk (especially when administered by an experienced cosmetic or plastic surgeon).

But it does muddy the waters a bit, as patients can become confused about exactly where they can get Kybella injections. In part, that’s due to the high demand for Kybella in the first place.

And we should probably start by talking about what Kybella is, how it works, and what it does. Simply put, Kybella is an injectable that effectively mitigates fat. Just as Juvederm or Botox can tackle wrinkles (albeit, in very different ways), Kybella tackles fat, helping patients slim down in a way that, even just a couple of years ago, would have been unthinkable without surgery. You can see why so many patients are eager to experience Kybella’s benefits in areas beyond the jawline.

Approved for Submental Fat

Kybella has been approved by the FDA for use in eliminating unwanted submental fat, which is a fancy way of saying “the double chin.” Its approval for this use makes a lot of sense: there are few areas of stubborn fat that stick out as much or are as derided by patients as the double chin. (For the record, it’s most often patients themselves who dislike the double chin–not necessarily those around the patient.)

Kybella is composed of a synthetic version of something called deoxycholic acid. This is a compound normally found in your own body already–a compound that is directly responsible for the organic breakdown of fat.

This synthetic version, when injected into your body, displays the same properties as the organic deoxycholic acid and begins to break down fat. For many patients, this means that when Kybella is injected into the jawline area, the fat in that area will begin to recede. It will take several weeks to see the optimal results, but for most patients, that’s an acceptable amount of wait time.

Why the Jawline?

So why is Kybella approved for the jawline? That’s probably a question best left to the manufacturer, who likely had to make decisions about what types of approval to pursue from the FDA.

Whatever their motivations might be (and again, we can only guess as to what they were), there are definitely advantages to seeking approval first for the double chin.

  • The jawline is a fairly common problem area among many Americans. It’s something that many people wish they could address, therefore, there’s definitely a demand for Kybella procedures.
  • Liposuction of the neck does not sound particularly appealing to many patients, and the jawline is right on the edge of the face and neck. This makes liposuction in this area a particularly unappetizing prospect (and Kybella an excellent solution).
  • Because human beings are fantastic at noticing details around the face, even subtle changes to the double chin are easy for us to notice.

This list could go on, of course. The patients who have undergone Kybella that’s targeted the double chin are almost always incredibly pleased with the results. In no small part that’s because the double chin is an incredibly difficult area of the body to target with diet or exercise.

Seeking More Approvals

Undoubtedly, Kybella’s manufacturers are likely seeking more approvals to treat other areas of the body. With Kybella’s proven success (even if the face of a little bit of blowback), there’s going to be a demand for this non surgical liposuction alternative all over the body. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Obviously, these kinds of approvals take time (there’s lots of testing involved–again, not necessarily a bad thing). And sometimes patient demand outruns the approval process. If you want Kybella injected anywhere other than your jawline (and, I suppose, even if you do want to get rid of your double chin), talk about your options with your cosmetic surgeon or medical spa professional.

Where can Kybella be injected? Right now, it’s only approved for injections along the jawline. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the near future.


About the Author: Nick Engebretson has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for nearly twenty years. He works daily with plastic and cosmetic surgeons to ensure he’s getting the latest and greatest information about the field.

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