Kybella is an oxycolate injected to dissolve fat in your chin.
Dr. Jeff Popp said the use of an injectible to dissolve fat isn’t a new idea.
“Years ago, we used to do what’s called lipo dissolve. We would take two different nonprescription drugs, inject them into the fat and dissolve it,” he said.
The difference is that Kybella is FDA approved.
“The company that makes Kybella decided to go through clinical trials and get approval for it.”
Used in small areas
Kybella is used for small areas of fat like the fat below your chin. Dr. Popp said it parallels lipo dissolve, which required a series of treatments.
“Some people would swell horrendously for weeks at a time,” he said. “Kybella dissolves fat like lipo dissolve did, but it’s not really predictable in terms of how well it works.”
Both injectibles are intended to replace liposuction. Kybella is best for anyone who absolutely refuses minor cosmetic surgery.
Swell like a turkey
Dr. Popp said you could argue Kybella is a non-surgical procedure. But if you swell like a turkey for two weeks and then have to do it another two or three times, is it worth it?
“Your appearance in that recovery stage is probably much worse than if you just went ahead and did straight liposuction,” he said, “which takes about 20 to 30 minutes to do and has you looking pretty good in about three days.”
He admits the idea of a non-surgical treatment is attractive, but you should always ask how any procedure stacks up against other options, in this case like liposuction.
“They should ask what they have to go through to get the same results as the current treatment,” he said. “And if the gold standard is liposuction in the neck, chin and waddle area, then how does Kybella stand up against that?”
Most of the time, people don’t ask about that. When a new drug gets FDA approval, it isn’t tested against older drugs to compare effectiveness.
“Drug X works, but is it more effective than drug A, B and C, which have been around for 20 years?” Dr. Popp asked. “We don’t always know because those kinds of tests aren’t done.”