San Francisco facial plastic surgeon Dr. Evan Ransom is excited to offer Kybella™ — the latest non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatment for submental (chin and upper neck) fat reduction. Kybella™ (from Kythera® biopharmaceuticals) is an injectable medication that helps the body dissolve superficial fatty deposits. It has recently been FDA approved for use in the difficult to treat double chin and neck areas. The procedure is performed in the office with minimal discomfort and no downtime.

Kybella™ is a solution of deoxycholic acid, a medicine that promotes the absorption of fat cells and reduction of soft tissue volume when it is injected into the submental fat. During the treatment, patients will receive a number of carefully planned injections of the medication directly into the fatty tissue. The number of injections depends on the size and volume of the area in each patient. For some people, this will be 10 to 15 spots, while others may need up to 30 or 40. Then, over a period of a few weeks, a gradual reduction in the volume of the treated area will be seen. Some patients will have adequate reduction after one treatment, while most will need three or four sessions to achieve the desired aesthetic result. In studies, patients with the largest area to be treated required up to six treatments.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone with submental (under the chin and upper neck) fat deposits (“double chin”) may be a candidate for Kybella™ treatment. The ideal patient has well-defined fullness with good skin elasticity. Patients with significant excess skin may be better served with different techniques (e.g., liposuction, ThermiRF, face or neck lift). Dr. Ransom can help you decide if Kybella™ is right for you during your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that all patients are different and individual healing times and results may vary. The statements regarding procedures and recovery made here are general rules.

Each treatment session takes about 20 minutes. This involves preparing the skin surface, outlining the injection sites, and placing the Kybella™ injections.

The total number of injection sites and treatment sessions are dependent on the size and thickness of the area to be treated. Patients with a larger neck or more fatty tissues will need more injections per treatment and more treatment sessions. According to the studies performed by Kythera®, patients with the most severe cases may need up to six Kybella™ treatment sessions.

Kybella™ is injected with a tiny (31 gauge) needle with minimal discomfort. In addition, patients may choose to have a topical numbing cream prior to the treatment to further reduce the sensation in the treated area.

There is minimal downtime from Kybella™ treatments. The injected area may be slightly swollen or irritated. This resolves in most patients within 24 to 48 hours. No specific post-treatment measures or restrictions are required. Many patients will go back to work after their treatment session; other patients will return the next day. This is largely personal preference.

Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.