This Is How Long It Takes For Kybella To Actually Work

It's hard to believe but Kybella, the magical non-invasive procedure to rid us of our dreaded double chins, has been around since 2015 (via The New York Times). As surgeon Michael Kassardjian explained to Allure, the super-shot works thanks to a synthetic stomach acid, "A copy of a salt found in human bile that aids in the permanent destruction and digestion of fat cells," that is its active ingredient. 

Kybella dissolves the membranes lining fat cells, causing them to spill out and subsequently be removed by the body's own immune system. "Physicians and patients alike were excited that an injectable could destroy fat cells, and doctors around the country began training to use Kybella," advised William H. Truswell, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), as he enthused about the exciting invention. But Kybella isn't foolproof either. 

There may be some swelling following Kybella treatments

Healthline notes that, although Kybella injections are non-invasive and as such pose fewer risks than similar surgical procedures to remove fat cells, there are still side effects to consider. In particular, swelling is pretty common, which typically occurs as a result of your skin having an inflammatory reaction to the acid.

The swelling should go down after a few weeks, but if it doesn't, it could signal infection. Recovery time should be about a month, according to Allergan, the company that actually makes Kybella. You'll need to wait at least one month between treatments anyway and the maximum you can get is six. It all depends on the composition of the fat itself and the look you're going for, but typically it's an injection every couple of months. Sessions take around 15 to 20 minutes, and several injection sites will be used.

Kybella should show results pretty quickly

According to Healthline, most people report a noticeable difference after 12 weeks (or two sessions), with maximum results after six months that reportedly last a while. A first-person report in The Atlantic seems to agree with this, noting there was little difference after the first session but a noticeable reduction following the second. Likewise, her doctor was confident a third session wouldn't be required, however, the writer did report swelling and bruising after the second appointment.

Further, Allure notes that, for Kybella to be effective, the targeted fat has to be soft and squeezable, according to experts. But the treatment demonstrably works and is FDA approved (although it doesn't work nearly as well as liposuction, according to certain plastic surgeons). Still, it could end up costing more than surgery. But at least you'll see results quickly, and overall, it's safer than going under the knife.