Truth About Kybella
the difference Dr. Yovino makes
Kybella, for those of you who don’t know, is a non-surgical in-office cosmetic procedure that uses a formula to melt awake excess fat specifically on the chin. It is meant to target the fat of double chins and, it is a miraculous new product. I had first heard about Kybella from a dermatologist who mentioned that rather than doing liposuction on the chin and neck, patients should consider trying something new called Kybella. A product that, when injected into the chin subcutaneous tissue, melts the fat away allowing your body to absorb the excess fat and then get rid of it naturally. So, I wanted to give it a try. I have a double chin that genuinely bothers me and no matter how much working out I do, the chin is a hereditary trait I’m desperate to rid myself of. In that vein of thought however, I’ve never wanted to remove it surgically. I had been patiently waiting for science to catch up and find a non-invasive method to melt away the fat and voila!
I did my research, learned about the product itself, its medical claims, its pros and cons, the dangers, possible side effects, etc. When I made the decision to give it a try, finding a doctor certified to do it was a lot more difficult than I expected. For starters, you can’t just pick a doctor willy nilly. You want a doctor you trust. A doctor who stays current on modern medicine, errors on the side of caution and most importantly, is VERY good at their job. Cosmetic surgeons tend to all “Say” they’re the best but they lack in quality care, patient-to-patient individuality, and bedside manner. Until I came across Dr. Justin Yovino at Ideal Face & Body in Beverly Hills. Getting an email while I was at the peak of my search, once his name came across my email, I began looking into who he was and just what kind of medicine he practiced. Not only is he a licensed as a double Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon, he genuinely cares about you so his education and experience is not simply focused on vanity but how to keep every single patient healthy regardless of the procedures they choose.
I went into meet with Dr. Yovino to discuss partnering on a story for the Magazine and he agreed to do a treatment of Kybella. I should say that after doing the procedure, make sure you understand that most patients require at least three treatments and unfortunately, I was only able to do one. I want to walk you through my process every step of the way so here we go:
Step 1: Dr. Justin Yovino patiently explains the entire process of Kybella.
The active ingredient in KYBELLA® is synthetic deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath the chin, KYBELLA®destroys fat cells, resulting in a noticeable reduction in fullness under the chin. Once destroyed, these cells can no longer store or accumulate fat, so further treatment is not expected once you reach your desired aesthetic goal.
So, after hearing all of that, my focus was on “no longer store or accumulate fat” meaning once it’s gone, it’s gone. (Granted if you gain weight, new fat will find its way back to your chin so if you’re going to do it, be willing to commit to staying fit at the weight you’re at presently.) So, he gently started to explain how this process is going to be.
Step 2: Numb the area with topical numbing cream and use an ice pack to help numb the outer tissue. So this part is slightly time-consuming but you don’t want to rush being numb. The step will be the nicest part before injections so read carefully.
Step 3: Dr. Yovino takes out the vials of Kybella showing me exactly what we’re going to be injecting. He shows me the needles and everything. He cleans off the numbing cream and wipes any excess dirt off of the area. Then comes time to “map” out the injection site. Basically you are a human stencil. On your chin goes a triangular-like piece of temporary ink paper that has upwards of 50 tiny little dots that will act as injection sites. (Yes, that means you’re poked 50 times if necessary.)
Step 4: Time to do this. Honestly, I can’t imagine having done this with another doctor. Dr. Yovino is so calm and patient, talking you through every single step … and once those injections start? You need a calm voice to talk you off the ledge. IT HURTS. Like a lot. The needle penetrating the skin isn’t the problem, it’s the actual Kybella going into your fat. It’s like an intense sting that does not go away. If you’ve ever had surgery, imagine when the pain medication goes through the IV, the sting you feel once it’s in your vein – that’s the sting of this but it lasts longer (without the payoff of pain relief). My happy disposition goes silent while he continues and thankfully, his demeanor only gets kinder as my nerves tense up. He really is an amazing doctor. The intensity of the Kybella itself is real and in the moment, I start to wonder if I’d made a huge mistake. Soon enough, it’s over.
Step 5: Their office manager, Nancy, comes in to fit me for a head wrap. It will help keep everything where it needs to be and I’m not to engage in any rigorous exercise or activity for three days. (Free pass not to workout! Woohoo!) Dr. Yovino explains that there are a number of things I should expect but that every patient is different. Swelling, pain, bruising, etc. Nothing too out of the ordinary – BUT – the swelling. Considering I’ve just been injected with several ounces of fluid, he tells me some patients have been known to have swelling that looks a bit like a “bullfrog”. This is the only thing I’m worried about.
Day 1: My chin is definitely sore but I do exactly as he recommends and ice it all day/night on and off for the next 24-48 hours.
Day 2: Ice again and … BULLFROG. Yep, it’s legit. If any of you happen to see “The Boss” with Melissa McCartney, that turtleneck she sports the ENTIRE movie? I’m almost 100% certain she did Kybella. Her chin has all the signs. So, you can’t really go out for a few days. For me, it was almost two weeks. A lot more time than I figured.
Days 3-10: It feels like I have water jiggling in my chin as I walk or run. I ice it consistently every day, wear my head bandage/wrap and hope for the results. It can take a full month and for me, it did.
Day 30: I went back in to follow-up with Dr. Yovino. I had definitely seen some progress and reduction of chin fat. I did need two more complete treatments but wasn’t able to continue at this time.
The COME AWAY: Kybella probably works when you have the opportunity to complete a series of 3 full treatments over the course of 3 months but I can’t say with certainty that it’s a miracle worker. Since giving it a try, I’m noticing that while some of the fat is gone, it seems to have changed its distribution. Had I the additional $3000-4,000 to do the two more treatments, maybe I’d be humming a different, chinless tune.
I will say that Dr. Justin Yovino is an incredible doctor with immense talent and a phenomenal bedside manner. He practices medicine like they used to do back before the health insurance industry made everything a mess. He called to check up on me every day for the first week and any time I’d call the office with a question, he always made sure someone got back to me with answers. Overall I do believe Kybella is something worth exploring and eventually, when I can devote the time and budget, I will go back to see Dr. Yovino and put this new procedure to the test. Until then, and honestly it may be a few years before I decide to do it, I’ll go see Dr. Yovino for other non-invasive cosmetic treatments like Botox or laser treatments. The best advice I can give you is to be realistic with your expectations. No matter what procedures you’re going to embark on, educate yourself on every little aspect of it, be in optimum health, and then choose a doctor you can grow with. Dr. Yovino is that doctor for me.
Dr. Justin Yovino | 462 North Linden Drive, Suite 440 | Beverly Hills, CA 90210
IDEAL FACE & BODY | Appointment 310.887.9999