Kybella, the FDA approved fat-melting injectable has been a godsend for those looking to address moderate to severe fat on the upper neck area. This non-invasive and non-surgical treatment uses deoxycholic acid to destroy fat cells that are then metabolized by the body naturally. Previously, this area was only able to be addressed with liposuction or surgical tucks, but thanks to this injectable, plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and select dermatologists are able to address this submental area with this far simpler treatment.
The fact that Kybella can dissolve fat got me wondering about it’s other possible uses. Could this injectable actually turn out to be the holy grail in fat reduction for other areas with excess fat as well? I asked board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian S. Glatt, M.D., F.A.C.S. what other areas might be right for this treatment. According to Glatt, “Kybella could theoretically be used to treat many other areas of unwanted fat (the outer thigh saddlebags area a good example of this), but determining proper dosages as well as identifying potential pitfalls in other anatomic areas should be a focus of study to ensure safe use of Kybella.” This appears to be another case where “better safe than sorry” rings true. “When products are used off-label, they’re basically being used in a manner which is outside its formal FDA approval. It doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe for you or ineffective, however it does denote that a product has not been specifically studied for use in that particular situation,” says Glatt . He sites Botox as an example of a product that’s used very effectively off-label. Though it has a number of FDA indications, it is used off-label for wrinkles of the forehead, even though this area remains one of the most commonly treated with Botox.”
As with any aesthetic cosmetic procedure, Dr. Glatt cautions that any off-label uses need to be approached carefully. “Without formal study leading to an FDA approved indication, it is difficult to predict if side effects and or risks are reversible if used in an off label manner,” he explains.” Since the same side effects and risks apply to Kybella whether it is being used as indicated or off label, the fact that it can be damaging to nerves and muscles makes it particularly important for your doctor to proceed with extra caution if it’s being used off-label where it might be closer to these vital structures.
If you think Kybella might be the answer to your prayers, make sure you’re in the right hands before undergoing this treatment. Look for a board certified plastic surgeon or board certified dermatologist who can administer it safely and determine if it’s the right treatment for you. Do your homework and check your doctors credentials to ensure they have the proper training and experience in this area so that you’re fully satisfied with the results.
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(featured image via pinterest)