Modern Lipo

Are Liposuction's Days


Can Kybella replace liposuction under the right circumstances? Well, it depends on what you’re trying to do, so those “right circumstances” become very important in answering this question. To a certain extent Kybella is indeed doing the work of a surgical body contouring procedure such as liposuction. But I don’t think anyone would argue that Kybella injections are as powerful as liposuction surgery. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other advantages, however.

Liposuction is a minimally invasive but relatively intense plastic surgery procedure. It requires some definite downtime afterwards to let your body heal. That’s why many potential patients are wondering: can Kybella replace liposuction?

Can Kybella Replace Liposuction in Some Situations?

If you aren’t familiar with Kybella, that’s okay. It’s still a relatively novel and innovative cosmetic surgery procedure. Kybella joins a long list of injectables currently on the market, but it differentiates itself in one important way: it eliminates fat. And, so far, that’s something no other injectable can claim to do.

Currently, Kybella is approved by the FDA to treat submental fat around the jawline. In other words, Kybella can, for some patients, eliminate the dreaded double-chin. What used to take a liposuction procedure can now be accomplished by a series of injections. And these injections don’t necessarily require a long recovery period. With such an easy way to eliminate unwanted fat, can Kybella replace liposuction? It seems like this would be a foregone conclusion at this point, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

How Does Kybella Work?

If Kybella is capable of magically eliminating unwanted fat from a certain part of the body, well, how does that even work? How is it possible for an injectable to make that kind of change to the body? The answer to that lies in the chemical composition of Kybella.

Deoxycholic acid, the primary ingredient in Kybella, is a synthetic version of fat-destroying chemicals already found in your body. Kybella is essentially a chemical copy of the compounds in your body that already break down fat. Think about it like this: the breakdown of fat in your body is accomplished naturally, via this particular chemical. Kybella simply copies this chemical.

The result is that, when injected into the submental area, the breakdown of fat increases in a rapid, but controlled way. The end result is that you lose some fat that otherwise would not have been lost and your jawline looks a little more sleek than it did before the treatments started.

Can Kybella Used Elsewhere on the Body?

Because Kybella works so effectively along the jawline, and because it’s simply a copy of a natural compound already found in your body, it’s natural to wonder whether this injectable could be used for other targets as well. Could you have Kybella injected into your belly in order to lose a little weight there? Currently, Kybella is only FDA approved for treating fat along the jawline, but there are some cosmetic surgeons who offer its use elsewhere (though, this is considered off-label use). Whether that’s something you feel comfortable pursuing at the moment will be up to the relationship you have with your cosmetic surgeon.

Can Kybella Compete With Liposuction?

So, here’s the thing. Liposuction is going to be around for quite a long time yet. That’s just because liposuction offers something that no cosmetic procedure can: the ability to remove a significant amount of fat in a controlled, contouring way. In that, liposuction has several advantages over as a body contouring procedure:

  • Performed properly, a liposuction is often able to subtly blend in your treated area with untreated areas, so the entire result at the end looks natural and cohesive.
  • For many patients, liposuction will lead to long-lasting results. There are even some patients who permanently lose the ability to grow fat in the treated area (though this can cause issues if the patient gains a substantial amount of weight).
  • Liposuction can remove a substantial amount of fat from just about anywhere on the body. The incision used for this is usually quite small, only a couple of centimeters. And while the recovery can be uncomfortable, the procedure itself is still minimally invasive.

In other words, liposuction is still a great way to achieve the body contouring results you want.

How Does Kybella Compare?

So why would you go for Kybella instead of liposuction? The answer to that one is pretty easy: Kybella does not require downtime and is significantly less uncomfortable. Kybella is also incredibly easy–and there are no surgical risks from your injections (although you should always talk to your surgeon about the safety of your procedure).

In other words, Kybella has the advantage of being quick, easy, and effective. It’ll be difficult for liposuction to rival Kybella in this one particular area… but for the rest of the body, Liposuction is still king of the hill. At least, for now.

Can Kybella replace liposuction? Probably not right this minute. But if there’s one thing that the introduction of Kybella has shown us, it’s that patients tend to prefer non surgical options when they can!

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Modern Lipo Statistics 2016


liposuction procedures performed in the United States in the year 2015


on average, between 8 and 12 pounds of fat can be removed using liposuction


Fat graft butt lift using liposuction performed in the U.S. in the year 2015