September 24, 2016
2 min read

Early results with off-label use of Kybella mixed, plastic surgeon reports

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LOS ANGELES — Off-label use of Kybella for treating fat in areas of the body beyond submental fullness has had mixed results thus far, according to a speaker at Plastic Surgery The Meeting.

Phil Haeck, MD, a plastic surgeon practicing in Seattle and a past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, spoke during the Hot Topics in Plastic Surgery session about his experiences treating various areas of body fat with Kybella (deoxycholic acid, Allergan), which has been approved by the FDA for treating submental fat. He reported mixed results in the treatment areas.

Phil Haeck, MD
Phil Haeck

He has seen success using Kybella in reducing fat that is on the border of the pectoral muscle in women.

Haeck also said he uses Kybella to trim small amounts of fat that would remain after breast reduction.

“It’s very useful and it avoids having to go back in surgically and take that fat out,” Haeck told

He has used Kybella to treat brachial fat, but because it is a large area, it requires greater amount of product, and due to the body area size and the worry about the fat not retracting, patients are less likely to notice a sizeable difference.

While he has not used the product to treat fat bulge behind the knee, he feels it is a promising treatment.

One area where Haeck reports disappointment in the results of Kybella is in the face when adjusting for fat grafting.

“I think that’s because that fat isn’t pure fat after a year. It actually becomes fat and scar or fibrotic,” Haeck said. “After a graft something happens to it. It’s probably been changed either mechanically or the actual molecules may have changed in the year since the graft.”

“When [Kybella] first came out, we thought we’d be able to adjust fat grafts all over the body, and I don’t think that’s going to be a promising area to study,” Haeck said.

Haeck told that he does not promote the off-label use of Kybella, and informs any patients receiving the treatments that they are off label, and he charges them his cost for the product. – by Bruce Thiel

Disclosure : was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

Haeck, P. 701. Hot Topics in Plastic Surgery. Presented at: Plastic Surgery The Meeting; Sept. 23-27, 2016; Los Angeles.