Deoxycholic Acid

By Dr. Natalie Ledbetter CRNA, DAcOM


Deoxycholic acid, also known as cholanoic acid is a bile acid normally found in the human body that breaks down fats. The most well-known brand name deoxycholic acid is Kybella from Allergan, the makers of Botox.

This naturally occurring acid is used in aesthetic medicine to treat small areas of unwanted fat. Kybella is FDA approved to treat submental fat, otherwise known as a double chin. It and other formulations can be used off label to treat other areas such as bra fat, knees, inner thighs, etc.

Treatments can be done a month apart and 3 to 6 sessions are usually needed with Kybella in order to achieve desired results. Different treatment schedules might apply for other brands of deoxycholic acid.

The fat cells that are destroyed are then removed by your body over a few weeks after the injections. Repeat injections can be given a month after the previous treatment. So if 4 treatments were needed to get the desired outcome, the entire series could be completed in 3 months. The end result should then be seen within 4 months.

Side effects that could happen with deoxycholic acid injections include:

Pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling, redness at the injection sites

Deoxycholic acid can help a double chin
Deoxycholic acid can help a double chin



Firm lumps


Uneven smile or facial muscle weakness

Allergic reaction



What can be expected after the injections?

Swelling usually occurs after the deoxycholic acid injections and can last between 5 to 14 days. Occasionally some small areas of swelling may last a little bit longer, maybe up to four to six weeks. Improvement in the volume of fat in the treated area is usually noticed within one month to six weeks after the first treatment and the improvement continues after each treatment.

Who should not receive deoxycholic acid or Kybella treatments?

Anyone with:

Current infection in the area to be treated

Blood clotting issues such as hemophilia

Allergy to deoxycholic acid or any ingredient in the formulation

Pregnancy or breastfeeding


Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring acid that breaks down fat cells. It is most commonly used to treat a double chin but can be used in other areas with unwanted fat. If you want to see if it could be right for you and you live in central Texas or the Austin area, call L Aesthetics and Longevity to schedule a free consultation.


Want more information on Allergan’s Kybella? Click here.

Or here:

Click here for multiple options for treating a double chin or other unwanted fat.

Scroll to Top