Will Kybella Live Up to the Hype? See How Other Highly Anticipated Treatments Have Fared Before


Will Kybella Live Up to the Hype?

Graphic by Shelby Evans

There’s a new cosmetic procedure in town. Kybella, previously known as ATX-101, reduces upper neck fat without surgery; it’s been heralded as the end of the double chin with expectations running high for its manufacturer, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

While Kybella is the first product to specifically tackle the double chin, it’s not the first beauty product to be touted as the Next Big Thing. Thanks to headlines that claim miracle fixes, it’s easy to place high expectations on new elective cosmetic procedures only to have them fall short once they hit the market.

Take Zerona, for example. This fat-busting technology uses low-level lasers to disrupt fat cells — an exciting innovation that, after the FDA gave it the thumbs up in 2010, got a whole lot of buzz.

“It makes me feel like I will fit into my bikini this summer!” one woman wrote for Huffington Post UK. Another told the New York Times that she lost 11 inches off her waist, hips, and thighs after $3,400 worth of treatments. Unfortunately, that level of success doesn’t seem to be the norm. On RealSelf, Zerona’s Worth It Rating has hit a four-year low with interest in the product decreasing by 36% between 2013 and 2014.

See How Zerona's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

But for all the methods that fall short once the hype wears off, there’s an option like Botox — a product that has steadily gained in customer satisfaction. It’s gone from a Worth It Rating of 60% in December 2009 to 78% five years later. Even more telling, consumers stay consistently happy with the treatment in the months following their trip to the doctor’s with the product currently sitting at 80% satisfaction.

Below are how other highly anticipated treatments have fared. See how customer satisfaction — as determined by the consumer Worth It Rating on RealSelf — changes over time as additional consumers rate and review the specific procedure.

Average cost: $2,375
What it does: Removes fat with ultrasound energy
FDA approval: 2011
Finding: Immediately following its debut on RealSelf, the product had a strong approval rating at 87%. In the years since that’s dropped to the low 40s.

See How Liposonix's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

Average cost: $5,975
What it does: Thin tubes called cannulas inserted into the body dislodge and suck out fat
Finding: This iconic cosmetic surgery is also one of the highest rated, with a current Worth It Rating of nearly 90%.

See How Liposuction's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

Average cost: $2,375
What it does: Radio frequency destroys fat cells using heat
FDA approval: 2012
Finding: Customer satisfaction has stayed pretty consistent in recent years, hitting a high of 89% in mid-2014 and then moving to the low 70s.

See How Vanquish's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

Average cost: $5,775
What it does: Busts cellulite by inserting a small laser under the skin
FDA approval: 2012
Finding: While approval was initially high, the Worth It Rating has steadily dropped over the years.

See How Cellulaze's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

Average cost: $1,725
What it does: Harnesses the power of cold to freeze and destroy fat
FDA approval: 2012
Finding: Interest increased 21% between 2013 to 2014. But while more people may be searching the product, they’re not always pleased with the results. The Worth It Rating has stayed in the mid-60s since 2013 with the RealSelf audience currently giving it a rating of 63%.

See How CoolSculpting's Customer Satisfaction Has Changed Over Time

There’s no way to know which way Kybella will go. Will it live up to the hype, or will inflated hopes only leave people disappointed?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Elisabeth Kramer is former managing editor of RealSelf Trends.

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