What is it?
Fat dissolving is considered a permanent treat whereby a substance is injected into the subcutaneous layer of the tissues where the fat cells reside. The substance destroys the cell membrane and the immune system then clears away the debris. The particular substance used is produced naturally in the body by the gallbladder and is released into the stomach to breakdown fats which we ingest, it behaves in the same manner when injected into fatty tissue in other parts of the body. By the time we reach adulthood we have produced all the fat cells we generally will in our lifetime and the existing cells expand and shrink as we gain and lose weight as opposed to losing or gaining new ones (the exception being if we gain significant amounts of weight, then our fat cells will divide and multiply). When these fat cells are physically removed (as with liposuction) or destroyed and disposed of by the immune system (fat dissolving injections) we no longer gain weight in the treatment area. The benefit of fat dissolving injections is that they are considered non invasive and the slow gradual destruction and removal of the fat cells, allows the skin to retract slowly resulting in less risk of loose skin. The even distribution of the product also doesn’t carry the risk of ‘tunnels’ or dimpling such as can occur with liposuction.
What to expect?
The treatment itself is quite comfortable and takes no longer than 30 minutes including consultation and marking up. Swelling is visible immediately and continues to swell post treatment as the fat cells begin to break down. The swelling is the bodies natural inflammatory response to tissue trauma. The swelling will persist for a period with the worst generally in the first 3-5 days and subsiding significantly by the 7 day mark. As with all inflammatory swelling, some swelling may persist for up to 4 weeks however, a majority is gone in the first week. In addition to swelling there is a sensation of numbness, this is temporary in most cases and is due to the fatty insulated layer which covers the nerve endings which is also targeted by the product. The nerve sheaths do regenerate and sensation returns to normal, as is resolved by the 4-8 week mark. In some cases a small patch can persist, this is not harmful, it’s just something to be aware of.
When will I see results?
After the swelling has subsided you will gradually start to notice the treatment area slimming as the fat cells are cleared away. Generally patients start to notice results at about 6-8 weeks with full results of treatment apparent at 10-14 weeks.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of treatments depends on the volume of fatty tissue present in the area and the patient’s own aesthetic goals. Generally we recommend between 2-4 treatments spaced 8-12 weeks apart. Unlike other treatments, you don’t not need to retreat in a specific timeframe as the fat which has been removed is removed permanently and if you miss a treatment, you just pick up where you left off the next time.
Can it be used anywhere?
In short yes, however, the doses used can only remove a small amount of fat with each treatment so it is most effective in small defined areas which deliver a large impact. We commonly treat double chin, bra bulge, pubic mound, knee bulge, banana roll and upper arm and it is very effective for stubborn pockets of body fat in people of low BMI. It is not recommended for people with higher BMI in large areas such as stomach, love handles, thighs or back. Although the product would work, a much larger number of treatments would be needed which would be very costly and time consuming to the patient. In these cases we would recommend liposuction.