Dimpled, lumpy skin – excess fat deposits medically referred to as cellulite – affects more than 90 percent of American women. Cellulite doesn’t discriminate between different body types; it affects the full spectrum of women from the physically fit to the clinically obese. Cellulite is not caused by being overweight, and often does not respond to even the most rigorous of diet and exercise regimes. Cellulite, which commonly affects the back of the legs and buttocks, is not the only type of unwanted fat that refuses to budge through traditional weight loss means. Other troublesome fatty areas are made up of adipose tissue and include the inner thighs, abdomen, love handles, arms and hips. Each year millions of Americans try remedy upon remedy to smooth their problematic body areas, only to be disappointed by less than satisfactory results.
Many people who are dissatisfied with their body’s appearance have recently turned to a fat dissolving procedure called lipodissolve or sometimes injection lipolysis. Lipodissolve is a relatively non-invasive treatment that uses micro-fine needles to inject a combination of phosphatidylcholine and sodium deoxycholate directly into fatty tissues. Once injected, the drugs work to dissolve fat cells. As the fat cells dissolve, it is thought that the body clears them via the liver through the body’s normal waste-removal process.
Supporters of lipodissolve claim that any area above the knee can be treated with lipodissolve, which is usually done on the abdomen, hips, thighs, love handles jowls and under the chin. Treatments typically take 20-30 minutes. Practitioners may or may not administer anesthetic for the pain and discomfort that is commonly associated with lipodissolve injections. Lipodissolve clients often experience minor swelling, bruising, redness, and soreness. Supporters tell clients that improvement in appearance shows up after approximately four weeks, and will continue for up to twelve weeks as the body continues to eliminate the dissolved fat.
Proponents of lipodissolve maintain that it really works, although lipodissolve drugs have not been extensively studied or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which states that lipodissolve (often referred to as “PC/DC”) comprises administration of “unapproved drugs for unapproved uses.” Meanwhile, Kansas has attempted to pass legislation barring its physicians from giving PC/DC injections. A Kansas court, however, blocked the legislation from taking effect while the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts solicits public opinion and holds further discussion on the merits and dangers of this currently unapproved therapy. Outside the U.S., several countries have banned or warned against PC/DC treatments, including Brazil, the UK, and Canada.
Mesotherapy, like lipodissolve, is another minimally invasive fat injection treatment said to shrink or melt fat cells. Mesotherapy is similar to lipodissolve in that it is an injection treatment but, in mesotherapy, conventional medicines, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are injected into the middle layer of skin, rather than into the layer of fat. Critics say that there is no standard recipe used by those administering mesotherapy, which is one reason many doctors and government regulators are skeptical.
People receiving mesotherapy hope to improve the appearance of their skin above the fatty deposit by smoothing and tightening the skin’s connective tissue. The results, which may result after ten to 25 treatment sessions, is an even skin tone, rather than the ripples common to fatty areas. Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes with most recipients returning to work the same day.
No amount of diet and exercise can offer “spot reduction” or fat reduction from targeted areas of the body. Lipodissolve and mesotherapy, on the other hand, are said to reduce fat only where it appears in excess. The fat injection treatments are non-surgical, offering the promise of a better looking body fast. However, there has been little formal research conducted by physicians to ascertain whether lipodissolve and mesotherapy are safe and effective. And although PC/DC remains unapproved in the U.S. and has been banned or warned against in Brazil, the UK and Canada, lipodissolve businesses continue to operate domestically. Also, lipodissolve and mesotherapy practitioners should remind their clients that fat injections aren’t the end all solution to looking good. Clients need a healthy diet and should exercise in order to achieve maximum results.