In the last few years, fat-reduction procedures have become incredibly popular. There are now more clinics in Singapore offering a range of fat removal options - from surgical methods to non-invasive procedures. However, tumescent liposuction seems to remain one of the most popular aesthetic treatments for reducing stubborn fat.
In this article, we'll discuss a non-surgical fat-removal method that is promoted as an alternative to liposuction. The treatment is known as Lipodissolve and it is a type of mesotherapy (injection). What Lipodissolve does is uses a mix of medications to melt subcutaneous fat. However, the technique is not approved by Food and Drug Administration and is also banned by Singapore's Ministry of Health. Why is that so? Is this form of mesotherapy safe? Is it really effective at reducing fat? We will reveal the answers to these questions below.
Lipodissolve is a non-surgical way of reducing fat and contouring the body. It is a type of mesotherapy and involves injecting a combination of drugs into a particular area to eliminate unwanted fat. There are two types of chemicals that are commonly used as medications in lipo dissolving fat injections: Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Deoxycholate acid (DC). The injection may also contain minerals, vitamins or plant extracts. Lipodissolve is commonly marketed as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction.
In general, Lipodissolve is a type of mesotherapy that aims to eliminate fat deposits.
Mesotherapy refers to the injection of materials into the middle layer of skin for therapeutic purposes. The treatment can be used to treat a range of issues, including unwanted fats, cellulite, hair loss, skin ageing, and so on. Material types vary based on the purpose. For example, skin rejuvenation mesotherapy typically uses hyaluronic acid, while hair loss injections contain growth peptides, trace elements, minerals, and others.
The mesotherapy technique was found and popularized for the first time in 1952 by a French scientist, Dr Michel Pistor. He discovered this treatment by chance, after injecting a combination of medications on a deaf patient with an asthma attack. He found that the hearing of the individual was improved, although the doctor’s goal was to treat the other condition. This situation provoked the creator of mesotherapy to conduct clinical trials and summarize the conclusions from them.
After a while, Dr Pistor went to Paris and showed the results to the famous French doctor Carnot. They both developed special mesotherapy needles and started practising mesotherapy as a healing technique.
Since 1987, mesotherapy has been established as a medical speciality in France. Nowadays, mesotherapy is a legitimate and widely used treatment modality in the country.
During Lipodissolve, medications are injected into the fat pockets to reduce fat storage. The technique requires small amounts of injections in a series of treatments. It is supposed to help dissolve the fat locally.
As we mentioned above, Lipodissolve injections usually consist of vitamins, enzymes and substances called phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Sodium Deoxycholate (DC). PC is an emulsifier that is normally found in food such as eggs, soybeans, mustard, sunflower, and a variety of other plants. All cells throughout the body contain this substance. DC is a salt component naturally found in the human liver, and it breaks down fats found in food. It is believed that the combination of these two substances can break down fats within our fat cells into a liquid that can pass through the body and be excreted. Fat cells are naturally eliminated by the body over a period of time. The results of this procedure should be seen after a month. However, it is believed that the treatment must be repeated multiple times in order to be more effective.
Fat-dissolving injections can be applied in specific areas of the face and body. These include:
The aim of fat-melting injections is to contour the body rather than weight loss.
Lipodissolve injections have been reported to cause the following side effects and complications:
The fat-dissolving technique appears to be effective according to some studies. Nevertheless, most studies done thus far were small so it is hard to say if this treatment is actually effective. Furthermore, its safety hasn't been established yet. It is considered that phosphatidylcholine which is one of the medications used in lipo dissolve injections is unpredictable and may lead to unwanted side effects and complications. The drug is not approved by FDA and is currently prohibited in many South American countries. Injections called Kybella are the only fat-dissolving injections that are approved worldwide.
Lipodissolve is a stronger version of a medication that is available for the face called Kybella. Kybella is primarily used to treat double chin or submental fat but it cannot treat larger body areas such as the abdomen, thighs, arms or others.
Kybella has been in the market since 2015. Its active ingredient is deoxycholic acid, which is used for Lipodissolve too. However, phosphatidylcholine is not contained in Kybella as it is in Lipodissolve.
Kybella injections are approved by FDA. It is considered a safe way to bring down small amounts of fat namely under the chin or in the jaw area. However, it may require up to six treatment sessions to achieve results, as opposed to neck liposuction where only one session is required.
Good candidates for Kybella are people with moderate to severe accumulation of fat in the area below the chin or with a double chin who find this area is resistant to appropriate lifestyle modifications with diet and exercise.
Mesotherapy injections for cosmetic purposes have been banned by Singapore's Ministry of Health. According to the MoH, Mesotherapy, carboxytherapy, and other treatments that belong under this category has little scientific merit. Additionally, the dosage and protocol of these chemical mixtures are not fixed, so they cannot be predicted as to how they will work or what side effects they will have. While there is evidence that the injections can work, there are also concerns about their safety and whether they can actually cause more harm than good.
In terms of body contouring, traditional liposuction is a proven method that gives dramatic and long-lasting results. Even though the lipo procedure is very effective - it's not right for everyone. Many patients opt for non-surgical fat reduction treatments because they are less invasive and often much less expensive.
Here are some lipo alternatives for fat reduction.
All treatments listed above are FDA approved and available in Singapore.
The popularity of minimally invasive cosmetic treatments in Singapore has grown greatly. These types of procedures are relatively affordable, not too painful and provide quick aesthetic results. Additionally, you usually do not need any special preparation and recovery time is relatively fast.
Every year, a variety of injections are introduced with great promises of effectiveness. However, there are also many counterfeit drugs that have low prices but can lead to adverse side effects and even harm patients. To get the best treatment and to stay safe, it is essential to know about the treatment you get and to trust only doctors who are licensed and have the necessary training.
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