Lipolysis / Lipodissolve
What is Lipodissolve?
Lipodissolve is a trademarked term used to describe non-surgical fat dissolving through injectable concoctions. These can be entirely safe, medically-reviewed and even Health Canada or FDA approved. (such as Belkyra/Kybella)
However, the term “Lipodissolve” is used very loosely ‘out there.’ There have been many false claims about substances being injected into people while using this term.
On that note, “Lipodissolve” can also be referred to as injection lipolysis, Lipostabil, lipotherapy, lipozap and mesotherapy.
Whatever you want to call them, Lipodissolve injections are not meant to replace diet and exercise. They can’t help with obesity. However, they are purported to reduce excess fat in small, localized areas of the body.
These injections usually contain phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate as fat-dissolvers. However, they can be combined with other things. Mixins can include enzymes, vitamins, minerals, herbs or amino acids (like L-carnitine) that are touted as being beneficial for weight loss. Some can even include hormones, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs.
All of these solutions aim to kill off fat cells through internal chemical reactions. Ideally, these chemical processes would mimic your own body’s response to excess fat, by ‘burning’ it away, so-to-speak.
Targeted fat takes weeks or months to dissipate after injection sessions. This is because it takes time for the body to dispose of the destroyed fat cells (through urine or stool).
Multiple treatments are typically needed to see results. These are spaced about one month apart.
Frequently Asked Questions
While we can’t speak to all products claiming to be “Lipodissolve” (since they are all different), we can say that the general claims of Lipodissolve injection benefits are as follows:
- They can get rid of fat without other expensive options
- They don’t involve downtime, nor do they require anaesthetic.
- They can dissolve fat growths, such as lipomas.
- They can correct leftover surgical deformities from liposuction.
- They can help to reduce cellulite.
- They use substances or derivatives of substances naturally found in our bodies.
- They can enhance the effects of other non-surgical fat removal procedures.
- They have been used for decades, and are common in Europe and other countries.
- They can be injected in less than 1 hour per session.
Lipodissolve can be dangerous when it is not sold under a prescription, brand-name product. It can also be dangerous when made on the ‘black market,’ without a licensed pharmacy backing the end-product. It should never be sold on the direct-to-consumer market.
Reported side effects can include:
- Itching, swelling, bruising and redness at the injection sites.
- Uneven body contouring and shaping.
- Formation of scars, lumps or hard spots near the injection sites, which can be painful.
- Numbness or tingling at the injection sites.
- Fat migration to arteries (this is theorized).
- Other allergic reactions.
Some claim that wearing compression garments and avoiding exercise immediately post treatment can help to reduce the above side effects.
Mesotherapy is a term to describe Lipodissolve injections that include ‘extras’ like vitamins, herbal extracts, and other homeopathic remedies. It is named so because these injections are inserted into the mesoderm, which is partially composed of the middle layer of skin, where some bodily fats are located. This is typically where cellulite occurs, for instance.
When we mentioned Health Canada approvals for Lipodissolve products above, we were mainly speaking of Belkyra. This injectable deoxycholic acid fluid goes by the name Kybella® in the United States, where it is also FDA approved. Officially, it is designed to get rid of a double chin, otherwise known as submental fullness.
Belkyra™ is used in much the same way as Lipodissolve. It was groundbreaking in its release because it could pass approval by governmental authorities in North America. It is a standardized formulation made by Allergan, a reputable drug company that also makes BOTOX AND JUVEDERM for beauty-related dermal injections.
At present, Belkyra is designated for use under the chin only. However, it can be used as an off-label, fat-removal treatment on any other area of the body.
The short answer is: yes! A trained doctor can use Belkyra™ for fat removal anywhere on the body, where it would be appropriate to do so.
Belkyra™ can also be used to enhance the effects of other non-surgical fat removal procedures.
Now, the crux of the matter is this: should you use Lipodissolve or other non-surgical fat removal methods? For example, today, we have options such as cryolipolysis fat freezing with CoolSculpting. Or, we can use hot sculpting (fat melting) with Fotona.
In our experience, Lipodissolve is a much older method compared to modern-day technologies like CoolSculpting. The latter are much more effective at getting rid of love handles, tummy fat, thigh fat etc. They can be used on large areas of the body, eliminating the need for tiny, meticulous injections. You can read or relax during their treatment sessions, too.
The other advantage to CoolSculpting® is that they work under your skin, without needle pokes. This makes them even less invasive than Lipodissolve.
It’s true that technician training is essential to any good fat removal treatment. However, there is less that could likely go wrong when using these technologies.
That said, CoolSculpting® does have their own sets of disclaimers, warnings and potential side effects. These are usually rare, related to allergies, or are expected (like mild swelling and numbness after treatments). They can go away on their own. You can read more about these technologies at their aforementioned links.
Cost-wise, it’s not incredibly more money to opt for machines to remove fat, versus using Lipodissolve or Belkyra™. Both types of treatments require multiple sessions to be effective. And, results can depend on your own body’s reaction, regardless.
Ultimately, an experienced Medical Aesthetic Provider should be recommending a solution for your case. Sometimes, Belkyra™ is the best fit. Other times, you’ll probably get a lot more out of CoolSculpting®.
In conclusion, we have seen that while Lipodissolve doesn’t necessarily indicate a rogue treatment for fat removal, it can mean different things in different contexts. The concoctions used in these treatments can encompass mesotherapy, which adds nutrients to the mix (and that can be ok).
However, some additives can be downright dangerous and may not have been reviewed for safety. It’s hard to tell, since the term is used loosely by doctors, naturopaths and spa workers.
The safest form of Lipodissolve would be a standardized formula, or a medically-approved drug proven to work, and administered by a licensed medical professional. Our clinic use Belkyra™. It is designated for chin fat removal, but it can be used as an off-label treatment anywhere on the body.
However, the question still remains: why would you want Lipodissolve when you can get better results with CoolSculpting®?
These newer forms of non-surgical fat removal can do a lot more, in less time, and for roughly the same cost. Belkyra™ can be used to boost fat removal treatments, sure. It is also great for chin fat, of course. But it doesn’t need to be the only option.