Injection lipolysis is a procedure of aesthetic medicine involving the injection of a special substance into selected areas of the body, which causes the dissolution, release into the blood and excretion of fat cells from the body. Performing a series of injections allows for efficient body shape modelling and weight loss. What are the effects of this aesthetic medicine procedure? Are there any contraindications to its performance? What do the injection lipolysis procedures look like?
- Lipolysis is a natural enzymatic process in adipose tissue with the participation of lipases, involving the breakdown of triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids.
- People who use the services of an aesthetic physician for the removal of excess body fat most often want to get rid of a double chin, folds of fat on the back or abdomen and the so-called bull neck.
- The main contraindications for the performance of such an appearance correction include, for example, autoimmune diseases, acute and chronic infections, cancer and blood clotting problems.
- After the punctures, a number of side effects may occur, such as bruising of the skin, swelling, pain of varying intensity, thickening at the injection site, as well as allergic reactions to phosphatidylcholine.
What is lipolysis?
Lipolysis is an enzymatic process popular in medicine that involves the hydrolytic breakdown of triglycerides (triacylglycerols). It takes place in adipose tissue with the participation of lipases. These chemical transformations result in the formation of glycerol and fatty acids, which are then released into the bloodstream. They are then taken up by various body tissues and undergo esterification to acylglycerols. Often they are also oxidized to water and carbon dioxide as the main source of energy.
Aesthetic medicine uses this mechanism for easy body contouring. It is a non-invasive medical procedure performed under local anaesthesia. It consists in performing a series of injections of a specialised substance into places where large amounts of fat accumulate – arms, thighs, abdomen or neck. The procedure itself lasts from 20 to 50 minutes depending on the area it covers, however, the process of destruction and excretion of fat tissue from the human body takes up to several weeks.
The products most commonly injected during injection lipolysis are:
- fostatidylcholine (lecithin),
- organic silica,
- deoxycholate (bile salt).
The former chemical, along with deoxycholate, is used in anti-embolism therapy because both are able to dissolve fatty blockages. Lecithin significantly increases the permeability of the cell membrane, thereby facilitating the excretion of excess fat from the human body. In addition, it promotes rapid fat burning in the process of weight loss and has a positive effect on liver function, supporting the regeneration of hepatocytes and preventing fatty liver.
The main property of L-carnitine is faster absorption of fats and their excretion from the human body. L-carnitine plays an important role in lipid metabolism by transporting long-chain fatty acids to the mitochondria where they can undergo beta-oxidation. At the same time, it removes short- and medium-chain fatty acids from these cell organelles, which in excessive concentrations can be toxic to the human body.
It is worth knowing that silica, an organic silicon compound also called silanol, is used as a rejuvenating agent as it is known for its connective tissue regenerating properties. It acts as a regulator of cell division and transformation. It is often used in mesotherapy to prevent facial skin ageing, hair loss or cellulite formation.
What is injection lipolysis treatment?
A visit to the aesthetic medicine specialist performing an injection lipolysis procedure should begin with an extensive interview. The doctor must obtain information from the patient about past medical history, current medications and allergies.
If he does not find any contraindications, he marks the area to be injected, disinfects it and applies an ointment with anaesthetic. Then the specialist prepares the preparation in syringes and performs a series of injections. The whole process takes about 20 to 50 minutes depending on the size of the injected area.
Many specialists recommend that after the swelling subsides, you begin to gently massage the injected lipolysis body areas. Thanks to this, the preparation will be evenly distributed in the tissues and the injection will give better results. It will also significantly enhance its effect. In case of large swellings, doctors recommend performing lymphatic drainage.
Indications for injection lipolysis treatment
Injection lipolysis has become increasingly popular in recent years. Both men and women can go for a consultation with a plastic doctor who performs such services. However, many people considering liposuction (liposuction) opt for injection lipolysis because it is a less invasive procedure. Additionally, the price of the former procedure is much higher than the latter.
The main indication of lipolysis is the willingness to shape the silhouette by removing excessive amounts of fat accumulated in a specific part of the body. It is especially recommended when the fat on the patient’s body accumulates around the armpits, knees, face and neck. These are the areas where it is difficult to get rid of excess fat with exercise. Additionally, the liposuction procedure cannot be performed in this area of the body as it is too delicate.
Many people mistakenly believe that it is a way to combat excess weight or obesity. Injection lipolysis treatments can only aid in the weight loss process. In order to maintain the results achieved in the doctor’s office, you should introduce regular exercise and a healthy diet into your life. Returning to old habits may further deteriorate the patient’s body condition.
The main indications for injection lipolysis are:
- folds of fat on the back or abdomen,
- double chin,
- bull neck,
- local fatness,
- wanting to get rid of cellulite,
- body shaping,
- removal of lipomas,
- Thighs, hips or knees that are too wide or disproportionate,
- male gynecomastia,
- the desire to firm body tissues.
Contraindications for injection lipolysis treatment
Contraindications for injection lipolysis treatment include:
- allergies (both cutaneous and to any of the ingredients contained in the injected preparation),
- severe liver and kidney disease,
- acute and chronic infections,
- blood diseases associated with excessive bleeding and clotting problems
- autoimmune diseases (e.g. thyroid diseases, RA)
The doctor should also not perform the lipolysis procedure if the patient is taking any medications that thin the blood. This type of injection cannot be taken by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Similarly, people struggling with diabetes with vascular disorders and those suffering from epilepsy.
Not many people realize that being significantly overweight is also a factor that excludes taking part in injection lipolysis. The same is true of any injury to the body or a break in the continuity of the skin in the area of the procedure performed – they prevent the injection.
What effects can be obtained?
People who plan to perform injection lipolysis often wonder what benefits they can expect after undergoing a series of punctures. The basic and most noticeable change is a reduction in the circumference of the injected areas up to 4-5 cm. Skin nutrition and microcirculation are improved. Injection of a specialist preparation stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin and significantly accelerates the metabolism of fat cells. A great improvement in patients’ self-esteem is also noted.
Possible side effects – what to expect after the procedure?
Depending on which area is injected, the effects can be seen in just a few days. However, sometimes you have to wait up to three weeks to see the desired results. After the injection, bruising or redness of the skin, swelling, and even pain of varying severity may occur. The most serious of the problems, although extremely rare, is skin necrosis.
Complications that occur very occasionally include:
- allergic reactions to the injected preparations – mainly phosphatidylcholine;
- scars, discolouration or thickening of the skin – usually appearing in the place where the needle entered the body;
- cardiovascular dysfunction – such as an increase in sweating or a feeling of weakness;
- diarrhoea and short-term disruption of the menstrual cycle;
- local sensory disturbances on the skin.
Injection lipolysis is a procedure involving the injection of a special preparation into excessively fatty tissues which aids in the decomposition of fat. The main indications for injection include a double chin, buffalo neck, folds on the back or abdomen or gynecomastia in men. The doctor will not allow performing the injections if the patient is allergic to the injected substances, suffers from epilepsy, has problems with liver or kidney function or is pregnant. People notice the effects of lipolysis already after a few days after the procedure.