Editorial note: this article was updated on July 23, 2020.
- What is Lipodissolve?
- Lipodissolve vs. mesotherapy
- Lipodissolve vs. Belkyra™
- When to opt for Lipodissolve vs CoolSculpting® or hot sculpting
Lipodissolve can sound like a ‘magic pill’ for getting rid of fat. All you need to do is allow a doctor or naturopath to inject you with potion, and poof! Fat’s gone! Right? No, not really. It’s a little more complicated than that.
If you’re considering Vancouver Lipodissolve treatments, there are some things you should know about it first. First and foremost, not all Lipodissolve treatments are created equal. Neither are their injectors. Those two factors alone can determine the success of treatments, or the ill side-effects you may experience from them.
On a positive note, professional Lipodissolve treatments can be a great solution for ‘stubborn fat,’ especially in specific areas of the body.
Keep reading below to learn more about this non-surgical fat removal option, and whether or not you should get it.
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.
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.
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 expensive surgery.
- 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 use substances that have been applied in other medical contexts, such as for reducing plaque in arteries.
- 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 side effects and warnings
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.
Now, despite the above, some doctors and naturopaths claim that their specially-made, fat-killing cocktails are safe and effective. They may have their recipes compounded at pharmacies. Or, they may use drugs approved for other purposes as off-label applications for cosmetic treatments (which is fine; see this study where positive results were garnered from doing this).
However, without peer-reviewed studies of a specific formula, it would be hard to prove the safety and consistency of results on a wide array of people. So, at best, patients may experience anecdotal evidence that a specific formula works for them. Or, they may experience nothing at all. Worse, they may have adverse side effects.
But, anyone can sell the promise of easy fat removal with a ‘secret sauce.’ This can happen in ‘back alley spas’ and even in people’s homes. So, we would say it is generally ill-advised to undergo this procedure without looking into the credentials of the person performing it. If you do decide to have it done, at least ensure it is with a licensed physician. Speak up, and ask what is in the solution they are offering you.
Whether safe or not, no one who is pregnant or immunocompromised should undergo any type of Lipodissolve procedure.
Lipodissolve vs. mesotherapy
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.
Lipodissolve vs. Belkyra™
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 Juvéderm® for beauty-related dermal injections.
Can Belkyra™ be used on parts of the body other than the chin?
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. Though, we would warn that any cosmetic injection should only be done by a trained physician.
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. We’ll describe these below.
When to opt for Lipodissolve vs CoolSculpting® or hot sculpting
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 radio-frequency machines like truSculpt® iD.
In our experience, Lipodissolve is a much older method compared to modern-day technologies like CoolSculpting® and truSculpt® iD. The latter are much more effective at getting rid of love handles, tummy fat, thigh fat and even facial fat. 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.
Radio-frequency devices, like truSculpt® iD, will even work to tighten the skin, which can help with cellulite and sagginess.
The other advantage to CoolSculpting® and fat melting with technologies like truSculpt® iD, 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® and truSculpt® iD do 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 doctor 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® or hot sculpting.
To conclude: Lipodissolve can mean many things, and there are better options anyways
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 physician. Our clinic doctors 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® or fat melting with radio-frequency technologies?
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.
See related our site:
- Vancouver facial slimming: how the face accumulates fat and what you can do with facial fat removal
- Vancouver (Surrey) Belkyra™ injections to get rid of chin fat (submental fullness)
- Get rid of unwanted fat with laser fat removal and fat dissolvers in Surrey (Vancouver)