Fat dissolving injections and body shaping: what works for what? Dr Bhavjit Kaur explains.
Many people have pockets of stubborn fat that are hard to get rid of even after weight loss. So what can help get rid of it? Dr Kaur uses a number of devices in her Health and Aesthetics Clinic and here she runs through the pro’s and con’s of some of them.
Fat Dissolving injections
“Aqualyx is good for removing stubborn pockets of fat. It is injected using a cannula just under the skin where goes to work to break down the fat cells using a type of bile acid produced in the liver that helps dissolve out food called deoxycholic acid. It is for superficial fat and takes around 4-6 weeks to get results,” Dr Kaur says,
“Between 2-6 treatments may be needed depending on the pocket of fat and the size of the area being treated. You can a maximum of 5 injections in one session, as the liver has to process the fat that has been broken down and you don’t want to overload the liver.
“It is good for double chins and love handles and the results are permanent as long as you don’t regain weight.
“It can be painful. There can be swelling and bruising. The chin area can swell for around two weeks and then the swelling goes down. In other parts of the body it’s more like a ‘lunchtime procedure’ and they can go to work straight afterwards.
“After the treatment we do some ultrasound as well which causes cavitation – it causes the fluid in the cells to vibrate and helps break up the cells to speed up the process.”
Are there spots where you can’t have it?
Dr Kaur says: “We don’t, as a rule go, above the cheek bone. We don’t do the breast area either.
“There is a risk of nerve damage and it could take 6-7 weeks to come back so you need a medical practitioner who knows their anatomy.
“It is one of the most popular treatments in our clinic and is seen as a good alternative to liposuction by many patients as there is no scarring or risk from the anaesthetic.
“People who are pregnant or have any disorders with their fat such as lipodystrophy should not have the procedure.”
Dr Kaur says: “This freezes the water in the fat cells and selectively spares the other cells that surround the fat cells. The cells bursts open and the fat spills out and over the next 2-3 months is removed by the lymphatic system. It removes around 20% of the fat in the area that’s being treated and it generally requires more than one session to get results. The session are usually 60-80 days later.
“It causes permanent death to the fat cells, so if you don’t gain weight you the results should last.
“It is good for love handles, the inside of thighs, the stomach and double chins.
“Because it goes very deep it is not suitable for areas. The areas it can treat is limited as well by the size of the cup that’s used in the treatment.”
According to Dr Kaur radiofrequency “is good for cellulite and reducing the orange peel appearance. It too breaks the fat cells but you need more session to get the results.
“Each session is cheaper than cryolipolysis but in the long run it may cost you more because it needs more sessions.
“It has to reach a temperature of 40% to be effective so the user should be experienced.
“It is the technology that is the same for skin tightening but in this case the radiofrequency goes deep to reach the fat cells rather than concentrating on the dermis.
“It is possible to get a simultaneous skin tightening effect as well.”
“HIFU uses high frequency ultrasound. It is good for shaping the jaw line and reducing the heaviness of the jowls as well as giving a nice lifting effect,” Dr Kaur says.
“It vibrates the cells and the cells burst open and kills the fats cells and the body gets rid of it in the same way as the other treatments, via the lymphatic system.”
Dr Kaur explains: “This is used after some treatments to help improve circulation and the lymphatic system to help improve the speed of recovery. It is not a fat busting system itself but is used as an aid to recovery.”
Dr Kaur says these are not weight loss treatments but are contouring in areas where you can’t shift the fat. They are not a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Home use devices for body sculpting- are they worth the money?
“I wont say they’re a total waste of money – some can be good. For example we have laser light hair removal products for home use to help maintain results.
“The home cryrolipolysis device though don’t get cold enough so you may need more sessions using it or you may not get the result you desire.
“With the radiofrequency – if it doesn’t reach 40 degrees is may not work well. It’s vital to follow the manufacturers instructions and only use it as directed. And then there it also the question of finding the time to do these treatments regularly. If you are really committed it may show some results.
“HIFU is painful if done in the right manner so I don’t think there are home HIFU products and if there are, it would be very difficult to inflict pain on yourself.
Always make sure any devices you buy have a CE mark – this will ensure they have been passed as safe to use – it is not, however, an indication that they are effective.