Lipodissolve is used to reduce superficial fat deposits. It has had tremendous popularity in recent years. It is a simple solution of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate and is tiny localized injections into the desired areas to be treated. While there have been other formulas created that have included ingredients such as L-carnitine, aminophylline, collagenase, various vasodilators, and hyaluronidase, a standard formula with PC and DC are the essential ingredients. These ingredients have also been adopted by the American Society of Aesthetic Lipodissolve (ASAL) in the United States in 2004. Since then, several hundred practitioners in the US have treated thousands of patients.

So how does it work? The mechanism of action of the mixture is similar to bile, where in DC (a bile salt) breaks down the ingested fat cells, and PC assists the digestion and drainage of released fat. It has been shown when injected into subcutaneous fat, DC alone leads to adipocyte death. There is however, less pain, bruising, and induration when combined with PC. Once the fat cells are destroyed, they are slowly removed by macrophages in the inflammatory response, resulting in fat reduction in the area treated. Additionally, newly laid down collagen provides a skin tightening response.

What to expect…? Patients have some stinging and pain during, and for 30 minutes after the procedure, this can be reduced with icing. A variable amount of swelling and bruising develops in almost all patients, but subsides usually within 10 days. Typically 3-4 treatments are needed per area spaced 4-8 weeks apart. The fat reductions ranges from 1/4-3inches depending on the area and on the patient following an appropriate diet protocol post procedure.

Mahmud K, Crutchfield CE. Lipodissolve for body sculpting: safety, effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol..2012;5(10):16-19.

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Dr. Stefanie Maass PhD, FNP-C, FAARM