Lipodissolve involves a series of medicated injections that may melt away small, localized areas of fat, but not large areas. While the ingredients used in lipodissolve may vary depending on the doctor and the area being treated, the chemical cocktail typically includes phosphatidylcholine/deoxycholate (PC/DC), multivitamins, alpha lipid acid, enzymes and plant extracts. Phosphatidylcholine is a soybean extract, and deoxycholate is a bile derivative. Phosphatidylcholine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to break down blood fats that may increase risk for heart disease, but it is not approved for injection or any other purpose.
Some doctors may also add nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and hormones to the mixture. There is no standard ingredient list. Many of the individual ingredients are not FDA-approved on their own, let alone as part of a chemical cocktail. These cocktails are typically prepared in compounding pharmacies that specialize in customizing formulations of drugs based on a doctor’s orders.
During the lipodissolve procedure, your doctor injects the cocktail into the fat layers and connective tissue. The injection is relatively painless, with no need for anesthesia. The medication produces a chemical reaction to dissolve localized areas of fat. Typically, benefits are seen within three weeks of the treatment. Several treatments, four to six weeks apart, are often required to produce the maximum result. There is no downtime after lipodissolve.
Several theories exist to explain where the fat goes. Some researchers suggest it migrates to other areas of the body with fat cells, including the arteries. The amount of fat is so minuscule, however, that it likely causes no problems. Others believe the melted fat is naturally excreted from the body.