How Does Injection Lipolysis Work?

Injection lipolysis, also known as LipoDissolve, has been available in the United States for several years but has recently come under FDA scrutiny after several complaints of unexpected side effects. Injection lipolysis is marketed as a “fat melting” procedure that involves injecting a special solution into the fatty tissue to break down the fat cells. It is a non-invasive procedure that can produce results similar to liposuction.

Find out if you may be a good candidate for injection lipolysis by contacting a plastic surgeon in your area.

How Injection Lipolysis Works

Injection lipolysis is made with a combination of soy-based compounds and drugs, including phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate (PC and DC). Most people need to undergo a series of treatments in order to see results, and these can be administered approximately eight weeks apart. Results are permanent, and the injections can be administered to several areas of the body including the face, arms, abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

After the treatment, the body eliminates the fatty tissues through the natural elimination process. As the weeks go by, the body simply flushes out all of the excess toxins and fatty compounds, and any remaining skin can be tightened and toned with massage therapy, or body contouring procedures such as VelaShape and VelaSmooth.

Considerations with Injection Lipolysis

Injection lipolysis continues to be a controversial cosmetic procedure because some medical practitioners may not disclose what compounds they are using in the injection, and in many cases, cannot predict a positive outcome. Injection lipolysis has been banned in the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been alerting consumers that the treatment has not been approved or evaluated, and that the FDA is not aware of any clinical studies that support medical uses of the procedure.

Several medical associations have also issued warnings and caution consumers about the risks involved with injection lipolysis. The American Society of Plastic Surgeon and  the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety have both issued formal statements regarding the unwanted side effects of this procedure.

Still, a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2010 showed that fat-melting injections, including LipoDissolve and injection lipolysis, can help treat small pockets of fat. The study showed that the injections were able to reduce fat volume and thickness, and the procedure could even be an attractive option for those who did not want to undergo a procedure that involves anesthesia. (Source:

Some of the reported side effects of injection lipolysis include skin deformation, knots under the skin, infection at the treatment site, permanent scarring and excessive pain in the treatment area. In some cases, these problems cannot be reversed and may require surgical intervention. All physicians administering injection lipolysis procedures are required to tell patients what the side effects are, and how to manage any lumps, bruising and pain from the procedure.

Learn more about the latest liposuction procedures in our information guide, or consult with a plastic surgeon in your area  to find out if you may be a good candidate for injection lipolysis and other liposuction procedures.