Lipolysis is the name of a non-surgical treatment for smaller accumulations of fat. The area to be treated is first anaesthetised using an anaesthetic cream. A number of small injections are used to insert a fluid into the subcutaneous fatty tissue. This is a solution whose main active ingredient is phosphatidylcholine, a substance obtained from soya.
This substance has long been used as a treatment to dissolve fat emboli, which are droplets of fat that have entered the bloodstream during a surgical procedure.
When this substance is injected into fatty tissue, it has been found to reduce the fat tissue over the three to four months after the injection. The precise mechanism of action has not yet been fully elucidated.
After the treatment the area feels as if it is slightly inflamed: swollen, red, warm and also very itchy. This continues for about one week. After this time, the area that has been treated looks just as it did before. Over a period of three to four months the subcutaneous fat melts away. Usually a single treatment is sufficient. If there is a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat, it may be recommended to repeat the treatment.
There is a limit to the quantity of phosphatidylcholine that can be administered in one treatment. The maximum area that can be treated in one session is therefore 16 x 30 cm.