Cutting the Fat - Non-Surgical Fat Dissolving

I originally wrote this blog post in December 2016 as I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Allergan's specialised fat dissolving injections to Australia. I though it was time to update the post following well over a year of experience with the treatment and after many brilliant results.

I remember being at home over my Christmas holidays and researching the treatment like mad leading up to the launch in Sydney, February 2017. 

Australia finally welcomed this treatment last year, designed as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction in the treatment of double chins (or submental fat) This product is known as Fat Dissolving Injections (we cannot use it's brand name due to Australian regulations) and has been shown in studies to be a safe and effective treatment for permanent removal of double chin fat. A simple google search will tell you what the product is called both in Australia and overseas. 

So without further ado - all you need to know about our incredible fat dissolving treatment

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

A double chin is a bothersome problem. Often resistant to diet and exercise, this stubborn pocket of submental fat can make someone look overweight when they are not and hide an otherwise beautiful jawline. Many people with a double chin won't pose for photos side on and are often very self conscious.

Submental fat has been a difficult area to treat. Non-invasive skin treatments such as radiofrequency skin tightening or RF microneedling do not target the underlying fat, (simply tighten the skin) and older methods of fat dissolving lipolysis or mesotherapy require multiple treatments without a significant benefit in some. Other non-surgical modalities like cool sculpting for example is very practitioner dependent and can often leave people with lumpy areas and without a smooth profile (which is what we are trying to achieve).

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The gold standard for the removal of submental fat has always been chin liposuction. However I am always on the hunt for non-surgical and non-invasive alternatives.

I have noticed that our fat dissolving injections have in fact been beneficial in treating residual pockets of fat which have remained or been missed following liposuction; and also improving contour irregularities that have been the result of other non-surgical treatments (such as fat freezing). 

The fat dissolving is an injectable procedure which uses a synthetic form of an acid (again we cannot name this acid due to Australian regulations) which is a molecule used in the body to break down and destroy fat after eating food.

This break though treatment is quick, relatively pain free (as with most injectable procedures) and associated with minimal and manageable down time. If injected correctly, all the healthy cells around the submental fat remain intact and unaffected as well as nearby nerves and muscles.

Have a read of my Fat Dissolving Treatment information page for more in depth information regarding the treatment.

  Image Credit: Cosmetic Nurse Shannon Adams @thepreventativecollective

Image Credit: Cosmetic Nurse Shannon Adams @thepreventativecollective

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE TREATMENT

The fat dissolving treatment has an exceptionally high patient satisfaction rate. 

I tell my patients that the treatment is a journey, and it is, as results are not immediate and multiple treatments are required. As each patient is unique, different amounts of the fat dissolving agent may be required and up to 6 treatment sessions may be required. Every patient responds differently to the treatment too. Many find it comfortable (I use local anaesthetic) with no discomfort afterwards but each person has a different experience with post procedure swelling. This can vary from 5 days to 3 weeks in some but not a single patient is bothered once they notice the results. Winter is the perfect time to start treatments as swelling to the area can easily be hidden with scarfs and jumpers. 

We generally do not see a drastic change after one treatment session which is why the treatment comes with a minimum of two treatments, spaced every 6 weeks. Some patients notice a reduction leading up to the 6 week mark and the first sign that the treatment is working is new jawline definition (so exciting).  We continue the treatments, every 6 weeks until full resolution and removal of the fat. The treatment is permanent, once the fat cells have been destroyed there is no recurrence. I have also noted improvements even when my patients have gained weight during the treatment process. I remember commenting to one patient after Christmas that she looked like she had lost weight, but she had actually gained 3kg over the holidays. She just appeared slimmer due to the treatment.

Due to the precision and accuracy of the treatment I have noticed increasing versatility aside from just treating double chins. It is perfect for small pockets of fat that remain post liposuction or abdominoplasty, treatment of bra or back fat or stubborn pockets of fat above the knees and under the buttocks. 

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COMBINATION TREATMENTS

I will often combine treatments such as; Fat dissolving alongside dermal fillers to define and contour the jawline, Neck lifts combined with wrinkle relaxers or threads and jawline slimming with wrinkle relaxers. I find that the combination of treatments is most effective for patients looking to glamourise their look.I am also finding that using fat dissolving injections can decrease the heaviness of the lower face and in doing so, enhances the other techniques used to lift the face such as dermal fillers and thread lifts.

As with any non-surgical treatment - combined modalities is key for a natural and balanced look, in whatever you are trying to achieve. 

The options are endless. As usual I am more than happy to consult and discuss treatment plans and help you embark on your aesthetic journey. 

I will be posting my own fat dissolving joruney soon - who can guess what area I will be treating?

Dr Kate

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