Forget liposuction. Dissolving your fat may be the best new way to lose inches without work
If the promise of an injection that can make fat magically disappear from your body sounds suspicious, you’re not alone. Kristie Stobaugh once shared your skepticism. And she’s the co-owner of LipoDissolve of Texas.
But then again, the procedure LipoDissolve performs does not, technically speaking, make fat go away. The company makes clear they do not promise weight loss. Instead, the procedure is intended for body sculpting.
The body has several kinds of fat cells. The visceral fat or hard fat is difficult to lose. The only way to get rid of it is exercise. But subcutaneous fat, the soft stuff right under the upper skin layer, is easier to deal with, and that’s where LipoDissolve comes it.
Through a series of injections to your trouble area (performed by a nurse, although a medical doctor is on call with the company), the product attacks the fat cell membranes and, over the course of a few days, allows the body’s natural functions to overwhelm them. Fluids storm the area, and the fat cells eventually implode and are destroyed.
Unlike normal liposuction, it’s non-surgical, so there’s no trauma "no bruising and rippling and the other things that can go wrong" with liposuction, Stobaugh says.
We decided to check it out for ourselves. I volunteered to get a session. (It usually takes as many as six sessions over the course of several months, depending on the degree of sculpting to be done and the areas the client wants treated.)
The first requirement was the consultation, to find out if I was even a eligible. "Not everyone is a candidate," says office manager Carmen Franks. "We don’t inject everyone."
For instance, you can’t be diabetic, pregnant or nursing, have allergies to soy or suffer from any auto-immune diseases (lupus, HIV). And you can’t take blood thinners or aspirin for a few days after treatment. If you’re too heavy, they don’t recommend a session until you lose some weight first.
"The fat will go away, but you won’t be able to tell," Stobaugh says, emphasizing again the sculpting not dieting element of the procedure. I qualify, and begin the treatment.
"You hardly feel the injections," brags Edie Smith, a registered nurse with the company.
Really? Could it be that painless?
Like hell. The needles, while small, are numerous and can sting (a topical ointment reduces the pain, but I was in a hurry to get it over with and we started before it fully kicked in).
The most common side effects, which can begin within a few minutes but increase over the next few hours, are said to be a burning sensation, tingling and bloat (as the fluids rush to the area). They will prescribe painkillers for clients. But my experience was largely uneventful.
There was definitely bloating I felt and looked pregnant, as if carrying around sacks of water in my stomach for several days and the numbing feeling remained for several weeks. There was also some mild discomfort of the burning kind, though it was like a fever only my abdomen could feel. And I didn’t move very fast for several days. But other than that, it wasn’t bad.
And the results? One session isn’t enough to reach major results, but although my weight stayed the same, I could definite notice less of a gut. It appeared to work as promised.
In fact, men generally metabolize the drugs faster and see results with fewer sessions. Gynecomastia (male breasts) are often reduced in three treatments, Stobaugh says, a double chin in as few as two. And although about 75 percent of their clients are women, it goes in waves, with gay men especially discovering the services.
"Men respond faster [than women], especially around the love handles," Stobaugh says. And because men are born with the same amount of fat cells they keep throughout life, once a cell is imploded it’s gone forever (women do develop new ones).
Still, there’s nothing to stop other fat cells from eventually moving in to replace those missing. There’s only way to keep that from happening, says Stobaugh: "Do sit-ups."
LipoDissolve of Texas, 5001 Spring Valley Road. 972-503-5476.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice – Body & Fitness print edition February 15, 2008