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Home / Treatments / Fat Dissolving Injections

Fat dissolving injections have been around for many years but the latest product which is used at Cosmedic Skin Clinic, contains a third generation sodium deoxycholate solution which is far more safe and effective than previous solutions.

Procedure Time 45 minutes
Pain Mild Discomfort
Anaesthetic Local
Full Recovery 1-2 weeks
Results Duration Permanent
Risks Pain, bruising, redness, swelling, nodules, asymmetry, poor results, damage to surrounding structures, skin damage.
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Whether it is used to treat stubborn pockets of fat that just don’t ever seem to go despite diet and exercise or for generalised fat on the face or body. When injected the fat cells are liquefied and permanently destroyed. The fat is then removed naturally by the body’s lymphatic system and by combining the fat dissolving injections with ultrasound cavitation and lymphatic drainage, the results are greatly enhanced.

What areas can be treated?

The most commonly treated areas are the thighs, bottom, stomach, saddlebags, back fat and double chin but it can be used wherever stubborn fat is a problem including the arms, knees, face, man boobs, eye bags and lipomas (fatty lumps within the skin). Often more than one treatment is needed to obtain the desired results.

How does the treatment work?

Intralipotherapy involves the injection of a fat dissolving substance, containing sodium deoxycholate, into localised fat deposits using either a needle or cannula. The solution causes destruction of the fat cells which then undergo degradation and are removed by the lymphatic system. Sodium deoxycholate works gradually within the tissue and the process of removal takes time and results can take several weeks to fully appear.

The results are enhanced by the application of ultrasound cavitation. The low frequency ultrasound produces a strong wave of pressure that specifically targets fat cell membranes causing them to disintegrate and the fat contents are then removed by the body.

The combination of lymphatic drainage and ultrasound cavitation further assists removal of fat, massage is applied to physically help drain the fat into the lymphatic system where it can be safely eliminated.

Is it safe and does it hurt?

Sodium deoxycholate solutions have been used worldwide for many years and there is a lot of evidence proving its safety. Fat dissolving injections can potentially cause harm to the skin or  surrounding tissue including muscle, nerve and blood vessels. It is therefore essential that treatment is performed by an expert practitioner and at Cosmedic Skin Clinic, Dr Martyn King and Sharon King RN NIP are the national accredited trainers for this treatment. Safety is paramount and by adhering to the correct dosage, treatment depth, intervals between treatment and post-treatment care, any risk is minimised. Ultrasound cavitation and lymphatic drainage are considered extremely safe, low-risk procedures.

Local anaesthetic is added to the fat dissolving solution to reduce any discomfort, however there is likely to be some minor pain during the procedure and some tenderness for a few days afterwards. Most people describe this as minimal discomfort and it does not tend to interfere with normal day to day activities. Painkillers can be taken following treatment if required.

Are there any side-effects?

Complications that may occur include:

  • Prolonged pain lasting for days or weeks.
  • Allergic reactions (less than 2 in 100,000 cases) which may require emergency treatment.
  • Nodules (can occur in 5-10% of cases) which are usually only transient and resolve as the fatty tissue is removed.
  • Damage to surrounding structures (less than 5 in 10,000 cases), including muscle, nerve or blood vessels.
  • Discolouration (less than 2 in 1,000 cases), usually only temporary and can be reduced by avoiding exposure to UV.
  • Necrosis of the skin (less than 1 in 10,000 cases) describes the damage caused to the skin by the solution if it comes into contact with it, this can lead to tissue death, blistering, sloughing of the skin, infections and scarring.
  • Unsatisfactory results, including stubborn fat, asymmetry, irregularity or loose skin.


What can I expect after treatment?

Following treatment, there will be some transient redness, swelling and tenderness which may last for a few days but often described as mild to moderate and not interfering with normal activities. Occasionally there may be some bruising which may last for a week or longer. Pain, numbness, tingling, hypersensitivity or altered sensation can occur if the injection damages a nerve, this is rare and recovers over time in almost all cases.

Due to the action of fat dissolving injections and ultrasound cavitation, it takes time for the fat to be eliminated from the body and although some results may appear in the first few days it is normal that the final result is not seen until 6 weeks post treatment.

After treatment, it is not recommend to spend time in the sun or use sunbeds and although exercise is encouraged to help enhance the effects, vigorous and demanding physical activity should be avoided for 4 weeks. Gentle massage of the areas treated may help  encourage fat drainage.

We strongly recommend the use of compression garments following treatment and the practitioner will advise you on suitable products during your free consultation.

Pre-treatment instructions

The practitioner will describe and discuss in detail the procedure including possible benefits and risks and answer any specific questions you may have. The practitioner will advise on what the expected outcome is likely to be in their professional opinion. However, results cannot be guaranteed and mild to moderate improvements may often be achieved.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms used or do not understand then ask for further explanation from the practitioner. You can take home a copy of the consent form, pre-treatment and post-treatment instructions to further research and consider the treatment and to discuss with third parties if you wish before deciding on the treatment.

It is important to avoid anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac) for at least 5 days prior to treatment unless this is prescribed for a medical indication and this should be discussed with your practitioner at Cosmedic Skin Clinic. If you are taking any other blood thinning agents, this should be specified on your medical history form. Similarly, avoid alcohol for 48 hours prior to treatment as this increases the risk of bruising and bleeding. Arnica may be taken for 5 days prior to treatment to lessen the risk of bruising.

At Cosmedic Skin Clinic, we recommend the usage of compression garments post-treatment to enhance results and help to reduce any after effects. Macom® compression garments provide the optimal solution and there are many garments available depending on the area to be treated which can be pre-ordered for your size and indications. They can be ordered directly from Macom® and if you need any assistance on what you should order, you can discuss this with your practitioner prior to treatment.

Appropriate clothing should be worn on the day of treatment to allow modest access to the area and not to be too restrictive or cause discomfort.

You may not be suitable for treatment if you have any of the following:

  • Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
  • Infection/inflammation at the injection site
  • An impaired immune system or undergoing treatment for cancer
  • Certain medication such as blood thinners or immune-suppressing medication
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or other medical conditions that affect healing
  • Previous allergic reaction to lidocaine or DesoFace/DesoBody
  • Moderate or severe kidney or liver impairment
  • Excessive skin laxity
  • Lipid disorders

A medical history form must be completed prior to any treatment.

If you are feeling unwell on the day of treatment, please contact the clinic to re-arrange your appointment.

Post-treatment instructions

Dos and Don’ts

  • Avoid applying cosmetics to the treated area for 24 hours
  • Avoid vigorous or physically demanding exercise for 4 weeks
  • Moderate exercise, a healthy diet and other lifestyle modifications are encouraged and may enhance results
  • Avoid other cosmetic or beauty treatments in the same area for at least a week
  • Use a high SPF sun-protection after treatment and avoid sun exposure and tanning
  • Avoid extremes of hot or cold to the area treated
  • Gentle massage may encourage fat drainage
  • Contact the clinic as soon as possible if you have any concerns

We strongly recommend the use of compression garments following treatment and the practitioner will advise you on suitable products during your free consultation.

I understand if I suffer any adverse reaction that is not expected, or concerns me, I must contact the clinic immediately. The practitioner or the clinic cannot take responsibility for complications or results that have not been reported, assessed, documented and managed when you become aware of a potential problem.

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Price List
Treatment Name Price List
Single session of fat dissolving injections for an area and a course of 4 cavitation £650
A course of 4 treatments including cavitation, lymphatic drainage and Slimboost £1999
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