In 1995, Dr. Patricia Rittes, a dermatologist in Brazil, began treating patients with injections to dissolve stubborn fat deposits beneath the skin. In 2001 she published her first scientific paper detailing her management of bulging fat deposits beneath the eyes. In 2003, Dr. Franz Hasengschwandtner, an Austrian physician specializing in diet and nutritional medicine, began similar treatments but with a wider range of applications and formed Network-lipolysis. This network of physicians was taught his techniques and developed a standardized drug for injection and a standardized protocol to use the drug for fat deposits all over the body.
The first workshops were held in Austria and Germany, and were soon followed by England, the U.S., France, the whole of Europe, India, Asia, Australia and then Africa. Today Network-lipolysis has 1070 member physicians in 59 countries. Dr. Niessen was taught the technique by Dr. Hasengschwandtner in January and November 2007. He is the fifth physician in Canada to be certified by the Network and is now offering the treatment to patients.
The active agent which is injected is called phosphatidylcholine (PPC). PPC is produced naturally by the body. It is a component of all the cells in the body and is highly concentrated in liver cells, fat cells and the covering of nerve cells. The PPC used for fat dissolving injections is harvested from the soy plant. PPC has been used in other fields of medicine, usually intravenously, for treating fat embolism in the lungs, for lowering cholesterol levels and as a liver protective substance. PPC injected into fat deposits has a detergent like effect, causing fat cells to rupture and dissolve. Fat released by the cell is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the body. There is also tightening of the skin in treatment areas, which may be more than would be achieved by liposuctioning of the fat deposit. It can be used all over the body: face, neck, arms, back fat rolls, abdomen, thighs, love handles and knees.
Side effects after injection lipolysis are swelling, reddening, bruising, localized circulatory changes and, in some patients, an increase in the number of stools for up to two days following the procedure. A landmark study of the procedure was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (Mark Palmer MD, John Curran MD & Patrick Bowler MD) October 2006. A total of 10,581 treatments were reviewed. Swelling, redness, burning/stinging and bruising at the injection site was described by patients as “very mild” (18.4%) or “mild” (39.2%). 73.8% of patients were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with treatment.
Depending on the body area treated, one to four treatment sessions are necessary. The majority of patients (89%) need either one (17%) or two (72%) injection sessions to achieve the desired results. Treatment sessions are taken 8 weeks apart. Results are typically seen 4-6 weeks post treatment.
Injection lipolysis offers a new, safe and non invasive treatment for fat deposits all over the body. It can be used to address problem localized fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise. It is especially attractive to patients who are reluctant to have liposuction.
Call Dr. Niessen’s office today and make an appointment to see if injection lipolysis is right for you.