Mesotherapy, sometimes called “liquid lipo,” is a process of breaking down the underlying fat membrane and its structures with injections of naturally occurring proteins and enzymes. The body metabolizes the destroyed fat cells; the liver reuses some of the fat, some is digested by other cells, and the kidneys excrete the remainder. Multiple layers of fat melt away over a series of treatments, the number of which depends on your needs. Most patients lose one to three pants sizes, and by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, they can maintain these results. Mesotherapy can also treat cellulite by destroying the connective tissues that hold skin down over fat deposits, eliminating the “dimpling” effect. This procedure has minimal pain, though it is common to experience some swelling and soreness for a few days after the treatment. However, you can resume normal activities immediately following mesotherapy. To learn more about mesotherapy and other body sculpting treatments offered at our San Jose/Bay Area office, please contact us today.
Q: What is Mesotherapy?
A: Mesotherapy is nonsurgical alternative to liposuction which reduces fat and cellulite in unwanted areas. Mesotherapy is a technique, invented in 1952 by Dr. Michel Pistor, where medication is injected into the “mesoderm,” the layer of fat underneath the skin.
Q: Is Mesotherapy safe? A: Because there has never been a published study, we can only borrow from other patients’ experiences. We do know that over the past 50+ years, more than 18,000 physicians worldwide (including from Europe, Latin America, and Asia) have used Mesotherapy in their practices for a variety of purposes, including weight loss, targeted/spot weight reduction, cellulite reduction, hair loss, wrinkle elimination, and sports injuries. So far, no adverse outcomes have been reported in the medical literature. Dr. Tang has been treating patients with Mesotherapy for more than 10 years with good results.
Q: How does Mesotherapy work?
A: The medications used in Mesotherapy are naturally occurring proteins and enzymes that break down the fat cell membrane and its structures that keep the fat together. The destroyed fat is then metabolized by the body, some reused by the liver, some digested by other cells, and the rest is excreted by the kidneys. Over a series of treatments and a period of weeks to months, multiple layers of fat are melted away.
Cellulite is caused by connective tissue bands that hold down the skin, trapping the fat and therefore causing the “dimpling” effect. With the cellulite formula, the medications used help destroy the connective tissue bands and melt the trapped fat, creating a smooth, dimple-free appearance.
Q: What is the difference between Mesotherapy and Lipodissolve?
A: Mesotherapy and Lipodissolve are similar in that they both involve an injection technique to melt fat. Mesotherapy was invented first in 1952. Lipodissolve is a more recent concept. The difference is the philosophy on what should be included in the formula to melt fat. They both are effective, and so Dr. Tang encompasses the benefits from both into his own formulation.
Q: What areas can be treated?
A: Virtually any area that has fat deposits can be treated including underneath the eyes and chin, arms, chest, abdomen, love handles, saddlebags, and thighs. Cellulite can be treated as well.
Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: Anywhere from 1 to 10 treatments. The number will vary depending on the area you are treating and your treatment goals.
Q: Are the injections painful?
A: Because small, thin needles are used (similar to acupuncture needles) in addition to a strong topical anesthesia, most patients do not notice the injections themselves.
Q: How would I feel after the injection?
A: Most patients will feel sore, warm, and swollen in the area treated. This usually lasts 1-5 days. Most patients do not need to take any pain medications, but if needed, Tylenol is usually sufficient.
Q: Would I need to take time off work?
A: No. This procedure has virtually no downtime and most patients can return to work that same day or the next day. Patients can expect to be able to resume normal daily activities including their workouts.
Q: Do I need to be on a special diet?
A: No special diet is necessary. A low salt diet is recommended to limit the swelling after the treatment. Patients are also recommended to drink 6-10 glasses per day to assist in flushing away the broken-down fat.
Q: Who can have Mesotherapy?
A: Adults between the ages of 18 – 75 and in good health are candidates for Mesotherapy for weight loss, spot weight reduction, and cellulite reduction.
Q: Is there anyone who cannot have Mesotherapy?
A: Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have uncontrolled diabetes, any active cancers, any active infection or skin disease, or anyone who is immunosuppressed should not have Mesotherapy treatments. Patients with a history of stroke, heart disease, controlled diabetes, or blood clots should consult their primary care doctor before having the procedure.
Q: What results should I expect?
A: Mesotherapy results are measured in inches and not in pounds. Although patients do lose a few pounds, most patients will lose an average of 1-3 pants sizes. Results will vary from patient to patient. For cellulite, there will be fat reduction as well as the skin will appear significantly smoother with less dimpling.
Q: Will my results be permanent?
A: As long as one maintains a healthy, well-balanced diet and exercises, the fat reduction will be permanent.
Q: Why should I even consider Mesotherapy over Liposuction?
A: Mesotherapy provides a safe, minimally invasive alternative to liposuction. There’s no surgery, and so there are no scars, no risks from general anesthesia, much less pain, and little bruising. There is much lower risk of serious complications such as infection or nerve injury as compared to liposuction. In addition, patients undergoing Mesotherapy have virtually no downtime allowing them to resume their busy lifestyle.
Q: Is Mesotherapy FDA approved?
A: Mesotherapy is not FDA approved and its use is considered off label. However, the individual medicines used in the cocktail are FDA approved for their own individual use. For instance, phoshotadylcholine, an important component in mesotherapy to break down fat, is FDA approved as an intravenous treatment to break down fat emboli in the bloodstream. In combination, medicines for Mesotherapy are used for off-label purposes. It is important to note that other medicines have been used for off-label purposes. For example, Botox was FDA approved in 1990’s only to control muscle spasms in the eyelid and neck, but most doctors were using it mainly to control wrinkles in the face. Botox finally did received FDA approval for its cosmetic use in 2002.
Q: How much does Mesotherapy cost?
A: The cost of Mesotherapy depends upon the areas treated and the number of sessions required. At your complementary consultation, Dr. Tang will be able to determine approximately how many syringes you will need to achieve your desired results. This will determine the overall cost.
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