Everyone is seeking a reliable cure for fat and cellulite and doctors have offered the non-surgical option of mesotherapy treatment for decades.
We derive the term “mesotherapy” from the Greek word for “to treat the middle layer”. In an embryo, three primary layers of tissue are formed – ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. The mesoderm is the middle layer that forms muscle, bone, cartilage, blood and connective tissue.
Mesotherapy is the process of injecting a cocktail of medications into this middle layer of fat in an effort to reduce fat and cellulite. Mesotherapy is also called “injection lipolysis”. No matter what you call the various cosmetic procedures (e.g., Lipodissolve™, Lipostabil™, Flab-Jab, lipotherapy, lipozap, etc.); all of them are a form of mesotherapy. The difference between them is the mixture of the injectible solution.
Mesotherapy procedures are popular with women for cellulite removal. Cellulite contains fat but also consists of a network of connective tissue. Cellulite is mainly a female problem primarily due to estrogen and 90% of women have it. Hormones and collagen production help us maintain healthy elastic skin and, when not balanced, cellulite increases.
Mesotherapy treatment is not currently approved by the U.S. FDA and has not been determined to be safe or effective. You should communicate with your doctor about mesotherapy before and after treatment to understand the process and be sure you get the best results. You can expect mesotherapy treatments to range from $300 to $1,500 per session.
What are mesotherapy injections made of?
With the primary goal of removing cellulite, a solution containing some combination of phosphatidylcholine (PC; derived from soy) and deoxycholate (DC; a bile salt produced by the liver) is injected into fat and connective tissue to remove the fat deposits. PCDC “melts” the fat and the body is then believed to flush the fat through urination over time.
The PCDC drug is made by compounding pharmacies but there is not specific approved formulation for it. Consequently, the solution may contain a variety of chemicals, enzymes, herbs and vitamins (up to 30) and may differ from one pharmacy or doctor to another. Customized solutions can be made for patients with allergies.
Mesotherapy before and after – thigh & buttock cellulite
Most women complain of the lumps and dimples of cellulite primarily on their thighs and buttocks. No one likes the look of “cottage cheese thighs” and many consider mesotherapy instead of a surgical solution
Mesotherapy will be concentrated on limited areas in one session, such as the outside of the thighs of both legs. The doctor and patient determine which specific spots will be treated and those spots are mapped. The mapping may also be done while you are standing because it can be difficult to see cellulite when you are lying down. Local anesthesia is administered to prevent discomfort and tiny injections are made into the target areas.
Each doctor can determine his or her own methods for mesotherapy but it usually involves several treatment sessions over a month or two. Patients generally need many tiny injections in the targeted area before seeing the benefits of the procedure.
The comparison of mesotherapy before and after can be dramatic. Of course the results will vary based on your body and the extent of fat or cellulite to be treated. Some doctors indicate their patients have lost two to four inches on their waist, hips, and thighs. The skin appears much smoother after approximately one month. Exercise and diet after mesotherapy cellulite treatment will improve upon the results.
Mesotherapy before and after – love handles & bra bulges
Other noticeably problematic areas for uneven fatty deposits are “love handles” and “bra bulges”. Mesotherapy eliminates the fat using the same methods as described above. The most exciting aspect of mesotherapy before and after treatment for love handles and the stomach is that patients are usually extremely pleased with the ease of the procedure and with the results.
Mesotherapy before and after – jowls & under the chin
Another area where the body creates pockets of fat is the “double chin” and jowls. However, PCDC must not be injected into muscles and the muscles in the face are very close to the surface. This means that the doctor will risk muscle injection unless the double chin is quite large.
Also, PCDC causes bruising and swelling which can be particularly noticeable around the face. In fact, prior to mesotherapy on the face, doctors may prescribe steroids several days in advance to counteract the swelling. Patients also reports that mesotherapy on the face is more painful. One advantage here is that smaller areas may be able to be treated in one or two sessions. However, some patients experience the formation of small pea-sized nodules at the injection site. These could be quite unpleasant on the face.
One more effect of mesotherapy before and after reduction of a double chin is that you may be left with loose skin. This would need to be remedied with another cosmetic skin-tightening procedure.
Mesotherapy before and after – mesotherapy side effects
Most patients can expect redness, bruising, swelling and some discomfort. As described above, some patients experience pea-sized nodules forming under the skin. These will usually dissolve by themselves over a period of several weeks.
You should also have a complete understanding of what is in the mesotherapy PCDC solution. Some patients, even when not allergic to soy, may have a serious allergic reaction causing anaphylactic shock. Too much PCDC can cause serious complications so you should research your doctor to be certain he or she has proper training.
Temporary or permanent scarring may occur at the injection site. This is often a result of blistering. You doctor may prescribe antibiotic ointment to help you heal.
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, obese, or who have diabetes, heart disease or autoimmune diseases should avoid mesotherapy treatment.
Mesotherapy before and after – MesoDerm/MesoGlow
MesoDerm™/MesoGlow is a relatively new “no needle mesotherapy” treatment. The drugs are not injected. Instead they are applied topically to the skin and a special pen delivers electrical pulses to the area causing the drug solution to penetrate the tissue through a process called electroporation. (The device is FDA-approved.) The effect of the process is compared to the way a sponge absorbs water. Patients say mesoderm is painless, not irritating, and there is no swelling or bruising. Your skin will immediately look more hydrated. There is no down time and you can get back to normal activities immediately after your session. Advocates say MesoDerm is particularly useful for the face, but it can be used on any area of the body.
Mesotherapy before and after – are there alternatives?
There are several surgical fat removal options. Liposuction is very successful at removing fat but does not always effectively treat cellulite. LipoSculpture has been proved to reduce the appearance of cellulite with the use of microcannulas. There are risks associated with these methods of fat removal, along with laser-assisted liposuction which may cause burns and skin discoloration.
There are also several popular non-surgical fat removal techniques that appear to work equally well on cellulite. Only the FDA-approved methods are mentioned here:
- Endermologie – This machine gently kneads the skin and fat to reduce fat and stimulate collagen and elastin.
- Thermage – A heated laser melts fat below the skin, stimulates collagen and tightens the skin. It is best for small areas of fat.
- Velasmooth – This device uses radiofrequency energy to target fat cells in the skin. The fat is absorbed by the lymph nodes and removed in urine. It is used to tighten skin, reduce cellulite and reduce fat.
- Acoustic Wave Therapy – This non-surgical option uses acoustic pulses to treat the dimpling of cellulite. Noticeable improvement may take several sessions but patients feel it is effective.
- TriActive Laser Dermology – The most recent technique for reducing cellulite, this method uses three actions to smooth loose rippling skin – suction massage, laser stimulation and cooling. TriActive is said to be very effective for the face as well as the rest of the body.
There is a lot of information about mesotherapy on the internet. Search for mesotherapy before and after pictures and photographs. Inspect these mesotherapy before and after photos to see what may be possible with proper treatment. In your search for a qualified professional to perform the procedure, be sure to ask the doctor specifically for mesotherapy before and after photos of his or her own patients so you can see how competent the physician is with mesotherapy injections.