Can You Really Melt Fat Without Surgery?

It’s been reported that celebrities from Mariah Carey to Britney Spears have had fat-melting injections—also known as lipolysis. But do they work and are they safe? We uncover the controversy and mystery surrounding mesotherapy.

The terms “mesotherapy” and “lipodissolve” are often used interchangeably; however, they are not one and the same. Mesotherapy is a technique used to inject medication into the “mesoderm” (the middle layer of the skin) for a variety of purposes, while lipodissolve is the cocktail of medications that is injected into the subcutaneous tissue (the layer beneath the skin) to purportedly melt or dissolve localized fat deposits, as well as to address cellulite and stretch marks. For larger areas such as the stomach, one lipodissolve treatment may involve as many as 120 injections, so some practitioners use a “mesogun” instead of syringes in order to expedite treatments. Numbing cream is generally applied beforehand, but the injections may still  be uncomfortable. Treatments generally take around

15 minutes, but this can vary based on the size of the treatment area and whether or not a mesogun is used. According to the proponents, results are generally visible from one to three weeks after treatment, but two to six treatments are usually recommended to obtain the desired results.

The cost: From $300 to $1,500 per treatment, depending on the size of the area treated.

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