Susan Andresen's girlfriends want to know what she does on her lunch hour that puts a smile on her face. The 53-year-old Fresno wife, mother and busy professional, gets Lipo Dissolve to get rid of the unwanted, stubborn inches that healthy eating and exercise can't reach. "I come in, it's 10 minutes for the procedure 10 minutes for the ultrasound and I'm back out the door again," said Andresen.
Dr. Uma Rao, an internal medicine physician at Mystique Medical Spa in northeast Fresno treats patients with the latest craze in cosmetic procedures.
Lipo Dissolve actually began as a successful medical treatment. In 1952 a French doctor used the technique of injecting a formula into the fat around an organ he was about to operate on. The fat dissolved providing a clear path to the organ. The method eventually found its way to a cosmetic use.
This is a way of injecting some products that are existing within your body to break down fat cells. But Dr. Rao warns, it's not for everyone, "The patient must be realistic because I know we're all guilty, myself included, that we envision something in our mind that we're going to look a certain way and when that doesn't happen we become really disgruntled."
With that in mind, Susan gets her arms zapped with Lipo Dissolve. The medicine, called phosphotidylcholine, is derived from soy products and is loaded into a syringe with a hair-thin needle and placed into an application gun.
Dr. Rao injects the material directly into the fat cells. Since the material is injected right into the fat cells, it starts dissolving them from that moment; although it could take a few weeks to see the full results.
Susan says she started noticing a difference after her second treatment, losing up to an inch and a half on her arms.
Dr. Rao says other areas such as the chin, tummy and love handles can also shrink several inches with Lipo Dissolve.
But what about that needle? Andresen said, "I feel a tiny sting so I know the medication is there. Maybe a little bit of warmth but no pain."
A cool gel is applied with an ultrasound wand over the treated area to help ease the slight burning sensation, then, the spa adds another innovative technique.
To help with the patient's comfort and to enhance the results of Lipo Dissolve, Mystique Medical Spa is part of a clinical trial testing this tape. It's called Kinesio tape. Athletes like Lance Armstrong use it whenever they suffer a sports injury. It actually helps the body's own healing process doing much better than a typical ace bandage.
Dr. Jeannette Harris applies the tape to Susan's arm. The support will help the body filter out the destroyed fat cells and smooth the injected area. Dr. Rao says the key to the success of Lipo Dissolve happens even before the first treatment. Patients need to be pre-screened as a candidate. It's not recommended for major weight loss and patients should not have a medical condition that would compromise their immune system.
It can be pricey. As with any cosmetic procedure costs vary by patient but Dr. Rao offers a package of 3-treatments for $500 to $600-dollars.
She says as long as patients are good candidates and follow suggested tips for after care, they'll see a difference that others will notice too.
Like some non-surgical cosmetic procedures, Lipo Dissolve is not approved by the food and drug administration. But Doctor Rao said the injected material is formulated like the body's naturally-occurring chemicals, so there's very little danger of an adverse reaction.