What Is Lipotherapy and What Is It For?

What is lipotherapy and what is it for? Many have erroneous preconcieved notions about this technique. Actually, lipotherapy isn't about losing weight, but rather about reducing body fat. We'll tell you more in the following article.
What Is Lipotherapy and What Is It For?
María Vijande

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist María Vijande.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

What is lipotherapy and what is it used for?

Lipotherapy is a treatment that was first discovered in the early 1980s in Italy. However, over the years, the technique has improved greatly and is now an option for reducing body fat locally without surgery.

Lipotherapy has the support of clinical studies and scientists have tracked its effects. Just the same, there isn’t a lot of scientific literature about lipotherapy, especially its long-term effects.

In fact, one of the existing studies on the topic is an investigation published by Dermatologic Surgery. This study points out that depending on the components that technicians inject, this technique may have positive results. However, the article also states that more research is still necessary.

At the same time, another study that appeared in The European Journal of Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology offers reassurance that lipotherapy is safe and effective. That’s why the technique is in use today, though it should only take place in the hands of specialized doctors.

What is lipotherapy and what is it for?

A woman measuring her waist.

This technique involves microinjection of a solution that loosens and dissolves fat gradually. The idea is to reduce it into smaller and less complex substances. That way, they can dissolve through the body’s natural mechanisms, and the lymphatic systemic can gradually eliminate them.

The objective of lipotherapy isn’t weight loss. Rather, the purpose is to act directly upon accumulated fat that the body can’t otherwise eliminate. Once a technician applies the injections, and always with a doctor’s approval, patients should exercise and maintain a balanced diet. This will facilitate the dissolving and elimination of fat.

How many lipotherapy sessions are necessary?

The number of sessions that are necessary will depend on each patient. However, on average, patients will need between three and five sessions. What’s more, it’s important to take into account what areas of the body will undergo treatment and how much fat has accumulated in these areas.

Side effects

The side effects are minimal when it comes to lipotherapy. However, the following side effects are possible:

  • Swelling and bruising: The application of injections produces a reaction in the skin. Depending on each patient’s sensitivity, bruises may be smaller or larger.
  • Pain: Logically, the poking from the injections causes pain. However, the pain is temporary and may decrease in subsequent sessions.

In the case of women, experts recommend not undergoing this treatment just before or after their period. This is because it may produce a great sense of discomfort.

So, is it safe?

Lipotherapy is a relatively “new” process, so experts can’t yet speak on its long term effects. Just the same, it’s considered a safe aesthetic procedureThe products that it involves contain a combination of enzymes, vitamins, and a very low dose of medications.

Just the same, the possibility of developing an allergic reaction to these medications is possible, like in any treatment. Therefore, patients should inform the specialist if they have any known allergies to other medications. The same is true if they suffer from any metabolic disorders.

You may also want to read: Thinner Legs; How to Reduce Fat in this Area

What parts of the body can lipotherapy treat?

A woman with cellulite.
Lipotherpy is frequently applied to areas like the thighs, hips, and legs, as it favors the elimination of localized fat.

Overall, this treatment is effective for the elimination of accumulated fat in all of the following areas :

  • Hips and thighs
  • Upper and lower abdomen
  • Arms and forearms
  • Back
  • Double chin and neck
  • Knees and legs

What’s more, lipotherapy can also help treat the following conditions:

  • Adipomastia: This the growth if the mammary glands due to accumulated fat in obese men.
  • Cellulite: The use of this technique to treat cellulite can be uncomfortable. It’s possible to decrease this discomfort by applying anesthetic cream before the injections.
  • Skin retraction.
  • Deformities in the skin’s appearance after liposuction. On some occasions, lipotherapy can be sued after plastic surgery to mobilize fat during liposuction.

When can patients resume their normal activity?

Depending on the area of the body undergoing treatment, patients can usually resume their normal activity immediately after the treatment session. Of course, this is something that patients will have to discuss with the professional in charge of treatment.

That being said, patients with facial treatments may experience swelling, meaning it’s likely they’ll need to spend three or four days at home. Normally, pain and swelling last for about a week, but inflammation may last longer.

If you have any questions, make sure to talk to your doctor.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Carvajal, C. (2015). Tejido adiposo y obesidad. Medicina Legal de Costa Rica.
  • Miguelsanz, J. P., Parra, W. C., Moreiras, G. V., & Garaulet, M. (2010). Distribución regional de la grasa corporal. Uso de técnicas de imagen como herramienta de diagnóstico nutricional. Nutricion Hospitalaria. https://doi.org/10.3305/nh.2010.25.2.4406
  • Arriagada S., J. (2016). Buenas prácticas en cirugía estética: algunas consideraciones desde la bioética. Revista Médica Clínica Las Condes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmclc.2016.01.014
  • Nassab, R. (2015). The evidence behind noninvasive body contouring devices. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sju063
  • ROTUNDA, A.M. and KOLODNEY, M.S. (2006), Mesotherapy and Phosphatidylcholine Injections: Historical Clarification and Review. Dermatologic Surgery, 32: 465-480. doi:10.1111/j.1524-4725.2006.32100.x

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.