Do Fat Dissolving Injections Work? Evidence-Based Research

do fat dissolving injections work

Fat dissolving injections have gained popularity as a non-­surgical cosmetic treatment in recent years.­ Many individuals opt for these injections to sculpt their bodies and reduce stubborn fat pockets.­ However,­ one may wonder:­ do these injections truly deliver results?­ The answer is not a straightforward “­yes”­ or “­no.­”­

The most common type of fat dissolving injection contains a substance known as deoxycholic acid.­ This natural compound,­ which is produced by the body to break down fat,­ works by destroying targeted fat cells when injected into areas such as the chin or abdomen.­ The body then eliminates these destroyed cells through its own processes.­ While it may appear to be an easy solution for unwanted fat,­ the effectiveness of these injections can vary based on several factors.­

Factors such as the amount of fat being treated,­ the patient’s overall health and lifestyle habits,­ and the skill of the injector can all influence the outcome of fat dissolving injections.­ Before undergoing this treatment,­ it is essential to consult thoroughly with a qualified and experienced practitioner.­ This consultation will help determine if fat dissolving injections are suitable for your individual needs and expectations.­

Understanding Fat Dissolving Injections

Fat dissolving injections,­ also known as lipolytic injections,­ aim to reduce localised fat deposits in specific areas of the body.­ This non-­surgical cosmetic treatment is typically administered by a trained medical professional like a doctor or nurse.­ It involves injecting a solution of chemicals directly into the fat layer beneath the skin.­

In fat dissolving injections,­ the active ingredient is typically deoxycholic acid.­ This natural bile acid aids in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat within the body.­ When deoxycholic acid is injected into the fatty tissue,­ it disrupts the cell membranes of fat cells.­ This disruption leads to the breakdown of these cells,­ causing them to release their contents into the bloodstream.­ The body then metabolizes these released fatty acids and eliminates them through the liver.­

Fat dissolving injections are commonly used to target stubborn areas of fat that resist diet and exercise.­ These areas typically include the chin,­ jowls,­ abdomen,­ love handles,­ and thighs.­ It’s important to note that these injections are not intended for weight loss purposes or suitable for individuals who are significantly overweight or have loose,­ sagging skin.­

The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes to finish.­ Depending on the size and location of the treatment area,­ multiple sessions might be necessary.­ Afterward,­ patients may experience some temporary swelling,­ bruising,­ and discomfort.­ However,­ these side effects usually subside within a few days.­

Fat dissolving injections can effectively reduce localized fat deposits.­ However,­ it’s important to note that they do come with some risks.­ Potential side effects may include infection,­ scarring,­ nerve damage,­ and uneven or lumpy results.­ To minimize the risk of complications,­ it is crucial to choose a qualified and experienced medical professional to perform the procedure and carefully follow all pre-­ and post-­treatment instructions.­

Mechanism of Action


Fat dissolving injections contain a substance known as deoxycholic acid,­ which is a naturally occurring molecule in the body.­ This molecule helps with breaking down and absorbing dietary fat.­ When these injections are administered beneath the skin’s fat layer,­ deoxycholic acid disrupts the cell membranes of fat cells.­ As a result,­ these cells rupture and release their contents into the surrounding tissue.­


The procedure includes injecting targeted areas of fat like the chin,­ abdomen,­ or thighs.­ The number of injections needed depends on the size and location of the treated area and desired outcomes.­ A qualified healthcare professional usually administers the injections within 15-­30 minutes.­

After receiving the injections,­ patients may notice some swelling,­ redness,­ and tenderness in the treated area.­ However,­ these side effects typically diminish within a few days.­ It’s important to note that visible improvements from the treatment may take several weeks to fully appear.­ Additionally,­ multiple sessions might be necessary to attain the desired outcome.­

Fat dissolving injections are a viable option for reducing stubborn areas of fat without undergoing surgery.­ However,­ it’s important to keep in mind that these injections should not be considered a substitute for maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.­ Individual results may vary based on factors such as age,­ weight,­ and lifestyle choices.­

Efficacy of Fat Dissolving Injections

Scientific Evidence

Fat dissolving injections,­ also known as lipolytic injections,­ offer a non-­surgical option for reducing those unwanted fat deposits.­ These injections contain a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid,­ which is a natural substance found in the body.­ This acid works to break down those pesky fat cells and help you achieve your desired look.­

Scientific evidence indicates that fat dissolving injections can effectively reduce submental fat,­ commonly known as a double chin.­ According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,­ 59%­ of participants who received these injections experienced at least one-­grade improvement in their chin profile.­ However,­ it is worth noting that the effectiveness of these injections may vary depending on the individual and treatment area.­

Clinical Studies

Clinical studies have examined the effectiveness of fat dissolving injections.­ One study,­ published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology,­ discovered that injecting deoxycholic acid resulted in a notable reduction of submental fat after two treatment sessions.­ Additionally,­ another study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology revealed that patients who received these injections experienced significant reductions in thigh circumference.­

These studies have limitations worth noting.­ They often involved small sample sizes and short follow-­up periods.­ Additionally,­ it’s important to consider possible side effects from the injections such as swelling,­ bruising,­ and pain at the site of injection.­

Scientific evidence and clinical studies suggest that fat dissolving injections may effectively reduce unwanted fat.­ However,­ it is important to consult a qualified healthcare professional to determine whether this treatment option is suitable for you.

Potential Side Effects

Common Side Effects

Fat dissolving injections can cause several common side effects, including:

  • Swelling, redness, and bruising at the injection site
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Itching or skin irritation
  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Diarrhoea or constipation

Most of the time,­ these side effects are mild and tend to go away on their own within a few days after the injection.­ To lower the chances of experiencing these effects,­ it is advisable to avoid alcoholsmoking,­ and blood-­thinning medications before and after the procedure.­

Severe Side Effects

Rarely,­ fat dissolving injections may have severe side effects that necessitate immediate medical attention.­ Some of these potential complications include:

  • Infection at the injection site
  • Allergic reaction
  • Skin necrosis (death of skin tissue)
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clots

Skin necrosis and nerve damage pose as the most severe consequences linked to fat dissolving injections.­ Skin necrosis has the potential to leave behind permanent scarring,­ whereas nerve damage can result in lasting numbness or weakness within the treated area.­

If you experience any severe side effects after the injection,­ it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention.­ Additionally,­ inform your healthcare provider about any pre-­existing medical conditions or allergies before the procedure.­

Ideal Candidates for Fat Dissolving Injections

Fat dissolving injections offer a non-­surgical cosmetic solution for eliminating stubborn pockets of fat that resist conventional diet and exercise methods.­ It’s important to note,­ however,­ that this treatment isn’t suitable for everyone.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Fat dissolving injections are not intended for weight loss.­ As a result,­ individuals who have a significant amount of excess weight or fall into the obese category may not be suitable candidates.­ The ideal candidate should possess a Body Mass Index (­BMI)­ that is below 30.­


The ideal candidate for fat dissolving injections falls within the age range of 18 to 60.­ Younger patients may not have adequate fat deposits for effective treatment,­ while older patients may experience less elasticity in their skin,­ resulting in a potentially diminished response to the procedure.­

Skin Elasticity

The ideal candidate must possess good skin elasticity.­ This means that the skin should have the ability to revert back to its original shape once the fat is removed.­ If the skin appears loose and saggy,­ it might not respond favorably to the treatment.­

Overall Health

The candidate should be in good overall health.­ However,­ individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes,­ heart disease,­ or liver disease may not be suitable for the treatment.­ Additionally,­ if a person is pregnant or breastfeeding,­ this treatment should be avoided.­

Target Areas

Fat dissolving injections are an excellent option for addressing small,­ stubborn fat deposits.­ This treatment yields optimal results when targeting problem areas like the chin,­ neck,­ arms,­ thighs,­ and abdomen.­

Cost and Availability

Fat dissolving injections are popular cosmetic treatments available worldwide.­ The cost of this treatment can vary depending on factors such as location,­ clinic,­ and the number of injections needed.­ In the UK,­ prices for fat dissolving injections range from £­400 to £­2,­000 per treatment,­ depending on the targeted area and the required number of sessions.­

Fat dissolving injections’ availability depends on the country and its regulations.­ In the UK,­ licensed practitioners like doctors and nurses,­ who have undergone specific training,­ offer these injections.­ However,­ they are not available through the NHS as they are considered cosmetic procedures.­

It is important to understand that fat dissolving injections should not be considered a replacement for adopting a healthy lifestyle or as a solution for weight loss.­ These injections specifically target stubborn areas of fat that are resistant to traditional diet and exercise methods.

Patients should be aware that fat dissolving injections do not provide permanent results.­ To maintain the desired effect,­ maintenance treatments may be necessary.­ It is advisable for patients to discuss their expectations and goals with their practitioner before undergoing the treatment.­

Alternatives to Fat Dissolving Injections

While fat dissolving injections have become popular in recent years,­ they may not be suitable for everyone.­ There are alternative options worth considering:­

1. Liposuction

Liposuction,­ a surgical procedure,­ targets specific body areas to remove excess fat.­ While more invasive than fat dissolving injections,­ it offers greater effectiveness for larger fat deposits.­ Unlike injections that may require multiple sessions,­ liposuction is a one-­time procedure.

2. CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting,­ a non-­invasive procedure,­ offers an alternative to surgery for individuals seeking targeted fat reduction.­ By freezing and destroying fat cells,­ it effectively tackles specific problem areas.­ However,­ it’s important to note that for larger areas of fat,­ liposuction may be a more optimal choice in terms of effectiveness.

3. Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise are the optimal choices for weight loss and reducing body fat.­ While visible results may take time to manifest,­ adopting a nutritious diet and establishing a regular exercise routine can lead to sustainable weight loss and promote overall well-­being.

4. Fat Burning Supplements

On the market,­ one can find numerous fat burning supplements.­ However,­ it is crucial to exercise caution when using them as some may have harmful side effects and lack FDA regulation.­ It is always advisable to consult with a doctor before incorporating any fat burning supplements into your routine.­

When considering fat dissolving injections,­ it is worth exploring other alternatives that may better suit individual needs.­ To determine the most suitable options for your body and weight loss goals,­ consulting with a doctor is crucial.


In conclusion,­ it has been evidenced that fat dissolving injections offer a reliable and efficient solution for targeted fat reduction.­ These injections effectively break down fat cells in the specific area of treatment,­ facilitating their natural elimination by the body over time.

Studies indicate that patients can typically experience a reduction in the treated area’s size within a few weeks after receiving injections.­ However,­ it is essential to consider that individual body types and the amount of fat being treated may lead to varying results.­

Fat dissolving injections offer a viable solution to reduce stubborn fat.­ However,­ it’s crucial to understand that they should not be seen as a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise.­ It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle for successful long-­term weight management.­

Overall,­ fat dissolving injections can be a valuable method for targeting stubborn areas of fat that resist traditional diet and exercise.­ However,­ it is essential to seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional to determine if this treatment is suitable for your specific needs.­

Frequently Asked Questions

Do fat dissolving injections work on arms?

Fat dissolving injections can help reduce excess fat in the arms.­ However,­ effectiveness may vary depending on body type and the amount of fat present in that specific area.­

What are the risks of fat dissolving injections?

Like any medical procedure,­ fat dissolving injections carry certain risks.­ These include bruising,­ swelling,­ redness,­ and pain at the injection site.­ In rare instances,­ more serious complications such as infection,­ nerve damage,­ or allergic reactions may occur.­

Do fat dissolving injections hurt?

Some discomfort may arise during the injection process;­ however,­ a local anesthetic is typically administered to reduce pain.­ Following the procedure,­ patients might experience some soreness or tenderness in the treated area.

How long does it take for fat dissolving injections to work?

According to our observations,­ it generally takes a few weeks for noticeable fat reduction in the treated area.­ Keep in mind that individual results may vary.­ Some patients might need multiple treatments to achieve their desired outcomes.

Do fat dissolving injections work on double chin?

Fat dissolving injections can effectively reduce the appearance of a double chin.­ By targeting and breaking down fat cells in the specific area,­ these treatments can result in a slimmer and more defined jawline.

How long do fat dissolving injections last?

The effects of fat dissolving injections have long-­lasting results.­ However,­ it is important to note that these treatments do not prevent future weight gain or the accumulation of new fat cells.­ To maintain and prolong the outcomes of the treatment,­ it is recommended to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.­


  • Sarah Crosswood

    As a firm believer in the importance of nourishing the body and mind, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and expertise to help others achieve optimal health and wellbeing

    Crosswood Sarah

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