Lipolysis - What is it and How does it work?

Lipolysis is the process of breaking down fat and can occur naturally in the body but can also be induced using laser lipolysis for when the body cannot break down fat in a certain area. Lipolysis can change the shape of our bodies and face but it most commonly used on the body in places that are difficult to change through diet or exercise. Popular areas lipolysis is used on include the buttocks, thighs, hips, stomach, arms and chin, often as a treatment for cellulite.

When undergoing laser lipolysis the area is treated with local anesthetic to numb the area and the lipolysis laser is then used to melt fat underneath the skin. Tiny incisions are then made through which a very small tube (the size of spaghetti or noodles) will fit inside. The suction process will then start to remove fat cells, resulting in fat loss and improved appearance of cellulite while smoothing out the skin.

Lipolysis treatment is relatively painless but around 15 minutes after the treatment you may feel a sense of itching, redness and sometimes swelling of the area. This should disappear about 2 hours after but the swelling can potentially last up to 2 weeks after the treatment. Lipolysis is not a permanent fix for your cellulite, if you gain any weight (which many of us might do). Once you gain more weight your cellulite is very likely to return and therefore you will need more treatment. It is also not recommended for people who are allergic to soy and vitamin B. The cost of laser lipolysis depends on how many areas are treated and the clinic you are being treated at. On average you should expect to pay between £1000 and £5,000 for the full fat and cellulite removal treatment.

Fat lipolysis can also occur naturally in the body when it needs extra fuel or energy, such as during aerobic exercise. Naturally your body will either burn fat or carbs depending on the intensity of your exercise. If you work at a high intensity your body needs to find energy quickly to cope and often starts burning fat to gain this energy. Working at a lower intensity will mean your body doesn’t need to find energy quite so quickly and will then look to carb calories to burn which will result in a lower level of weight loss. This explains why high intensity interval training (HIIT) is so effective at burning fat, resulting in more weight loss.

Laser lipolysis should only be used on areas that cannot be changed through exercise alone. Not only is exercise free, but it can produce a more permanent result on your cellulite and general weight loss, whereas lipolysis does not always result in permanent removal of cellulite. If you keep up regular exercise you are more likely to fend off cellulite for good. However, with laser lipolysis once you gain weight you are more than likely to see cellulite appearing again and will therefore need further treatment of cellulite.