Do you have pockets of stubborn fat which seem resistant to dieting and exercising?

GLOW founder Sara Shoemark talks to Dr Keli Thorsteinsson from the Freyja Medical clinic in Wrexham about their fat dissolving injections.

As with many aesthetic treatments procedures, the treatment comes with a lot of questions: Is it safe? Is it always successful? Does it hurt? Sara gets answers to these and more.


What are fat dissolving injections?

Sara: Many of us have heard of liposuction for targeting stubborn pockets of fat. Why do you recommend fat dissolving injections, and how exactly do they work?

Dr Keli: The injections are a simple, safe and effective alternative to liposuction, and with a lower price tag. We inject Aqualyx®, which contains a naturally occurring bile acid called deoxycholic acid, into areas of stubborn fat. Bile is stored naturally in your gallbladder. Its prime function is to digest the fat you eat, so this technique uses the body’s own way of dissolving fat by injection.

Once the fat cell has been liquefied it is removed naturally through your urine over a 3 week period.


What is Aqualyx® for?

Sara: Would you describe it as a body contouring treatment, and if so, what areas do you find it works well for?

Dr Keli: Aqualyx® Yes, it does improve the body’s contours by removing stubborn pockets of localised fat that don’t respond to diet or increased physical exercise. The injections are not for weight loss.

Double chins, jowls, upper arms, waist, abdomen, saddle bags, buttocks and thighs usually respond well to this treatment.


Are fat dissolving treatments safe?

Sara:  I know patient safety is paramount at Freyja Medical so why did you choose Aqualyx® over other products and treatments?

Dr Keli: I research all our products and treatments in great depth and review all published evidence before deciding to introduce them into the clinic.

Aqualyx® is only sold and delivered by medical professionals in the UK – Freyja Medical is regulated by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and the General Medical Council.

In over 2 million treatments worldwide I’m not aware of any major untreatable side effects being reported for Aqualyx®. Not one single incidence of overdose or toxic effects has been recorded.

Aqualyx® contains the same active ingredient (deoxycholic acid) as Kybella, which is approved by the Federal Drug Administration in the USA. This gives patients the highest available safety assurances. Kybella is yet to be marketed in the UK and this is why we choose Aqualyx® with its outstanding safety profile.

In fact, I believe Aqualyx® has an important potential advantage of Kybella as the active ingredient is released gradually over the 2-3 weeks following the injection which helps improve safety and minimise side effects.


How is the treatment delivered?

Sara: Could you walk us through a typical treatment so GLOW readers know what to expect? Are the treatments painful?

Dr Keli: At our initial consultation one of our clinic doctors or nurses takes you a thorough medical history and examination, and checks there are no contraindications to treatment. We then discuss the treatment, benefits and all common and important after-effects fully with you. You will be given a detailed information leaflet to take home and study.

We usually recommend that you then consider the treatment for a few days or weeks before it is carried out.

The treatment itself is relatively simple and is carried out by one of the clinic doctors. There are 1-2 injection points per treatment area and we use a long thin and bendy needle to access the subcutaneous fat.

Our patients generally report that the procedure is not uncomfortable, with most reporting discomfort levels of 1-3 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being severe). However, to keep any discomfort to an absolute minimum we mix the Aqualyx® with a local anaesthetic.


What are the results?

Sara: How many treatments are needed? And is the treatment just a temporary fix, or does it have long lasting results?

Dr Keli: As with all medical therapies there is no guarantee of fully successful treatment. Some patients see good results from a single treatment, but many require 2 or 3 treatments. The recommended interval between repeat treatments is 4-6 weeks.

The results of Aqualyx® are permanent. An added benefit is that the skin tightens naturally during the healing process and it is not normally necessary to treat lax skin separately. Of course, if needed, this can be done later, for example with a thread-lift.


What happens after the treatment?

Sara: What about after-effects and recovery? Can patients return to work immediately and socialise as usual?

Dr Keli:  Yes, is the simple answer.

You will have some swelling and redness in the treated area which starts to settle after a few days, and is normally gone in 3-4 weeks. You feel some discomfort but again, this is not usually severe with a little bruising expected. About 1 in 5 patients experience a numb sensation in the treated area, which settles after a few weeks or months in almost every case.

You should not exercise for 5 days and some patients find mild compression clothing (e.g. Spandex) helps for non-facial treatment areas.  A low calorie diet can help to increase the effectiveness of Aqualyx®. Long-term benefit is possible with a healthy lifestyle. We sometimes recommend referral to a dietician for advice, if the patient requires additional support.

Your doctor will see you again after 4-6 weeks for review and to consider further treatment.


Choosing the right aesthetic clinic

“We are aware of rogue non-medical practitioners, who advertise ‘fat dissolving injections’ and even ‘Aqualyx’, often at suspiciously low prices”, cautions Dr Keli. “Do your research carefully before committing to treatment, and make sure that the advertised injections are genuine reputable medical products, carried out by a medical doctor or prescribing nurse, preferably in a clinic setting.” The very best clinics are registered with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) in Wales or the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England.

For GLOW clients who are thinking about advanced aesthetic treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, red thread vein removal and many other non-surgical treatments, we recommend Freyja Medical in Wrexham. Every patient is assessed by a specialist doctor and the clinic is regulated by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and the General Medical Council. For safe, ethical and regulated care please visit or call 01978 799688.

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