How Do Fat Dissolving Injections Work?

Fat Dissolving Injections

Updated April 2024

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to eat a healthy, balanced diet or do enough exercise, you can struggle to shift stubborn fatty deposits in certain areas of the body. Plus, research shows that where you store fat can be due to genetics!  

Whether it’s a little belly pouch, a double chin or back fat, several parts of your body can keep hold of stubborn fat through no fault of your own. This is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Besides liposuction, the only previously proven way to remove fat cells was the surgical removal of fat and skin using plastic surgery procedures, such as an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). While such cosmetic surgery is often promoted as a quick fix, liposuction and other such surgeries have associated risks, including blood clots, infections and risk of fatality.

If you feel your confidence would skyrocket if you could achieve your ideal body shape but are apprehensive about going under the knife, Aqualyx fat dissolving injections, also called injection lipolysis, may be the solution. At Harley Street MD, we are solely focused on providing the safest aesthetic treatment to help you achieve your goals. 

If you’re curious about how fat dissolving injections work, read on or arrange a free consultation for fat removal treatments in Londons at our CQC-registered clinic.

What Are Aqualyx Fat Dissolving Injections?

Fat dissolving injections break down cell membranes and force the cells to release their contents, which are gradually eliminated in urine via the lymphatic system. Developed by renowned aesthetic surgeon Professor Pasquale Motolese in 2004, Aqualyx injections consist of entirely plant-based compounds, with the main component deoxycholic acid (DC) found naturally in the human body. They have been licensed in the UK since December 2012. 

If you have any questions about the best non-surgical fat removal treatments, you can book a free, no-obligation consultation and speak to our expert team — we’d be happy to help and discuss your treatment options. 

Benefits of Non-surgical Fat Removal Using Aqualyx Injections

Certain areas of the body and face are extremely difficult to tone up despite dieting and regular exercise. Both men and women come to our clinic for non-surgical fat removal treatment, and Aqualxy fat dissolving injections are ideal if you are a healthy weight but have a little extra fat in a specific area. However, if you want to lose a significant amount of weight, we recommend speaking with your GP about changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle.

As with any fat reduction treatment, maintaining reduced fat cells is down to you. The benefits of fat dissolving injections are they can help you get rid of stubborn fat deposits, but you need to eat a healthy diet and exercise to keep your new shape.

What Areas Can Be Treated with Fat Dissolving Injections?

Aqualyx can be used to dissolve fat in the following areas:

• Jowls• Upper arms• Tummy bulges
• Double chin• Armpits• Hips (love handles)
• Buffalo hump (behind the neck).• Chest fat• Buttocks
• Back fat.• Inner and outer thighs
• Knees.

Fat Dissolving Injections vs Weight Loss Injections

Put quite simply, fat dissolving injections remove stubborn fat in problem areas of the body. However, they are designed to target localised fat deposits and are not designed for weight loss. Weight loss injections, as opposed to fat dissolving injections, help with weight loss and management. These injections suppress hunger rather than remove fat cells and are frequently used alongside changes in diet and regular exercise to support and improve weight loss results.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Fat Dissolving Injections?

If you’ve been wondering, “Do fat dissolving injections work?” the answer depends on your suitability for this type of treatment. There are a few instances where you should not undergo a fat dissolving injection procedure. The treatment works best when dealing with small, stubborn areas, such as bingo wings, double chins or love handles. Don’t go through the procedure thinking it’s an all-encompassing fat-loss solution.

Aqualyx fat dissolving injections can be an extremely effective treatment if you’re struggling to achieve your desired body shape despite having made healthy lifestyle changes — for example, if you’ve tried exercising more often and changing your diet.

When you’re close to your ideal body weight and have stubborn areas of fat, you are likely to be a suitable candidate for Aqualyx fat dissolving injections. 

However, if you’re over the higher end of your ideal body mass index (BMI), a non-surgical medical weight loss treatment such as Saxenda medical weight loss injections, Orlistat tablets, or appetite suppressants may be a better option. 

Who Should Not Have Aqualyx Fat Dissolving Injections?

At Harley Street MD in London, we do not administer fat dissolving injections if you:

• Are pregnant or breastfeeding
• Have a skin condition or infection
• Have Crohn’s disease or autoimmune conditions
• Have liver or kidney disease
• Have diabetes
• Suffer from severe anaphylactic reactions and allergies
• You have lipodystrophy or any pathological conditions
• Are immunosuppressed
• You are significantly overweight.

Are Fat Dissolving Injections Safe? A Comprehensive Breakdown

You’ve tried extensive diets, working out, and everything else under the sun but still haven’t achieved your goals. As a result, you may have sought out alternative weight loss methods and come across both invasive and non-invasive methods, such as fat dissolving injections. But, like many procedures that require needles, you might be wondering, “Are fat dissolving injections safe?”

Research shows Aqualyx fat dissolving injections have very low associated risks and complications. They are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and minimal side effects have been reported globally since the introduction of Aqualyx treatment for fat dissolving. The  United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved Kybella and Belkyra, which contain a similar ingredient. 

Regulations around this procedure (and other injectable aesthetic procedures) are lax in the UK, so the most important consideration to ensure fat dissolving injections are safe is to find a medically qualified practitioner who works in a CQC-registered clinic. Harley Street MD in London is one of the few CQC-registered clinics offering Aqualyx fat dissolving injections. 

In the last CQC inspection, our services at Harley Street MD were rated as “good”.

The key findings from the CQC inspection were:

• The service provided care in a way that kept patients safe and protected them from avoidable harm.
• Staff dealt with patients with kindness and respect and involved them in decisions about their care.
• The service organised and delivered services to meet patients’ needs.
• Patients could access care and treatment in a timely way.
• Structures, processes and systems to support good governance and management were clearly set out, understood and effective.
• There was an effective process to identify, understand, monitor and address current and future risks, including risks to patient safety.

Aqualyx Fat Dissolving Injections Side Effects and Risks

Side effects and risks are more likely to occur if this treatment is not performed by a suitably qualified and trained healthcare professional. However, mild side effects can be expected with any injectable treatment.

Minor side effects following Aqualyx fat dissolving injections will typically resolve within a few days, but the most common side effects include:

• Temporary skin irritation 
• Mild bruising and swelling 
• Redness.

Although serious complications can occur, they are very rare; these may include:

• Allergic reaction
• Hyperpigmentation
• Lumps or dips in the skin
• Nerve damage
• Infection
• Scarring
• Skin necrosis (death of skin cells).

You can schedule a free consultation in London with our knowledgeable staff to ask any questions you may have about the best non-surgical fat removal procedures. We’d be pleased to answer your questions and go over your available treatment options. 

How Soon Do Fat Dissolving Results Injections Show?

Your lymphatic system has to drain away the dissolved fat deposits naturally, which means you can typically expect to see results around six to eight weeks after your first treatment. Normally, at least two treatments are needed to see visible results, but this will also depend on other factors, such as the lifestyle changes you make to complement the procedure.

Fat dissolving injections can be repeated every three to four weeks. During your consultation, you will be advised of how many sessions you will likely require to obtain your desired outcome. 

Exploring Aqualyx Treatment Results and Fat Dissolving Injections Aftercare

Everyone knows the feeling of frustration when trying to get rid of pesky, stubborn pockets of fat that just won’t shift. Even if you’re genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas, such as your tummy, bottom or thighs, non-surgical fat dissolving injections offer an alternative to invasive surgical procedures like liposuction. Aqualyx treatment results have been clinically proven and published in peer-reviewed medical journals

Yet, it’s important not to have unrealistically high expectations when it comes to Aqualyx fat dissolving injections. The treatment works extremely well to remove fat deposits in specific areas to contour your existing physique. If you’re obese or very overweight, you won’t experience significant results. 

Fat Dissolving Injections Aftercare: Tips and Recommendations

Aftercare is an essential step in getting optimal results after your fat dissolving injection treatment. Without proper aftercare, you may experience more discomfort than normal. Immediately after your treatment, you might experience tenderness, swelling, redness or an itching sensation for about six hours, and you should resist touching the treatment area.

After the six hours have passed, you can wash the area gently with soap and lukewarm water. You should avoid extreme heat (hot showers, saunas, etc.) or extreme cold (ice baths or cold showers) for 48 hours and intense exercise for a week to ensure that the treatment works as intended.

How Much Fat Can Fat Dissolving Injections Remove?

We always ensure you have a clear idea of what to expect from any treatment you receive at our aesthetic clinic in London. The amount of fat dissolved by Aqualyx fat dissolving injections will vary depending on different factors.

Four of the main factors that will affect how much fat is removed are:

1. The area of the face or body treated 

2. How many sessions you have

3. Drinking enough water to help with lymphatic drainage 

4. Your individual physiology and general health.

As only a tiny amount of our total body fat is subcutaneous fat, losing fat following fat dissolving injections or other types of fat reduction treatments won’t affect your overall weight.

Do Fat Dissolving Injections Work to Remove Fat Permanently?

Once the fat cells are dissolved following Aqualyx fat dissolving injections and dispelled by your lymphatic system via your urine, they are permanently removed. However, fat dissolving injections do not remove all of the fat cells in the area treated. 

The remaining fat cells can still expand, which means if your weight increases, these areas can still be impacted. This is why it’s essential to follow a healthy diet and exercise after treatment with Aqualyx injections to ensure the results are permanent.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fat Dissolving Injections

How long does it take to see results?

After each treatment, swelling may take up to 14 days to subside, and it typically takes six to eight weeks for fat deposits to become noticeably reduced.

How many fat dissolving injections will I need? 

You may require two to three treatments for noticeable fat loss results. Aqualyx fat dissolving injections can be repeated every three to four weeks until the desired fat loss is achieved. How many fat dissolving injections you’ll need will depend on the volume of targeted fat deposits.

What are fat dissolving injections made from?

Aqualyx contains the following naturally occurring ingredients:

• Deoxycholic acid
• Buffering chemicals
• Sodium chloride
• Red microalgae sugars
• Other sugars
• Water.

Do fat dissolving injections hurt?

As with any treatment that involves needles, injections may cause slight pain or discomfort. Your comfort is always our priority, and we will stop at any time during your treatment. An anaesthetic agent is added to the Aqualyx fat dissolving injections to help relieve any discomfort, and our consultants will also use topical numbing cream on your skin before injection.

How much do fat dissolving injections cost?

Widely considered the best fat dissolving injections, Aqualyx costs significantly less than liposuction or surgical fat removal procedures. At Harley Street MD aesthetic clinic, prices start at £400 for a single treatment. Discounts are offered for a course of five treatments. Please view our treatment price list for all of our pricing options.

If you have any questions about fat dissolving injections, please arrange a free, no-obligation consultation at Harley Street MD aesthetic clinic in London. We will discuss your goals and help you to determine the best procedure to achieve them.

Evidence-Based Research and Studies

The research and study references we used, in addition to our internal research, have all been referenced here; most of them have an external link to the scientific publication. We work hard to bring you the most recent, impartial, factual, and evidence-based information to help you make informed decisions.


• Our genes affect where fat is stored in our bodies. Published online 2019, Jan 21: Science Daily
• Understanding the Possible Risks and Complications of Surgery. Published online 2021, Oct13: verywellhealth
• Cell biology of fat storage. Published online 2021, Oct 13: NCBI
• Intralipotherapy, the State of the Art. Published online 2016, Oct 4: NCBI
• A CE-Marked Drug Used for Localized Adiposity Reduction: A 4-Year Experience Published online 2015, Aug 19: Aesthetic Surgery Journal

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
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