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Electrolipolysis

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 5 March 2008

Want to get rid of cellulite, orange peel, excess localised fat, a slight tummy bulge or thunderthighs? Electrolipolysis could be a solution...

Who is it for?

Electrolipolysis is aimed at women who have mild localised cellulite on the thighs, buttocks, hips and stomach. It isn't recommended for overweight people or adolescents.

How it works
- Electrolipolysis involves inserting fine needles (throwaway needles of the sort used for acupuncture) into swollen fatty tissue, running a weak, low frequency electric current through the area that makes the fibrils (tiny fibres) of connective tissue under the skin - which improve the quality and appearance of the skin - contract.

- On the thighs and buttocks, for example, doctors use 4 pairs of needles 10-12 cm long in the hypodermis, at depths of 1-5 cm. This is where the fat that causes cellulite lies.
- Electrolipolysis destroys fat cells, making them lose their ability to retain fat. The fat is then free to be used, and is elilminated from your system naturally in your urine, which is why it's recommended to drink lots of water after treatment to flush out toxins.
- Lymphatic and blood microcirculation is improved by alternating between contraction and letting go of the muscles.

Where is it done?
Electrolipolysis has to be carried out in a surgery or hospital, by a cosmetic surgeon, after an interview/consultation. No local anaesthetic is given. It isn't very painful: you'll feel a pin-prick at the most, and a bit of stinging from the electric current.

How long does treatment take?
Expect 6-10 sessions, 45-60 minutes in length, with an interval of two weeks in between, for smooth, firm and lump-free skin.

Results
Are visible after 4 weeks. For optimum results, you should also lead a healthy lifestyle, eat healthily, and exercise at least twice a week. The results will depend on the quality of the tissue and how old the cellulite is.

You lose an average of 2-5cm from your hips, 3-4cm from your thighs and 4-5kg in weight. What's more, it seems the fatty cells retain the treatment in their memory, so you don't put weight back on when you stop treatment. To maintain the benefits, try having acupuncture to restore your body's general balance.

Is it suitable for me?
Electroliploysis is not recommended for adolescents, people who are overweight or pregnant women. You should not have it if you have deep vein thrombosis, inflamed, irritated skin or spots on the area, because of the risks of infection.

Risks
Slight swelling is the only side-effect.

Price
£20-30 per session.

Electrolipolysis or liposuction?
- The two are totally different: liposuction is a surgical procedure carried out by a cosmetic surgeon, and is a much more invasive, more expensive procedure.
- Electrolipolysis is far less common than liposuction, but is starting to become a bit more well known, especially alongside mesotherapy.
- See the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons for more information (www.bapras.org.uk).

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