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Aqualyx and its role in the aesthetic industry – Dr Imogen’s clinical review

I have been using Aqualyx in my clinic for 9 months now in multiple areas of the body – tummy, thigh, back and even to treat a fatty buffalo hump. It is a deoxycholoic acid which modifies the cell membrane of the fat cells, allowing fluid to rush into the cell and causing it to burst. These fat droplets can then be excreted via the lymphatic system. 

I have been using Aqualyx in my clinic for 9 months now in multiple areas of the body – tummy, thigh, back and even to treat a fatty buffalo hump. It is a deoxycholoic acid which modifies the cell membrane of the fat cells, allowing fluid to rush into the cell and causing it to burst. These fat droplets can then be excreted via the lymphatic system. I think there are 3 key factors to ensuring a successful outcome from Aqualyx treatment:

1. Great results will only be seen when treating localised pockets of fat and when the patient is one or two stone away from their ideal weight. I was keen to experiment with the product and work out the limits of what it could achieve. One patient was slim with significant excess weight across the mid-section. She was aware that she was not an ideal candidate and so the treatment was given to her at cost price. The purpose was to explore what improvements, even if only minor, could be achieved with a case such as hers. I performed 3 treatments 6 weeks apart, 2x8ml vials per session however, no visual or photographic results could be perceived. On the contrary, I treated a patient with 3x 7cm by 7cm fat pockets which had been left on her stomach after liposuction. I carried out 4 treatments 6 weeks apart with 3 vials per session and the result was incredible and she was delighted. Case selection really is crucial. 

2. This leads me to my second key point – as you can see in the case reports mentioned above, multiple sessions are required (between 2-5 but in my clinical experience I would suggest most patients require 4/5). This can therefore become a very pricy treatment. Each vial costs around £300 and therefore for a stomach area where at least 2 vials are likely to be needed the overall cost could average as much as £2500. However, the results are permanent, providing the client does not gain significant weight, and avoids having to opt for a surgical approach. Considering this, the best areas to treat are ones that will likely remain no matter what the persons weight loss (submental fat, buffalo hump, bra strap fat and fat left over from liposuction for example)

3. My third top tip for using Aqualyx is understanding how significant the after effects are. On my training course, I do not think it was highlighted enough how painful the treatment actually is. It burns and stings at the time of treatment and then feels very achy, sore and bruised for days afterwards. This can really put patients off sticking to their recommended course of treatments and so full disclosure from the outset is key. I know just how painful the procedure is as I have tried it on myself, this was a very useful exercise and allowed my consent process to be much more accurate and comprehensive. 

Overall, I do think that Aqualyx has a place in aesthetic clinics and offers practitioners a treatment to remove localised fat without the need for expensive machines. I have many delighted clients who would highly recommend the procedure.