What is this all about?
Let’s talk about phosphatidylcholine, also known as lecithin or PPC. PPC is a normal compound found in our cell membranes.
All of the living tissues of the body are composed of cells. Humans have 100 trillion cells, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, skin cells, muscle cells, nerve cells and fat cells. Cells can be thought of as resembling grapes, in which case the cell membrane is like the grape skin, holding the grape together and protecting the grape from drying out.
Cell membranes are composed of proteins (55%), phospholipids (25%), cholesterol (13%), other lipids and carbohydrates (7%), but its the phospholipids that supply the basic structure, and the most important of these is phosphatidylcholine or PPC.
If cell membranes are suddenly given an extra dose of PPC, they become too fluid and fragile, and break down.
So, a dose of PPC into fatty tissue will cause the fat cells to break and open and release their fat. But that’s just the start.
PPC also facilitates the breaking down of the fat itself. The fat in fat cells is stored as a compound called triacylglycerol, (still commonly called triglyceride). A molecule of triacylglycerol looks a bit like a cricket wicket, with three long “fatty acid” chains (the stumps) held together at one end by a short “glycerol” molecule (the bails).
PPC breaks down triacylglycerol just like Brett Lee takes apart an Englishman’s wicket. The three free fatty acids and the glycerol then get taken in the blood stream to the liver.
The liver deals with these fatty acids the way it deals with any fatty acids: some get converted into bile acids, some are oxidised for energy if required, and the rest are reconverted to triacylglycerol and sent back into the bloodstream to land in another fat cell.
It’s important then to understand that PPC kills fat cells, which then empty themselves of fat, reducing the fat capacity of the area being treated. BUT doesn’t reduce your total weight. It’s a treatment for shape, not weight
That’s the physiology of PPC treatment. That’s how it works, using one of the body’s normal compounds, doing its normal job, to bring about our desired effect. That’s how PPC breaks down and destroys your fat cells.
What happens in a PPC fat-dissolving treatment?
Initially we’d like to see you in consultation to ensure your suitability for the treatment and to explain the treatment to you. This is very important, as we want to give you the very best in comprehensive cosmetic medical care, and we want you to know all your options and know all about the treatment prior to proceeding.
At the time of the actual treatment we will assess you standing up and plan out exactly where we want the treatment to go. The PPC works where and only where we put it, so planning is essential. We take the time to plan to ensure the most even and best results.
The most common request is for abdominal treatment, but the same principles apply to thigh, arm, hip and double chin treatments.
Whilst PPC treatments are relatively new to Australia, there are well-established protocols used in Europe, and it is these standard protocols we use at Peach.
PPC is given by injection, using a tiny 30-gauge needle. This needle is smaller than blood-taking needles, smaller than immunisation needles. It is really tiny and you will barely feel it.
Your first session will be for a maximum of 1000mg of PPC. Each injection is 20mg, so you will get around 50 injections to cover the treatment area. Remember that the injections are really tiny. If you are worried they may be painful, we can reduce or eliminate the discomfort by using ice, anaesthetic cream, analgesic tablets, and at Peach we even have N2O gas (laughing gas, dental gas), so there is no need for any discomfort. Don’t worry!
The actual injection time takes only a few minutes, especially for the first treatment. You will be able to go straight back to work.
Later on the day of the treatment you will notice the treatment area start to swell a little. This is good; this tells you the treatment is working. Some pinkness and puffiness tells you the fat cells are breaking down and the body is working to whisk away the fat to the liver. The area might now feel a little uncomfortable, but won’t interfere with most activities. Remember the effect is occurring only in the fat under the skin, where the needles reach (about 13 mm under the skin). There’s absolutely no effect on any internal organ (There’s no effect on the fat deep inside your abdomen: deep abdominal fat needs other approaches we can discuss in consultation).
The day after the treatment the area will look puffy like a local allergic reaction. Again, this tells you the treatment is working.
The next day will be more comfortable, and a couple more days will see all these transient effects disappear.
The fat reduction will start in the second and third weeks.
The first session is necessarily a careful treatment with a low dose. Most people feel one treatment is not enough for their needs.
The second session can be stronger, usually 1500mg, involving 75 little injections. If you found the first session at all uncomfortable we would suggest that you apply some anaesthetic cream to the treatment area prior to the second session. We’ll discuss all this in consultation.
40% of patients notice a real change after two treatments. But the treatment then gets better.
The next treatment can involve up to 2500mg of PPC total body dose. We can spread such a dose to cover thighs and buttocks and abdomen, or we can concentrate it into an area the size of an A4 page: its up to you and the doctor to decide together. After three treatments, around 70% of patients are noticing a real change.
After each treatment you will get some pinkness and puffiness; remember that this means you are definitely getting results.
Treatments can proceed about every three to four weeks.
Aside from the effects mentioned above, and the occasional tiny bruise, no side effects are seen. That’s because PPC is a normal physiological substance found in abundance in the body. Once it gets into the blood stream it rapidly becomes so diluted in your 5 litres of blood volume, and so mixed with your usual PPC floating in the bloodstream, that distant effects in the body are medically implausible, and side effects in excess of placebo are not seen.
Why only 500-1000mg PPC in the first treatment session?
Because we can’t be sure how vigorously your body will respond to the treatment. Some get more puffiness and pinkness than others, and those who get more reaction than most are glad, of course, that their first dose was not too big.
Long term side effects?
This treatment dates back 40 years in France, and long-term side effects have not been seen. Long-term side effects are difficult to imagine, given that the substance is a natural part of our physiologies.
Extent of improvement?
Hard to be specific, but somewhere between 3 and 6 treatments should see you drop a dress size around the waist. Combine with healthy eating and exercise for better results.
Will the fat stay away forever?
The cells we kill are dead and gone after the treatment, but if you eat foolishly and don’t exercise you’ll put weight back on. Having said that, your shape will always be better than it would have been had you not had the treatment (all things being equal).
Some say this fat-reducing treatment is not “true” mesotherapy
We believe the difference is semantic. Americans use the term “mesotherapy” to describe needle-based treatments to subcutaneous fat and cellulite. Europeans differentiate between the fat-reducing injections we are describing here, and what they call “true” mesotherapy for cellulite. But “true” mesotherapy is very similar in that it involves lots of little injections, but these injections go only 2 or 3 mm under the skin whereas PPC injections go 13mm deep.
However, “true” mesotherapy treatments are very commonly combined with PPC treatments, and the two are often confused together.
What about liposuction?
Liposuction is a great treatment for getting a fast result, particularly when there is a lot of fat to remove, but liposuction usually involves operating theatre time, sedation, compressive garments during the recovery phase, and sometimes irregularities of the result. Experienced liposuctionists who know about PPC will use the PPC after liposuction to finesse their liposuction treatments. We predict PPC injections will take over a lot of treatments formally done by liposuction.
Our body treatment sessions for PPC treatments are $550 each, or prepay three for $1490 or prepay six for $2800, or prepay ten for $4400. You will find this very competitive.
Importantly, for each of our treatments you get a full dose of 2500mg of PPC, even your first treatment.
We split your first treatment into two sessions, with usually 1000mg applied in the first session and 1500mg applied in the second, perhaps a week later. You pay $550 at the time of the first session, and nothing at the time of the second session.
Face treatments involve smaller doses tailored to your individual facial requirements. These are a flat $195 each treatment.
Who does the treatment?
Here at Peach Dr Mahony himself conducts your initial consultation and supervises each treatment. Our nurse Stacey performs the injections. For your assurance.
What do I do now?
Ring us for a consultation. Remember procrastination is the thief of time, and so the thief or our lives. You’ve got nothing to lose but your fat.
Phone 9368 0100