Ramya Kannan

CHENNAI: The first thing about weight loss is that there are no short-cuts to shedding flab. Having said that, science is at hand and can kick start the process. Carboxy therapy, which has come to replace liposuction in some parts of the world, is one such technique.

“Carboxy therapy is a non surgical, simple clinic procedure to reduce fat deposits,” G.R. Ratnavel, consultant dermatologist, Apollo Hospitals, says. This is how it works: carbon dioxide in minimal quantities is injected into the area where flab has to be removed. The CO2 destroys the fat cells and increases blood flow to the area. The procedure is not painful, there is no bleeding, or side effects, but the beneficial effects are only realised after several sittings, he explains.

Dr. Ratnavel says he has been performing the procedure for at least four years now and insists that a proper diet, with good exercise supplemented by carboxy therapy will substantially improve the quality of life for a lot of patients struggling with their weight. The procedure is also being used by people who have stretch marks, those who require skin tightening after surgery and to remove blackness under the eyes.

Chennai-based entrepreneur Rama (name changed) underwent some sessions of carboxy therapy to loose the tummy she had gained after her delivery. “There are no side effects as such and as for the injections, they are like pin pricks,” she says. Ms. Rama says she was told very clearly that without appropriate exercises and following a good diet, she will not see good results.

She was also clearly told that to maintain the tautness gained from the therapy, she needs to be on a maintenance schedule. Carboxy therapy, which has FDA approval, works well with cellulite deposits, found mostly in the hip and thigh regions, says Sangeetha Patel of Inxs Clinic in Bangalore. “It can work like a start point, enabling people who are unable to lose weight no matter whatever they do to begin the process of weight loss,” she says. It is medical procedure for aesthetics, but at a time when obesity looms large, can help people with obesity related problems.

Every session can last for about 15 minutes and is said to be able to remove anything between 500 to 800 gm of fat.

Depending on the doctor you go to and/or your level of obesity, doctors will schedule the number of sittings. A session can cost between Rs.800 or Rs.1,000 a session and there has to be a gap of three or seven days between two consecutive sittings.

She adds, “We tell every patient, ‘You cannot buy weight loss.’ Do what you must in terms of diet and exercise and we will help your initial weight loss.”