QWO® is an FDA-approved injectable developed specifically for the treatment of cellulite. According to studies, approximately 90 percent of women have some degree of dimpling in areas such as the buttocks and thighs. Cellulite is more common in these areas due to the way the female body naturally holds fatty tissue. However, cellulite should not be mistaken for excess fat. There is more to it than that. Women of all ages and sizes can struggle with cellulite. The reason this can happen is because dimples are formed by the compression of fat cells by fibrous septae that tether the skin to underlying muscle. These bands of connective tissue pull inward as fat cells press outward.
QWO injections contain collagenase clostridium histolyticum, a controlled bacterium that has the power to chemically sever the septae that travel from skin to muscle. Collagenase clostridium histolyticum is not a new therapeutic. It has been used in the field of orthopedics for many years. QWO is the first use of this bacterium in the field of aesthetic medicine.
The development of QWO has been significant because it represents a shift from mechanical, minimally-invasive cellulite treatment to a chemically-based therapy. QWO is nonsurgical. It does not require anesthetic or sedation. Patients also do not need downtime to recover.
QWO is also advantageous because the drug has been extensively tested for FDA approval. Patients can feel confident in the safety and efficacy of this treatment because both have been proven in clinical trials.
The FDA has approved QWO for the treatment of buttocks cellulite. Most healthy women with true cellulite in this area can be good candidates for QWO injections. Women of varying weight, age, and skin tone participated in clinical trials for QWO, and the drug worked well across the board. More than weight, the defining criterion that patients need to meet relates to the condition of their skin. Sometimes, what appears to be cellulite dimpling is really loose skin. If you are interested in receiving QWO treatment to reduce cellulite on the buttocks, your doctor will perform a quick evaluation of your skin to make sure that these injections can achieve optimal results.
The chemical action that QWO has on the fibrous septae is referred to as enzymatic subcision and remodeling. When injected in the area of a cellulite dimple, the enzymes in QWO break down Type I and Type III collagen, the proteins that make up the fibrous bands that cause cellulite. As the bands dissolve, the overlying skin is released and dimples smooth away. In addition to degrading the collagen bands, the enzymes in QWO also stimulate new collagen production, called neocollagenesis, which can improve the thickness of the skin for more dramatic results.
QWO injections are administered in the office after the doctor has marked the injection sites. This is done while the patient is standing. The patient then lies comfortably on the treatment table to receive injections. The entire process may take 20 minutes or less, depending on the number of dimples being treated.
Clinical data suggests that the best results come from a series of three treatment sessions. These are scheduled three weeks apart.
QWO can achieve remarkable results for qualified patients. These build over time as the connective tissue that tugs on the skin breaks down and new collagen helps thicken the epidermis. Before the final results appear, patients can expect to see a few side effects from their QWO injections.
The primary side effect associated with QWO injections is bruising. This temporary discoloration is most intense after the first round of injections. Over 75% of patients involved in clinical trials reported significant bruising after their first visit. Researchers believe that this could be because the collagen-degrading enzyme may affect blood vessels in the treatment area, causing some blood to leak into surrounding tissue. Fortunately, bruising is much less severe after subsequent injections.
QWO is a relatively new injectable, and the first of its kind for the treatment of cellulite. While studies on the longevity of results are ongoing, researchers have estimated that QWO can reduce the appearance of cellulite for at least one year, potentially up to five years. This is difficult to predict because every patient’s body may respond differently to treatment.
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