Patient Safety Warning to Steer Clear of Injection Fat Loss Treatments

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) released a patient safety warning on May 14, 2007 against the use of injection fat loss treatments. Patients are advised to avoid these procedures, which are commonly known as lipolysis, mesotherapy, or the brand names Lipodissolve and Lipostabil. Although marketed as fat loss treatments, these procedures are scientifically unproven, lacking any objective data on safety and efficacy. In addition, none of these procedures has received FDA approval, with the ingredients poorly defined. The procedures may also be offered by persons without sufficient medical training, thereby putting patients at risk of harm.

Despite media and advertising claims that mesotherapy or injection lipolysis treatments can safely and effectively eliminate unwanted fat, published peer-reviewed scientific reports of properly performed controlled prospective trials to confirm either safety or efficacy do not exist. Furthermore, there is no objective data on how these treatments produce ‘fat dissolving' effects and there are numerous reports of complications documented in the medical literature, including bacterial infection, granulomas (disfiguring masses of chronically inflamed tissue) and localized necrosis (tissue death), particularly when injections were done by lay people.

There is a popular trend of mesotherapy treatment centers popping up all over the country and may not be operated by properly trained medical professionals or staff.  Patients seeking fat dissolving treatments need to steer clear of injection fat loss treatments and be aware of the lack of clinical data supporting these treatments at this time.  ASAPS supports the use of suction assisted lipoplasty for patients - considered the only proven method to eliminate unwanted fat cells, a procedure that has a long and successful track record for both safety and effectiveness.

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