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American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Warns Patients To Steer Clear
Of Injection Fat Loss Treatments
(press release from ASAPS)
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) released today a
warning 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.
"Safety needs to come first. We do not have definitive information on injection
fat loss treatments. All we have is a few small studies and anecdotal evidence.
Until we know more, we cannot recommend these procedures to patients," said Foad
Nahai, MD, president of the Society. "The bottom line for patients is this:
Don't allow yourself to be injected with an unknown and untested substance."
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.
"Mesotherapy treatment centers are opening all over the country and these
consumer outlets may not be staffed by trained medical professionals. Patients
seeking fat dissolving treatments should be educated about the lack of clinical
data supporting these treatments and cautioned to wait until there is reliable
information to guide their decision," said Alan H. Gold, MD, president of the
Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF). "For now, the only
proven method for eliminating unwanted fat cells is suction assisted lipoplasty,
a procedure that has a long and successful track record for both safety and
A placebo-controlled study is being sponsored by ASERF to demonstrate safety and
efficacy-or lack thereof-of one type of injection lipolysis treatment. The
formula that will be used for injection in this 20-patient study-phosphatidylcholine
(PPC)/sodium deoxycholate (DC)-is one that has shown the most promise in small,
published trials. The study, which will be conducted under FDA supervision, will
follow patients for 46 weeks to evaluate the efficacy of PPC/DC for injection
lipolysis and collect data on local and systemic reactions and any long-term
complications. At present, neither drug being studied in this trial is FDA
approved for subcutaneous injection for any purpose. Once completed, the results
will be published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and presented at an annual
The 2400-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is the
only plastic surgery organization devoted entirely to the advancement of
cosmetic surgery. ASAPS is recognized throughout the world as the authoritative
source for cosmetic surgery education. U.S. members are certified by the
American Board of Plastic Surgery. Canadian members are certified in plastic
surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
The educational foundation Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation
helps to ensure the safety and effectiveness of new aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic
surgical techniques and technologies by funding scientific research and clinical
studies. Web site:
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
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