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FDA Warns Spas Against Fat-Melting Claims of Lipodissolve

Posted Apr 08 2010 7:23pm

Is Lipodissolve or mesotherapy safe? The FDA has recently issued a warning to six medical spas for making false or misleading statements that their fat melting injections are safe and effective, despite the fact that they've never been appropriately studied or approved by the FDA for this purpose. According to the US News and World Report
Lipodissolve involves injecting small amounts of soy lecithin and bile salt directly into problem areas on the hips, waist, thighs, and buttocks, which supposedly melts away fat. The injections became wildly popular three years ago with spas opening up around the country and with doctors in every specialty—from pediatricians to dermatologists —taking weekend seminars to learn the procedure before opening fat-dissolving clinics.

Fat melting injections became popular a few years ago, but have since lost a lot of their hype. To date, no wide-scale scientific study has validated its safety or effectiveness, although some smaller case studies have shown some effectiveness with the injection of certain drugs to melt fat. The problem is that the majority of physicians who perform these fat-melting injections have the drugs made in a compounding pharmacy to whatever concoction they believe might work. There is no standardization, like in most other medications we take. In my area (metro Detroit) I don't know of a single reputable plastic surgeon who performs these treatments. Most of the doctors who perform these treatments are what I consider 'fringe' practitioners. I have seen patients who have lost fat from mesotherapy, however, so I do believe there is some validity to these treatments. They just need to be standardized and studied to make sure they are safe, effective, and at least somewhat predictable.

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.
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