Patients looking for injectable alternatives to liposuction may be risking their health in the process, cautions plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Green. His warning follows a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) crackdown on doctors and medical spas that have overstated the safety and results of the injectable fat treatment Lipodissolve. Dr. Green says he hopes the FDA’s step will prompt patients to take another look at their options and choose a method of liposuction that is recognized as safe and effective.
“What people don’t realize is that these ‘fat-melting’ injections can cause serious complications if not performed by a skilled provider, and there’s very little scientific evidence that they achieve lasting results,” explains Dr. Green. “People who want to slim and tone their bodies need to hear the facts on which procedures doctors widely trust.”
Lipodissolve or “mesotherapy” treatments use a combination of drugs injected into fatty areas to prompt fat cells to break down, but neither of the two main drugs used is cleared by the FDA to be marketed for fat removal. Researchers also do not fully understand how these treatments work or what exactly happens to the dissolved fat, and according to the FDA, several patients have reported complications such as skin deformations following treatment.
“It’s reasonable for patients to look for a faster, more effective fat removal system, but the best surgeons offer several liposuction options that can achieve reliable results without much downtime,” says Dr. Green. “In my opinion, mesotherapy’s potential risks are unnecessary.”
Liposuction procedures often involve very little downtime and can be used even for high-precision adjustments in the small areas like “love handles” and “bra rolls” that mesotherapy was designed to treat. And because liposuction removes problem fat cells directly, it allows the surgeon a very high degree of precision to ensure the results look natural.
“Most people considering body contouring cosmetic surgery just want to smooth out their problem areas and get results that are going to last,” adds Dr. Green.