Mesotherapy, also called Lipodissolve is a highly advertised procedure that involves injecting microscopic quantities of natural extracts, homeopathic agents, pharmaceuticals and vitamins into the skin to dissolve fat. Proponents of Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve claim that these procedures can be used to eliminate cellulite, promote weight loss, treat aging skin and redundant (sagging) skin, and rejuvenate the hands and neck. Mesotherapy and lipodissolve are often promoted as an alternative to liposuction and laser liposuction for body contouring.

Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve injections are purported to target adipose fat cells, apparently by inducing rupture and cell death among adipocytes (fat cells). Patients are often led to believe that Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve is a fat melting procedure and can avoid the need for liposuction and body contouring surgery. Since many of our patients ask us about this technology and have many questions, we thought it was important to address the topic with some facts and research.

A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, states that Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve, in fact, is not effective.

(See: Effectiveness of Mesotherapy on Body Contouring. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 121(4):179e-185e, April 2008.Park, Seung Ha M.D., Ph.D.; Kim, Deok Woo M.D.; Lee, Min Ah M.D.; Yoo, Sang Chul M.D.; Rhee, Seung Chul M.D.; Koo, Sang Hwan M.D., Ph.D.; Seol, Geun Hye R.N.; Cho, Eun Young A.N)

Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve is traditionally performed in the US in Cosmetic spas and rarely by a physician despite the fact that fairly significant medications are injected into the skin during the procedure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not approved the subcutaneous (below the skin) injection of medications commonly used in Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve.

There are multiple cocktails of medications used in Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve including: phosphatidylcholine, isopterenol, aminophylline, caffeine, L-carnitine, buflomedil, calcitonin, and others. The published scientific study was a randomized, prospective, clinical trial carried out on 20 women. A solution of aminophylline, lidocaine and buflomedil was used in the patient’s thigh area.

The results showed no statistical evidence of loss of fat or improved body contour in the thigh area of these women. In fact, some women had larger thighs after the study.

Despite the many stories of significant fat melting by some cosmetic practitioners and spas as a result of Mesotherapy or Lipodissolve, the plastic surgery community does not feel this is an effective means of body contouring and is certainly no substitute for liposuction.

As with any planned surgical or non-surgical procedure, we recommend you consult with a trained plastic surgeon for advice and answers.

Dr. Brooke R. Seckel is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on Plastic Surgery and the treatment of facial aging. He performs all types of cosmetic, facial and breast plastic surgery, but his special interest lies in the field of non-invasive and non-surgical therapies to correct and prevent facial aging.

Dr. Seckel was founder and Director of the Lahey Center for Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was also the founder and first chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at The Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, a large multi-specialty group practice hospital in the Boston area. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, The American Board of Neurology, and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and was recently voted one of the “Best Doctors in America” by Best Doctors® Inc. Boston Magazine has also recognized Dr. Brooke Seckel as one of the “Top Doctors in Boston” in 2006.

Dr. Seckel has published over 100 scientific articles in the field of plastic surgery and authored the first book on cosmetic laser surgery in 1995 entitled “Aesthetic Laser Surgery”. He also published, Facial Danger Zones, a book devoted to teaching surgeons how to perform facial surgery safely without injuring the facial nerves.

More recently, Dr. Seckel published Save Your Face – The Revolutionary 6-step Non-surgical Facial Rejuvenation Program which discusses, in easy to understand language, the causes and prevention of facial aging, and the revolutionary new non-surgical methods for facial rejuvenation. Dr Seckel’s office is at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, 978-369-4499 and he may be contacted at drseckel.com

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