The FDA has sent out 7 warning letters to 6 US medical spas (cosmetic medical businesses that operate under the supervision of a licensed health care professional) and one in Brazil. The letters were issued due to the spas issuing false and misleading statements on their websites about Lipodissolve. Lipodissolve is also known as lipozap, lipotherapy, mesotherapy and/or injection lipolysis. Lipodissolve is a procedure where the patient has a series of injections using a cocktail of supplements with the intent of eliminating the fat in the body. It is often used as an alternative to facelifts or liposuction.
According to the FDA, “these Lipodissolve products include statements that they eliminate unwanted fat, have an outstanding safety record, and are superior to other fat loss procedures. Some medical spas also claim that Lipodissolve products can treat medical conditions, such as male breast enlargement, benign fatty growths, and surgical deformities.” There is no current proof that these statements are correct.
The FDA has not approved any drug used in this cocktail which may include: phosphatidylcholine (PC), deoxycholate (DC) and pentoxifylline, lidocaine, aminophylline, calcitonin, isoproterenol, caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts. Not all Lipodissolve cocktails are the same and may have some undocumented supplements or herbs in them.
Side Effects Being Watched by the FDA:
According to the FDA, “The overall safety of Lipodissolve products is not known. There are reports in the scientific literature of complications and adverse effects ranging from injection-site reactions (e.g., prolonged swelling, redness, pain), skin reactions (e.g., panniculitis, ulceration, abscess, necrosis, scarring) and skin infections. These adverse events may be attributed to the drugs injected, injection technique, or the formulation of the solution.”
If anyone has any adverse effects with Lipodissolve, they are asked to contact the MedWatch program (FDA voluntary reporting program). You can reach them by calling 800-FDA-1088 or electronically at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm.
Comparing Apples to Oranges:
Although it is good to keep the public informed, it is very difficult to compare a few side effects to sometimes fatal consequences with liposuction. With liposuction surgery, 25% of the patients have complications and 7% of them are considered major. There have been some fatalities with liposuction and some near fatalities, as with the comedian, Kathy Griffin.
Note: There have never been any documented deaths with Lipodissolve or mesotherapy in the US.