The Premiere Site For Celebrity Plastic Surgery By A Real Plastic Surgeon

I'm a Michigan-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been featured on Dr. 90210. The info here is my opinion alone and should not be taken as fact or as medical advice. I've not treated any of the celebrities presented here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The controversy of fat melting injections

Allure Magazine has a fascinating article this month (November) written by Joan Kron on lipodissolve and other fat melting injections. The article, titled "Fat Chance," is an in depth analysis of the risks, benefits, and even unethical marketing of this controversial treatment. I have touched on mesotherapy (the generic term for fat melting injections) in this blog in the past, and must admit that I do not perform these treatments. I am, however, very interested in their possible utility once they are proven safe and effective.
Some interesting points about fat melting injections:
1. The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts in August voted to outlaw lipodissolve treatments, except for approved drug trials. A court judge then blocked the ruling from taking effect in response to legal action from a lipodissolve chain. A trial is pending.
2. It is against the law to perform lipodissolve in Canada and Brazil.
3. England has prohibited advertising lipodissolve, and doctor's insurance no longer covers these procedures.
4. There are some documented scientific papers which show nice improvement from fat melting injections without major side effects, but none of these have included an FDA-approved clinical trial to formally document its safety and efficacy.
5. According to an online Allure article, has found that employees from two of these fat melting clinics have bombarded their message boards and comments areas with propaganda while posing as actual patients.
6. According to Allure: Essentially, lipodissolve clinics are practicing "human experimentation, due to the lack of significant data to support the claims to the consumer," says Dr. Rod Rohrich, chief of plastic surgery at the University of Texas, Southwest Medical Center.

So what do I think of fat melting injections?
My take is that these controversial treatments are very intriguing and hopefully will live up to expectations. As a physician, however, my first priority is to the safety of my patients. A treatment like this needs to be proven to be safe and effective before I perform it on someone. Otherwise, it is considered human experimentation and should be explained to the patient in this way. There are too many doctors out there, however, who get blinded by greed and see this as their ticket to riches. Our patients deserve better than a non-proven treatment without proven safety, standardization of medication, or realistic expectations. Hopefully in the near future fat melting treatments will be proven safe and effective.

Photo credit:

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


Anonymous said...

Dr Youn, how come its not possible to post a comment on the recent Nicole Kidman story?

Dr. Tony Youn said...

Sometimes comments are disabled to protect the site from making claims which cannot be fully proven. Hence, my using the terms "appears to be" and such. Check out for evidence of celebrities threatening litigation.