Fat-Dissolving Procedure Outlives Safety Warnings

January 19, 2008 02:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A chain of "lipodissolve" clinics offering to melt away fat close their doors following criticism from medical groups and consumers. Nonetheless, the procedure continues to attract interest.

30-Second Summary

There seem to exist few balanced appraisals of lipodissolve’s effectiveness and safety. A Google search of the term returns hundreds of Web sites on which the product is either touted as a miracle or denounced as a potentially dangerous scam.

The treatment itself involves injecting into the body a soybean-based substance that kills fat cells.

The BBC reports that the procedure is very popular in Hollywood because it leaves no scars and produces results quickly. Internet show hostess CC told the BBC that it is “the new Botox.”

The procedure has continued to gain traction all over the United States despite the fact that it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

In fact, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts proposed banning the procedure in September 2007 after receiving complaints from patients.

Nonetheless, Fig., the most widely known chain offering the treatment, told The New York Times in September 2007 that the company alone had performed over 100,000 treatments in the last three years. 

Doctors remain divided on the issue. While some providers have adopted the procedure, and profited from it, others have denounced it, citing a lack of research into its safety.

However, there have been questions about whether plastic surgeons oppose the treatment because it cuts into their business. Dr. Michael Olding, plastic surgery chief at George Washington University, refutes that suggestion. To The Washington Post, Dr. Olding said, “It is an ethical question, not a financial one.”

Headline Links: Fig. folds but lipodissolve still going strong

Background: Lipodissolve defies its critics

‘Lipodissolve Proves Popular Despite Lack of FDA Nod’
‘Fat Fighting, Los Angeles Style’

Reactions: Plastic surgeons speak out

Opinion & Analysis ‘It is an ethical question, not a financial one.’

Reference Material: Quackwatch and the FDA

Related Links: Fat removal in Kansas


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines