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Mesotherapy and Lipodissolve Safety and Warnings

** Please note that Shrinc Clinic do NOT offer either of these treatments. We may be able to help improve your condition if you have suffered tissue injury or cosmetic damage from these treatments.

These treatments are marketed as safe, minimally invasive "fat dissolving" injections. While this procedure goes by many names (e.g., Lipostabil®, Lipodissolve, Lipo-zap, Flab-Jab, Mesotherapy, Lipotherapy, Injection Lipolysis) they all multiple injections of a toxic liquid designed to destroy fat cells. The experimental procedure is not approved or licenced for cosmetic use.


Mesotherapy was developed in France in 1952. It was believed that injecting various highly concentrated compounds into the dermis could produce a positive physiological effect on vascular and lymphatic systems near the skin. Mesotherapy injection solutions can contain various combinations of substances that may include vitamins, minerals, stimulants, plant extracts, vasodilators, hormones, enzymes, and drugs such as NSAIDs, theophylline and isoproterenol. Web site descriptions of Mesotherapy treatments offer only vague details of the ingredients. Many practitioners have their own formulas, which are often kept secret or revealed only through fee-for-service physician courses. Injections are recommended for a wide range of conditions including pain management, sports injuries, cellulite, wrinkles, alopecia, psoriasis, weight loss and body contouring.

Injection Lipolysis "Lipodissolve"

Not to be confused with Mesotherapy, Injection Lypolisis treatments also claim to reduce or eliminate unwanted local accumulations of fat. The difference between Mesotherapy and Injection Lipolysis is the ingredients and injection locations. Lipolysis is injected into the subcutaneous fat and Mesotherapy injects into the mesoderm. Lipolysis is typically done with trade-named products such as Lipodissolve and Lipostabil or with private formulations provided by compounding pharmacies. The one common ingredient in all injection Lipolysis formulations is phosphatidylcholine (PPC) extracted from soy beans, although vitamins and other ingredients may be added.

In the U.S., sodium deoxycholate (DC), a component of bile, is a second major ingredient used to keep the PPC soluble and in an injectable form without precipitating out of solution.

PPC and DC are both approved by the FDA for use as surfactants and drug carriers. There is no FDA approval of either drug for subcutaneous injection for any purpose.

The Risky nature of Lipodissolve and Mesotherapy

Strong marketing has led to the surfacing of injection Lipolysis or Lipodissolve centers, franchises and spas. None of these centres are regulated. The fact that a Surgeon, Doctor or Nurse is injecting does not guarantee your safety.

Contrary to advertising claims, injection Lipolysis does not actually "melt" or "dissolve" fat. Instead, PPC and/or DC appear to kill (lyse) adipocytes. These treatments have not been cleared by the FDA nor there have been objective studies indicating their effectiveness. There is no standard ingredient list. Many of the individual ingredients are not FDA-approved on their own, not to mention as part of a chemical cocktail. The procedure is banned for cosmetic purposes in many countries including Brazil. There are class action cases being heard in the US against lipodissolve providers.


Studies have found that infection, disfiguring masses of inflamed tissue and tissue necrosis (death), threadlike strands of scar tissue, cell wall disruption, focal inflammation and collagen deposition can occur after lipodissolve.

In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 'mesotherapy' treatments for cosmetic fat reduction leading to an outbreak of skin infections, drainage or ulceration at the injection sites.

We have also seen indentations, divets and permanent discolouration in clients that have had these treatments.

The most common complication reported, however, are pain, tenderness to touch, redness, stinging/burning sensation, itching, swelling and bruising. These occur soon after treatment and usually last for several days, but can persist for weeks or even months.

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Position Statement

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) recently issued a “position paper” on the use of mesotherapy. Here are the recommendations that the ASAPS made to its members, after an extensive investigation into the use of mesotherapy:

"ASAPS does not endorse the injection of phosphatydal choline, deocycholate or any other drugs, vitamins, plant extracts, hormones, etc. into subcutaneous fat as practiced in mesotherapy/Lipodissolve treatments. At present, these therapies lack objective proof of safety and efficacy. They also lack FDA approval.

Members should therefore refrain from adopting these procedures until the results of the ASERF [a plastic surgery research organization] study are available to provide proof of safety and efficacy, or lack thereof. If and when patients ask about these treatments, the scientific reality that currently exists should be explained to them, along with the caution to wait until something definitive is known.

Until then, patients should be warned about seeking treatments from people who may not be qualified to administer large numbers of injections that require very precise placement."

Complaints about Lipodissolve and Mesotherapy

If you have a complaint about this procedure it can be lodged with the following regulatory bodies:

QLD Health Quality & Complaints Commission
NSW Health Care Complaints Commission
VIC Office of the Health Services Commissioner
SA Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner
WA Office of Health Review
TAS Health Complaints Commissioner
ACT Human Rights Commission
NT Health and Community Services Complaints Commission


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