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Does Body Contouring Surgery Work?

Less Invasive Procedure for Fat Reduction Shows Promise

No Such Thing as a Magic Wand continued...

"Based on what I see from my patients complaining about it, I would not be recommending mesotherapy [yet]," he says.

ASAPS formed an ad hoc committee to further investigate the pros and cons of mesotherapy, he says. "We don't know whether it works or not because it is used by a lot of people who inject all kinds of chemicals into the skin," Fodor explains. "Our committee looked at the literature and we found no uniformity to what is being used, how much is being injected, and where it is being injected, so we could not draw any conclusions," he says. That's why ASAPS is conducting a clinical trial at five centers to definitively answer questions about mesotherapy. "We will do some studies with an exact and rigid protocol so we can compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges," he says.

Beaming Fat Away

Fodor is more enthusiastic about the LipoSonix technology. "I am very optimistic," he says." I love the results," he says citing as much as a 7-centimeter reduction in waist circumference seen in clinical trials conducted in Mexico. This technology, which uses high-intensity ultrasound waves, beamed about an inch under the skin to break up fatty tissue, has been studied in both pig models and in 33 people in Mexico, he says. The company has applied for FDA status to begin preclinical studies in the U.S. and expects such trials to begin in 2007.

So far there have been no signs of safety problems, he says. Studies have shown that the treatment did not burn or seriously irritate the skin, and it reduced fat on the abdomen without causing serious complications by sending too much loose fat into the bloodstream.

"I would like to say it is ready to replace liposuction, but it's not -- yet," he says. Still it does have certain benefits over liposuction namely that a person can have the treatment and go to lunch afterward, Fodor says. Unlike liposuction, the new technology does not involve pain, scars, anesthesia, or a long recovery time. Only some topical anesthesia is used, he says.

Brush Up on Beauty

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