Questions Surround Certain Cosmetic Procedures

It might first appear to be like magic in the cosmetic physician's office. Simply inject one of a variety of chemicals into fat deposits within the body and watch them disappear! This cosmetic procedure is known as mesotherapy or LipoDissolve. Alternatively, a physician can aim a radio wave at areas of loose skin in places such as the face or arms to tighten skin without any incision. This process is called Thermage, Thermacool, or Thermalift. The doctor can even isolate and eradicate fat cells with high-intensity ultrasound, a technique called LipoSonix.

Mesotherapy is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment that is focused on addressing problem areas such as cellulite, excess weight, body contouring, and face/neck rejuvenation. Typically, the procedure involves numerous injections containing FDA approved substances. The injections deliver the sustances into the mesoderm, or the layer of fat and tissue beneath the skin.

When comparing mesotherapy to liposuction, liposuction is generally more effective and quicker at delivering fat reduction. However, mesotherapy has some advantages of its own. Aside from being less invasive and less expensive, it is a relatively painless treatment due to anesthetic creams applied to the injection area. Although liposuction is known to cause moderate to severe scarring, mesotherapy only causes swelling and light bruising in the area for a few days following surgery. Sedation is also unnecessary in the case of mesotherapy; patients can walk out of the office shortly after completion of the treatment.

However, a patient needs to select their physician carefully since these cosmetic techniques are only effective in the hands of skilled physicians. According to Franklin L. DiSpaltro, a plastic surgeon in West Orange, N.J., Thermage has returned some good results and some questionable results. It is still unclear if the results are due to the surgeon’s touch or the technology itself.

Mesotherapy can be risky due to the volume of injectable chemicals. DiSpaltro notes that the procedure seems effective in some practitioners’ hands, but it’s still unclear how they approach the technique, their skill set, and how they control environmental variables.

Peter B. Fodor, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, adds that there are a lot of people who use a wide range of chemicals for mesotherapy. He claims that he hasn’t yet heard of a patient who has undergone the procedure and found success. However, some of his patients have complained of complications that include skin indentations, changes in skin color, and infection.


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