The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) announced today that it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to initiate a clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of one type of mesotherapy (injection lipolysis) treatment. Mesotherapy is a technique of injecting various off-label medicines and god-knows-what concoctions into superficial fat to shrink it. How does it work? Not real sure, but it appears to be directly toxic to tissues. Is it safe? We hope so.

The number of these procedures were performed last year included at least 28,901 Americans -- six times the number of procedures performed the previous year. This is currently a real "wildcat" industry attracting people with no business doing things like it for the promise of quick, easy money. A number of dodgy "societies" and "boards" have sprung up offering weekend training.

This trial will follow patients for close to a year using standardized treatment protocols and index a number of safety and efficacy parameters. I'm proud of our professional society for their approach to studying this method of treating fat excess. The paucity of any coherent science or safety studies from anyone else at this point has been telling.

From Dr. Alan Gold, ASERF President,

"Although there are clinical reports of significant and positive results, they are all anecdotal, and unfortunately there is currently insufficient scientifically valid evidence to support the long term safety and efficacy of injection lipolysis. We hope that this study will provide the data needed to clarify some of the controversy and confusion surrounding this potentially beneficial treatment. The more we know, the better we will be able to educate and inform our patients, and recommend to them, with confidence, the safest and most effective treatments to provide them with the best results,"

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