Responding to recent reports of the Fig LipoDissolve Centers going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) offers the following advice to patients currently in treatment there or suffering from unwanted outcomes. Although neither Society recommends the use of injection lipolysis for fat reduction until appropriate research has documented the safety and efficacy of this non-FDA-approved treatment, information is available for those patients who need help.

• If your patients are in the middle of lipolysis treatment and have concerns, they should contact ASAPS at (888) 272-7711 or visit www.surgery.org. They can also visit the ASPS Web site,  www.plasticsurgery.org to find a board certified plastic surgeon in their area who can provide safe options for continuing their body contouring process.

• If your patients are in pain, have a complication such as swelling or bleeding, or need immediate attention, they need to contact the nearest hospital emergency room.

• If your patients are seeking body contouring or are considering other options, they need to remember that all procedures involving injecting pharmaceutical or other agents into the body are medical procedures and need to be conducted in an appropriate medical setting by a physician. Patients should also remember that the ASPS and ASAPS do not recommend that patients undergo injection lipolysis treatments and that all medical procedures have risks. If patients decide that a specific procedure is right for them, they need to make sure to do their homework, have their procedure fully explained to them by a health care provider, and read and sign all informed consent documents.

“The proliferation of advertising of such treatments and the abrupt closing of Fig LipoDissolve Centers nationwide has raised many questions from both patients considering treatment, and those who have already been injected with the unproven medical treatments touted to reduce localized fat," says Alan Gold, MD, president-elect of the Aesthetic Society. “To date, injection lipolysis, LipoDissolve or any fat-melting injection has not gone through FDA sanctioned clinical trials or the research necessary to document the results claimed or clearly identify the potential underlying complications.”

[www.plasticsurgery.org, December 14, 2007]