The History of Mesotherapy
Mesotherapy has long been an art in Europe and South America, where it has helped women achieve a reduction in cellulite and localized fat without surgery. Mesotherapy was brought to the United States and has been used here by many experienced plastic surgeons. Unlike liposuction, which involves the removal of unwanted fat cells, mesotherapy involves small injections which result in breakdown of fat cells. These injections include natural-occurring substances, such as phosphatidylcholine, which is present in all living tissues. When injected in fat and cellulite, however, the fat cells become inflamed and disrupted, and their contents (fat) gets carried away.
Mesotherapy has been used to treat cellulite (to smooth out the skin) and to treat localized fat (to reduce volume). Liposuction is capable of removing fat cells from mild, moderate, or significant areas of localized fat. It is very effective in doing so. Mesotherapy can only improve upon very mild areas of localized fat. Anyone with moderate or significant fat deposits will not see improvement. So, the bottom line is that mesotherapy is not a substitute for liposuction. If you need lipo, mesotherapy simply won’t do it. This is because there is a limit to the amount of injection anyone can receive during any given treatment session.
Mesotherapy has typically been done without sedation or other forms of anesthesia. The injections are so small that many patients describe them as more of a nuisance than a discomfort. Whether you are seeking mesotherapy for localized fat or cellulite, only one treatment area is recommended at any given time (example: both hips, or both inner thighs, or abdomen). This is because the injections cause inflammation, redness, and burning about an hour after the injection has been performed. These symptoms last 1-3 days. If an excessive amount of injection is used, the symptoms can be more intense and last longer. One way to reduce your symptoms is to take benadryl every 6 hours for a few days after your injection. Also, some plastic surgeons prescribe steroids for a few days. This combination can markedly improve your symptoms. A total of 2-3 sessions (at 6-12 week intervals) are recommended for cellulite and 3-5 sessions are recommended for localized fat.
Current Recommendations for Mesotherapy: Thumbs Down
At Loftus Plastic Surgery Center, we have seen no complications or significant problems related to mesotherapy, aside from temporary discomfort and inflammation. This is in large part due to our conservative approach to mesotherapy. Nevertheless, when the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) developed the position that mesotherapy should be discontinued due to a propensity of complications in the hands of other physicians, we at Loftus Plastic Surgery Center chose to abandon this proecdure in deference to the ASPS recommendations. Hence, we no longer offer it. We continue to offer liposuction and other procedures.