While many people are eager to shed their extra pounds, it's usually easier said than done. Although liposuction is a viable surgical option for fat loss, there is a new alternative for losing inches: lipodissolve.
On The Early Show, CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace explored this new procedure, which claims to melt away fat.
Lipodissolve is a series of injections designed to dissolve fat from problem areas such as the stomach.
Dr. Roger Friedman is one doctor who is practicing this new procedure. He is the medical director of Medsculpt, a lipodissolve clinic with offices in Maryland and Virginia.
"Lipodissolve is a technique by which we're injecting material in the fatty tissue. That liquid dissolves the fatty tissue, creating a local inflammatory reaction, which means you're going to get some swelling. You may feel some lumpiness. Then, over time, the fatty cells will dissolve," Friedman said.
The procedure involves dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of injections at a time. Patients receive a minimum of three treatments over the course of several months. Patients should expect to lose at least a half an inch on their waistline per treatment, according to Friedman.
"It's not a weight loss procedure, it's a contour issue," Friedman said. "We tell people that they're going to lose about a half inch or more per treatment. So a person may say, 'gosh my waistline was 38 inches, now it's 35.'"
Friedman is a strong advocate of lipodissolve because of its lack of invasiveness. He said, "It's very different. And the real difference is volume. We're not doing volume. We're doing inches. It doesn't require an anesthetic. It doesn't require a hospital visit. It doesn't really require recovery."
Patients are injected with PCDC, a solution containing bile salt, which helps break down fat. Although the procedure has been performed in Europe for more than a decade, PCDC has yet to be approved by the FDA.
Lipodissolve has been met with opposition from plastic surgeons. Dr. Alan Gold, president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, says there's no scientific proof that the injections are safe or that they work.
Gold said, "We don't know how it works. They're surmising how it works. We need to have proof before, in good conscience, we can recommend it to more patients."
Medsculpt says it has treated 500 satisfied patients since January, but Gold still believes that there are serious risks that need to be taken into consideration by patients.
"(Although) they may have seen good results, there are certainly complications. There are infections. There are areas of skin death over the areas that are injected," Gold said.
The price of lipodissolve depends on the size of the area you have done, but the average cost is around $2,000.
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