Melting Fat -- One Shot At A Time

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
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Actress Amy Evans says she's not suffering to be beautiful.

"Where the saddlebags were, it's completely gone," she says.

As CBS News Correspondent Dr. Mallika Marshall reports, it's called mesotherapy -- a cocktail of drugs, plant extracts and vitamins. It's injected directly into the meso - or middle layer of skin - where, in theory, it dissolves fat.

Dr. Lionel Bissoon says the procedure is highly effective because the treatment targets the problem areas directly and believes it is much safer than cosmetic surgery.

"At each site, we're delivering one drop of medication," says Bissoon. "The biggest side effect is black and blue marks."

Bissoon began practicing mesotherapy in France five years ago, where it's been in use for over half a century. When he started, there were only two mesotherapists in the United States. Now, he says, there are more than 500.

Critics, like Dr. Leroy Young of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, say fat chance it's really effective.

"I don't think it qualifies as medicine," says Young. "This is more snake oil than medicine."

But Josselyne Herman-Saccio swears by the procedure. After hormone therapy, she gained weight around her face.

"Ugh, God, look how horrible that looks from the sides," she says.

So she signed on to reduce fat around her jawline.

"And I saw a huge difference within three days," she says. "I couldn't believe the difference when I would look in the mirror."

Does it really work? To date, no scientific study has been conducted. Which, Young says, is part of the problem.

"If this is so good, why doesn't someone do a study and prove it's efficacy," says Young.

"These studies will be done," says Bissoon. "These studies are being worked on right now."

Bissoon believes that within five years almost every physician in America will be doing some form of mesotherapy. Perhaps by then, we might even know if it really works.