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Seen At 11: Can A Simple Injection Melt Off Body Fat?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Regardless of how much you diet and exercise, fat can be stubborn -- especially when it comes to certain areas like love handles and back fat.

Now, as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez explained Monday night, a new injection is believed to simply 'melt the fat.'

"I had a muffin top. It went over my pants," Anna Yarow explained.

Yarow said she was afraid of liposuction, but not needles.

That's why she agreed to take part in a clinical trial testing a new injection that can break up pockets of fat using a naturally occurring enzyme called collagenase.

"It's found all over the human body, we're just putting a little bit extra in a certain spot to get rid of the fat," Dr. Zachary Gerut said.

Until now, cosmetic surgery has been the only real option for removing excess fat from under the skin, but just a week after getting the injections Yarow said her muffin top was gone.

Researchers have found collagenase works by dissolving the connections between fat cells which breaks them up.

Dr. Gerut, a Long Island plastic surgeon, is conducting a clinical trial.

"The body seems to clean (fat) up," he said.

It's actually absorbed and broken down by the body.

The research by Dr. Gerut and an investigator at Vanderbilt University will lead to a phase three clinical trial that the Food and Drug Administration will use to consider approving collagenase for the treatment of benign fatty tumors known as lipomas.

"There's an indefinite number of people who have a tremendous number of lipomas -- dozens and dozens all over their body," he said.

Arthur Auster said he has as many as 34 lipomas, many of which he's had to have surgically removed.

Auster and other trial patients like Ronald Chamberlain -- who has also had dozens of lipomas removed surgically -- said they're amazed at how quickly collagenase works, with no down time.

"Hands down, the injection is the way to go," Chamberlain said.

Now, Dr. Gerut is turning his attention to fatty trouble zones like the stomach and the thighs with the help of patients like Lizabeth Wisniewski.

"No matter how much I worked out or diet, there's just a little bit of deposit that wouldn't go away," she said.

He wants to see if collagenase works to melt body fat the same way it does lipomas.

"If you can melt fat in a little capsule, meaning lipomas, you can pretty much melt fat anywhere in the body," he said.

Collagenase is already FDA approved to treat a condition called Dupuytren's contracture, where tissue in the palm of the hand hardens and contracts.

The enzyme could be used off-label to melt fat, but ti would be very expensive.

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