April 21, 2006
Orlando, FL (April 21, 2006) The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) announced today that a panel titled “Non-invasive Body Contouring: Fact or Fiction,” will be held at the Society’s Annual Meeting, April 21-25 in Orlando, FL. The panel will be moderated by Franklin L. DiSpaltro, MD, of New Jersey, and will include Spencer Brown, PhD, Dennis Hammond, MD, and Peter B. Fodor, MD. Panelists will discuss three potential non-invasive alternatives to surgical body contouring: mesotherapy (Lipodissolve), Thermage (Thermacool or Thermalift) and LipoSonix. All three techniques may provide plastic surgeons with minimally-invasive treatment options, but are not yet sufficiently backed by clinical data, an important distinction that needs to be communicated to patients.
“As plastic surgeons, we are constantly searching for new, less invasive body contouring techniques that are efficient, safe and effective,” said Dr. DiSpaltro. “In this panel, we want to separate the hype from what we actually know about these treatments based on clinical experience and the limited available data.”
The featured non-invasive therapies utilize three distinct methods. Mesotherapy involves the injection of various compounds into the skin to “dissolve” fat. Thermage uses radiofrequency to tighten facial skin for a “non-surgical face lift.” LipoSonix uses a high-intensity ultrasound device to target and destroy unwanted fat cells while sparing intervening tissue and skin.
“The concept behind these approaches is to limit the invasiveness of our methods. For example, LipoSonix non-invasively disrupts and selectively reduces fatty tissue,” said Dr. Fodor, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. “Approaches such as these are very attractive to patients. The more we learn about how well they work and how safe they are, the better the advice we can give our patients.”
Although these minimally-invasive techniques are being offered with increasing frequency across the United States, reliable data on their safety and efficacy is lacking. Clinical trials are being planned; including a study of mesotherapy designed by the Aesthetic Society and funded by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), and a study of the sonic body sculpting method, LipoSonix, by plastic surgeon and panelist Peter Fodor. LipoSonix has been tested in Mexico in both porcine models and humans, and has submitted a protocol to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical trials in the US. Dr. Fodor will present several months of data from the Mexican studies, including before and after photos.
Patients considering any body contouring procedure must be fully informed about any unpredictability of non-surgical body contouring results, and their expectations must be realistic. As always, patients should seek treatment only from medical professionals who are qualified to carry out proper, clinically proven therapies.
“There is a lot of controversy and confusion surrounding non-invasive body contouring treatment. None are yet FDA approved or otherwise medically proven. We welcome new research on the issue. As always, the more facts we have at our disposal, the more completely we can inform our patients to help ensure their safety and satisfaction,” Mark Jewell, MD, President, ASAPS.