FDA Warns Against Mesotherapy

Have you heard of mesotherapy? Proponents call it a cure for cellulite. And the benefits of mesotherapy are expounded upon by an increasing number of cash-strapped doctors.

Posted on | Arthur Perry, MD, FACS | Comments ()

Have you heard of mesotherapy? Proponents call it a cure for cellulite. And the benefits of mesotherapy are expounded upon by an increasing number of cash-strapped doctors.


Just a few dozen treatments involving hundreds of injections of a drug cocktail into the fat below the skin and your cellulite is supposed to disappear. Does it work? There’s no solid scientific evidence that it does and there’s dozens of papers published that show it can be harmful.


And the drug that is commonly injected is not FDA approved for injection. That technically makes it illegal to use. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has warned patients to avoid mesotherapy. But that hasn't stopped the thousands of doctors and even nurses from performing mesotherapy. 


Finally, the FDA has issued warning letters to 6 US medical spas and a company in Brazil for making false statements on their websites about mesotherapy. The FDA has no evidence that mesotherapy is effective. But they have plenty of reports of problems from the procedure, including scarring and deformities.  


The FDA's action may mean the end of mesotherapy – at least until scientific studies are done that demonstrate the procedure is safe and effective. The public deserves those studies BEFORE new procedures are introduced. Not after. 

Blog written by Arthur Perry, MD, FACS
Dr. Perry has over 2 decades of experience as a clinical surgeon and has been named to the “Best Doctors in the NY Area” book...