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Mesotherapy (from Greek mesos, "middle", and therapy from Greek therapeia, "to treat medically") is a non-surgical cosmetic medicine treatment. Mesotherapy employs multiple injections of pharmaceutical and homeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins, and other ingredients into the subcutaneous fat. Mesotherapy injections are purported to target adipose fat cells, apparently by inducing rupture and cell death among adipocytes. [1]


There are published studies on the clinical treatments and effects of these medications and numerous cocktails of combined chemical compounds on the body have been reported in Europe and South America for several years. There is no conclusive research proof that these chemical compounds work to target adipose (fat cells) specifically. Cell lysis, resulting from the detergent action of deoxycholic, may account for any clinical effect. [2]


Dr. Michel Pistor (1924-2003) performed clinical research and founded the field of mesotherapy. Multi-national research in intradermal therapy culminated with Pistor's work from 1948 to 1952 in human mesotherapy treatments. The French press coined the term Mesotherapy in 1958. The French Academy of Medicine recognized Mesotherapy as a Specialty of Medicine in 1987. Popular throughout European countries and South America, mesotherapy is practiced by approximately 18,000 physicians worldwide.


Mesotherapy treatments have been performed throughout Europe, South America, and more recently the United States for over fifty years. However, physicians have been concerned about both the efficacy and safety of mesotherapy, arguing that a lack of scientific study makes mesotherapy a fad with potentially dangerous side effects. "There is simply no data, no science and no information, to my knowledge, that mesotherapy works," according to Rod Rohrich, M.D., Chairman, Dept. of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a position statement not endorsing mesotherapy because to date, there has been no established mechanism of action, demonstrated efficacy, or established safety profile with any of the drugs used in mesotherapy.

The FDA cannot control the use of practitioners injecting various mixtures into patient's bodies because this practice falls under the jurisdiction of state medical boards. Dr. Robin Ashinoff, speaking for the American Academy of Dermatology, says "A simple injection is giving people false hope. Everybody's looking for a quick fix. But there is no quick fix for fat or fat deposits or for cellulite." The American Society for Dermatologic Surgeryinformed its members in February 2005 that "further study is warranted before this technique can be endorsed."

Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons are alarmed about the growing profile of mesotherapy. "No one says exactly what they put into the (syringe)," says Naomi Lawrence, a derma-surgeon at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "One drug they often use, phosphatidylcholin, is unpredictable and causes extreme inflammation and swelling where injected. It is not a benign drug." USAToday 8/4/2004. It is currently banned in a number of South American countries. Even Brazil, which is less strict than the USA in drug approvals, has banned the drug for these purposes. USAToday 8/4/2004

Clinical studies

In a prospective study, 10 patients underwent four sessions of facial mesotherapy using multivitamins at monthly intervals. This study found that there was no clinically relevant benefit.[3].


  1. Rittes PG, Rittes JC, Carriel Amary MF. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2006 Jul-Aug;30(4):474-8.Injection of phosphatidylcholine in fat tissue: experimental study of local action in rabbits. [PMID 16858660]
  2. Rotunda AM, Kolodney MS. Dermatol Surg. 2006 Apr;32(4):465-80.Mesotherapy and phosphatidylcholine injections: historical clarification and review. [PMID 16681654]
  3. Amin S, Phelps R, Goldberg D (2006). "Mesotherapy for facial skin rejuvenation: a clinical, histologic, and electron microscopic evaluation". Dermatol Surg. 32 (12): 1467–72. PMID 17199654.

External links

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