Can Injection Melt Away Fat?

Doctor Says Mesotherapy Shrinks Fat Cell

Is there a shot that can melt away your fat? That's what mesotherapy promises to do. Melissa Romero was hoping to lose just one more pants size when she learned about mesotherapy.

"I had been dieting and lost about 20 pounds and been stuck there ... I thought the mesotherapy without going through any major surgery would be the best thing for me," Romero said.

In mesotherapy, doctors create a formula of medications, plant extracts and vitamins in a syringe. Then they inject the combination into the meso, or the middle, layer of skin to dissolve fat.

"We do not get rid of the fat cells. The only way to get to rid of fat cells is surgically or through liposuction. We shrink the fat cells, there's less fat in them so they're smaller, so the area shrinks," said Dr. Linda Irwin, a mesotherapist.

Romero is having the injections done on her abdomen. It's a series of needle pricks, but it only takes a couple of minutes. The procedure has been used in Europe for decades, but it's still fairly new in the United States and many doctors are skeptical.

"There is nothing that is worth doing and worthwhile that isn't tested through a controlled study. And if someone isn't willing to put it up to the scrutiny of a controlled study then I think they are making it up," said Dr. Michael Snyer, a surgeon who specializes in gastric bypass surgery.

"While it's not widely known, that doesn't take away from its validity," said Irwin. "All the medications in the injection are off-label, meaning that the FDA has not specifically approved mixing these drugs and putting them in a syringe, but the FDA does allow physicians to use drugs off-label."

Romero is happy with the results. Even with just one treatment, her pants fit better and even her co-workers noticed the result.

"About a week afterward, everyone was asking me if I had been dieting or lost anymore weight because they could see a difference," Romero said.

Irwin is the only board-certified mesotherapist in Colorado. As with any medical procedure, it's important to thoroughly research your doctor, their training and the procedure you're considering.

Irwin charges a consultation fee, then $350 per area treated. Some people see results in one or two treatments, and others need five to 15 or more treatments.

Mesotherapy is done on the face and neck, arms, abdomen, back, and thighs.

Print this article Back to Top