It's touted as an easy way to fix your body without surgery. Maybe you've heard
of Lipo- Dissolve. Maybe you've even considered doing it. But does it work and,
more importantly, is it safe?
Some people are raising serious questions about Lipo-Dissolve. It's a hot new
thing in the world of cosmetic treatments. Britney Spears is even rumored to
have undergone the procedure here in the valley. But is it as simple as it
"I've done walking, tapes to do. I've done everything and it didn't seem to go."
Alison Nolan paid $6,000 for Lipo-Dissolve to flatten her tummy. But her dreams
of a better body turned into a nightmare. "It looked black and blue when the
lumps came up. At first it was all red then it bruised up. It was nasty."
Alison went to Advanced Lipo Dissolve, now called fig. You've probably heard
their ads or seen them around town. Patients undergo a series of shots over
several months. Patients are encouraged to exercise and make healthy food
The company says most clients are happy with their results. "I've already lost
two and a quarter inches off my abdomen and an inch on one thigh and a half an
inch off the other," said one patient.
The patients are injected with a compound called PCDC. It's supposed to dissolve
fat cells, which are then excreted through natural body processes.
"There are side effects that can happen with any injectable formula," says Dr.
John Minoli. 85,000 treatments is a lot. I personally have been involved with
thousands myself. Have yet to see, rare inflammatory responses, rare."
We sent a News 3 producer and photographer into fig. with hidden cameras. The
staff did tell us about potential risks, but downplayed them. They encouraged
our producer to start treatments right away.
fig. rep on hidden camera: After you do find out information about it, what
would stop you from starting today and getting rid of those fat cells? I've
personally done it and I'm pregnant right now, and I'm not worried at all about
But plastic surgeon Dr. Julio Garcia is worried. He won't even consider doing
Lipo-Dissolve on his valley patients. "We don't know if this material gets
absorbed into the body, what its potential effects are."
Dr. Garcia says there's no credible scientific evidence lipo dissolve is safe.
"It's a large scale, unconsented experiment on people who don't know they're
being experimented on."
fig. says all of its procedures are overseen by a medically trained staff
member, often a nurse practitioner. But when Alison developed complications, she
and her husband tell us the nurse didn't recognize what was wrong and they never
saw a doctor. "There was no 'we'd like to see her and do follow up work,' no
cause for patient care whatsoever, they dropped her like a rock," says Alison's
A study fig. provided Healthline 3 of 17,000 patients found no serious
complications or deaths from Lipo-Dissolve. But it also offered modest results.
The study actually says the vast majority of patients reported a one centimeters
It sounded good to Alison, until she ended up in the emergency room. She had
developed abscesses, which are listed on the consent forms as a possible risk.
Her abscesses had to be lanced and packed as open wounds, leading to a painful
Weeks later, Alison still couldn't bend over to tie her shoes. "This process is
dangerous, women need to know what they're getting themselves into," Chris
Beth: A lot of women have a nagging area and are thinking about doing this.
Would you do this again?
Alison: No, no.
Alison: 'cause it hurts too much.
fig. is not the only facility in the valley offering Lipo-Dissolve or similar
procedures. The price varies from patient to patient, depending on what they
have done. The drugs used in Lipo- Dissolve are not FDA approved for this use.
And Dr. Garcia tells us the American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not
support their use.