Mesotherapy is a technique that has been used in France for 30 to 40 years to shrink fat, improve cellulite and rejuvenate faces. Recently introduced in the U.S., mesotherapy already has a great following among patients and physicians. This injection technique utilizes tiny needles to deliver various medications. For most patients, this is virtually pain-free, because effective cream anesthetics are put on the face before the injections. Occasionally nitrous oxide or a cooling machine that blows cold air on the area treated is used.
A variety of formulas of both prescription and non-prescription medications are used in mesotherapy. The results I have seen at conferences and through personal experience are quite impressive. Although liposuction will generally achieve a better result for fat shrinkage, mesotherapy is a procedure with virtually no down-time, outside of a little swelling and perhaps some bruising. Sedation is generally unnecessary with mesotherapy: patients leave the office a few minutes after the procedure.
A lower eyelid blepharoplasty can be done with mesotherapy by injecting fat-shrinking medication into the lower lid's fat. This takes only a few moments, although there is some swelling for several weeks and the patient should generally be taking some cortisone prior to the injection in order to minimize this. The treatment can be repeated at six weeks if the fat shrinkage is not adequate after the first injection. This can often produce a fairly flat lower lid. No treatment of the skin is necessarily done at the same time, however, and wrinkles of the skin can persist if the skin is not peeled in some fashion.
Needless to say, mesotherapy is much less expensive than invasive cosmetic surgery. It takes less time, the medications are inexpensive and the risks are modest. Bruising and swelling definitely happen to some patients. Sometimes swelling is persistent for weeks. It is theoretically possible to have areas of skin death after mesotherapy, although I have never seen any in my practice and the courses I have taken have not presented this as a complication. A sort of "meso-glow" or light redness occurs after the facial treatment, but this is usually regarded as a temporary improvement by the patients. Infection is a very unlikely possibility, as with any injection. It is also possible to be allergic to some of the injection treatment components, and the patient could potentially die from an allergic reaction. However, I have never seen nor heard of any reactions like this.
Note that for body fat reduction, two to four treatments are usually required, at two to four week intervals. For lower blepharoplasty, one to two treatments are usually used (at a six-week interval if the second treatment is necessary). For cellulite reduction, roughly three to four treatments at two to four week intervals are necessary, and maintenance treatments about every three months. Cellulite treatment is the least successful of the mesotherapy modalities, and works only for mild degrees of cellulite. For facial rejuvenation, four treatments two to three weeks apart are usually helpful, with repeat treatments at three-month intervals recommended. The facial treatment has a high satisfaction rate: patients generally notice considerable improvement in their complexions. The mesotherapy societies usually regard fat shrinkage as permanent, although in some cases weight gain can cause the fat to return. Usually the areas treated tend to remain smaller than the others.
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