Liposuction Alternatives: Pending Drugs to Come

Liposuction is the only FDA approved method to permanently remove fat cells safely and effectively. The majority of people who undergo liposuction are highly satisfied with the results of the procedure. The procedure is less invasive than most other mainstream plastic surgery procedures. Yet, the plastic surgery community is always interested in exploring new ways to permanently remove fat. There are two alternatives on the horizon that involve fat reducing medications, including:


The plastic surgery community is taking steps to better understand the mechanisms of action behind certain fat reducing drugs that have been injected into individuals through lipodissolve. Lipodissolve is a procedure that has not obtained FDA approval yet. The procedure is not recommended by top plastic surgery organizations until FDA approval. Lipodissolve is currently under investigation by the Plastic Surgery Research foundation to study the safety and efficacy associated with this fat reducing drug.

Medicinal Herbs

Researchers are exploring the use of fat impacting Asian medicinal herbs such as Astragalus (milk vetch or huang chi) that have been used in Asia for centuries. Astragalus is being investigated for use as an anti-obesity and anti-diabetes drug in the U.S. Astragalus is “limited” at present, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This is partly because Astragalus may contain a large number of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Some researchers contend that a better understanding of fat cell interaction with Astragalus is required. Young-Cheul Kim, assistant nutrition professor at UMass Amherst, has a great understanding of how fat cells form in the body. He believes that testing Astragalus’ biological function is highly advantageous in identifying safety and efficacy of Astragalus as an anti-obesity herb. The research team combines professionals from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Chungbuk Oriental Medicine Center in South Korea. Several compounds derived from plants will be tested for anti-obesity qualities. The use of these compounds is also being explored to prevent numerous diseases such as the many that Astragalus is used for in Asia.

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