Read Original Story

Weighing in on lipolysis


5 Star

Weighing in on lipolysis

Our Review Summary

This long (3,000 words! – yes, some papers still give that much space) story is well written and appropriately addresses the full range of our evaluation criteria.  It covers some of the issues surrounding cosmetic injection procedures for management of fat bulges.  The procedures are variously called injection lipolysis, lipodissolve ormesotherapy.  The story makes it very clear that the materials used in these injections do not have FDA approval for this purpose and that there is little scientific data demonstrating efficacy.  The story does a good job of providing a sense of the personal motivation that entices individuals to consider this treatment.  And it provides quotes from several physicians who indicate clear concerns about the safety of the procedure.

While such stories often have a "buyer beware" flavor suggesting professional credentialing may be the key to positive outcomes – this piece was clear that there is no key to positive outcomes in this case.

It earns one of our top 5-star scores. 


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?


The story provided a range of cost estimates from the experience of two consumers and what was termed the largest national provider of the procedure.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story quotes several physicians who state that the use of this procedure is way ahead of the science supporting it. It definitely gives the reader the sense that we lack studies that would quantify the benefits of treatment.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


The story provides examples for the range of harms that may result from this treatment.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


The evidence presented in this story is anecdotal.  But the article mentions the lack of good evidence about efficacy and safety, and it also notes that two companies are pursuing clinical trials.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


The story did not engage in disease mongering.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?


The story draws on individual testimony as well as interview material with physicians involved in the use of this procedure (both pro and con) and individuals involved in the manufacture of the material used in the procedure.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


The story mentions diet and exercise as well as liposuction for reduction in adipose tissue.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story detailed the range of providers from whom this intervention is available.  The lack of FDA approval is mentioned in the first paragraph.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


The story provides a historical context for this treatment.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


Does not appear to rely on a press release.

Total Score: 10 of 10 Satisfactory


Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.