Why is it so hard to learn about Lipozap?

Tom at RealSelf on 30 Apr 2008 at 12:34pm

Technology combination is muddying the waters in the aesthetics market, such that consumers often get left in the dark on whether a cosmetic procedure is safe and effective.

Dr. Robert Singer, a La Jolla-based plastic surgeon and member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery pointed out to me that there are an increasing number of over-hyped technologies that claim a benefit, without valid evidence of reliability of benefit, if any. "There will be additional combinations of technologies that claim significant results, although each of the individual technologies were failures in achieving what they previously claimed they could produce."

The lack of transparency by some firms offering these new body slimming or skin rejuvenating technologies represents a formidable challenge to consumers who simply want the facts. 

Let's explore a cosmetic treatment offered in California called Lipozap. Up until recently our team hadn't heard of Lipozap, but added it to RealSelf.com after receiving several comments about the body slimming treatment. 

This week a reader described the post-procedure pain in heart wrenching detail. Lady2soothe writes that her Lipozap caused:

little pain during the actual  procedure, but, I was in so much pain on the way to the parking lot I felt as  though I might pass out and seriously considered calling the paramedics. By  the time I got home the tears were rolling down my cheeks. I stayed on my  couch for 3 days, trips to the bathroom were my only exercise, as I couldn’t  even bare eating. It was agony. The uncontrollable spasms in my legs curled my  toes and made my right shoulder ache.

This inspired me to get more information on Lipozap.  Searching google for Lipozap lead me to Lipozap.com, a dead site

What is lipozap? The lipozap website isnt helpful

So I called the Lipozap number and found out that it's a "laser lipolysis procedure" that doesn't require vacuuming typical of traditional liposuction. They told me Lipozap is FDA approved (October 06), leads to permanent fat removal, and is appropriate for someone who has a BMI below 31. Sounds great, right? So to learn more I was referred to their other website, lasershaping.com.  This site offers no explanation of the technology...more promises and proclamations.

In a Lipozap review a RealSelf member described Lipozap as another name for smart lipo. Yet, when I asked the company, the response was "Not sure its the same.  Lipozap could be the same as smart lipo if smart lipo is laser lipolysis"  Huh? 

Our editors have created this Lipozap description which differs from the Laser Shaping Clinic representative:

LipoZap is a body fat reduction treatment. LipoZap treatment combines fat-dissolving injections like Lipodissolve with massage, infrared heat, and radiofrequency wave therapy to break down fat cells.

This description is similar to that provided in this Ripoff Report (send me a note if you know the answer!).

After another hour of futility, digging for details that included the FDA website, I gave up.

This begs the question, if providers of services like Lipozap share limited information--essentially ignoring consumer demand for facts and greater transparency--should we conclude they're hiding something?