Pure Med Spa Hit with Lawsuit for Lipdissolve Gone Wrong

Pure Med Spa was hit with a suit alleging fraud and negligence--filed by a patient who suffered gangrene from a mesotherapy treatment by an unsupervised nurse.

The woman who filed the suit first introduction to the Pure Med Spa chain was their website. It described its 'non-surgical technique' for 'spot weight reduction' as 'generally considered a safe procedure.' The website says 'side effects are extremely minimal ... usually limited to minor bruising.'

But after the woman had the treatment, she said 'I had rotting flesh on my legs for almost five months.'

Mesotherapy, also known as lipodissolve, involves injections of a solution that includes phosphatidycholine, a main component of bile. Bile is what breaks down fat in our intestines.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Julius Few says 'the problem with phosphatidycholine is if it's not in that controlled system and it's in a high enough concentration, it's like battery acid. It'll eat through anything.' Few has treated patients who had the treatments elsewhere and had complaints ranging from 'no effect at all, meaning the patient spent thousands of dollars and saw no benefit' to tissue damage to 'flesh eating infections that could have been life threatening.'

Medical spas fall into a gray area because the state does not regulate them. Many do not necessarily have doctors performing or even supervising lipodissolve or mesotherapy treatments, even though state regulators say they should because lipodissolve is not FDA approved.

The same nurse injected her stomach, hips and thighs for several hours. Afterward, the woman said 'I went to sit up and was shocked by the fact that my hips and my thighs were almost black. ... I became incredibly nauseous and began vomiting.'

She was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, stabilized and sent home. Over the next week, she says she repeatedly called Pure Med Spa to complain of increased pain, redness and swelling at the injection sites.

Finally, a Pure Med Spa doctor bandaged her sores, gave her an antibiotic and sent her home.

'It just became progressively worse,' the woman said. 'It was not scabs. It was rotting flesh ... and the whole outside was just completely infected. And it was just eaten from the inside out. Oh my God.'

Hospital doctors diagnosed dry gangrene and warned that two things could happen if surgery was required.

'One is removing large parts of your legs. And the worst case scenario would be the removal of one or both of my legs,' the woman said.

In her lawsuit, filed last month, she accuses Pure Med Spa and its doctors of negligence and consumer fraud.

Her attorney, Marc Shuman, said 'it's misleading (to say) that it's FDA approved. It's misleading as to the side effects. And it's misleading as to who actually gives the procedure; a nurse versus a doctor.'

Many doctors believe the treatments should not be done at all. Few said, 'It has not been evaluated scientifically and therefore we do not know what the long term or even the short term risks are.'

The woman's wounds finally healed but she's badly scarred. 'I'm angry at the fact that these medical spas are allowed to perform such a procedure,' she said.

In a statement the company said 'We have performed thousands of these procedures to date and the vast, overwhelming majority of these clients are completely satisfied with their results. We've had very few reported complications from these procedures.'