Liposuction: Does the Fat Really Come Back?
Liposuction has become one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the country. It has been around since 1974 and there are now more than 450,000 operations a year. But does the fat come back?
For those who struggle with their weight, liposuction can remove unwanted fat from different areas on the body. However, when research in 2010 was published suggesting that liposuction has the potential to return within one year, we were intrigued. In a study of 32 women that was published in the journal Obesity, researchers at the University of Colorado assigned 14 of the subjects to undergo liposuction, while the 18 who didn't served as the control group.
Although none of the women changed their diet or fitness habits, researchers found that the fat that returned after surgery wasn't the kind that lies directly under the skin (known as subcutaneous), it was the deeper visceral fat typically associated with heart disease. However, the researchers noted that they didn't encounter any adverse medical side effects.
“The fat will only come back if you don't make any lifestyle changes” said New York plastic surgeon Dr. Gerald Imber M.D. “So if you have fat cells removed from your hip area and then continue to eat too much, you'll gain weight. Since the fat cells on your hips will have been removed, the new calories will have to find fat cells elsewhere in which to reside."
A recent published study showed that fat suctioned from the stomach and thighs from women had some slight increase in measurements in the arms and upper back a year after surgery. However, not to the extent that the women noticed or was bothered by it. If fat returns it must go somewhere and it is logical that it may have more trouble going back to a treated area that is now embedded with scar tissue.
Obesity researchers say they are not surprised that the women’s fat came back. The body, they say “defends” its fat. If you lose weight, even by dieting, it comes back. Nonetheless, the women in the study who had liposuction were happy. They had hated their hips and thighs and just wanted that fat gone.
While liposuction does offer instant benefits, you can only maintain results by eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. In order to keep the weight off, it has nothing to do with liposuction and everything to do with lifestyle.