Study Says Fat Stays Away After Liposuction

Refutes earlier findings to the contrary.

Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries you can find; it’s been among the top five procedures in the U.S. since 1992. Even still, it has its detractors. Some say the treatment doesn’t take permanently, and fat cells will regrow or redistribute throughout the body. According to critics, liposuction just doesn’t work.

A new study in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), begs to differ. This new study shows that fat cells don’t grow back, nor do they move to other areas of the body.

The study, authored by ASPS Member Surgeon Eric Swanson, MD, observed 301 patients who underwent liposuction, either on its own or done in conjunction with abdominoplasty. Precise, computer-assisted measurements and standardized photos were used to calculate the dimensions of patients before their surgeries, as well as after photos taken at least three months later.

The findings showed no evidence of rejuvenated fat growth in treated areas, and the dimensions of non-treated areas, such as the upper body, showed no signs of excess growth, meaning fat wasn’t redistributed elsewhere.

These findings refute a report published in Obesity last year. Dr. Swanson believes earlier findings rose from how earlier studies measured their patients’ bodies.

“Previous studies have evaluated small numbers of patients and used imprecise measuring techniques, limiting their power to reliably detect changes,” said Dr. Swanson. “Our study included a sufficient number of patients and used precise measurements, making the conclusions highly reliable. Patients can be reassured that their improvements will last and they need not worry about putting weight back on disproportionately.”

Of course, patients can still put weight back on through their own actions, as liposuction doesn’t affect one’s ability to gain or lose weight. Keeping your body in shape is important after liposuction, as it is after any other invasive cosmetic procedure. But you can rest assured that any weight gained after liposuction won’t be because the surgery didn’t work.




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