Does the Fat Come Back? One Study Said Yes, New Study Says No
Liposuction has held steady for years in the top 5 cosmetic procedures performed in the United States for good reason: It works. According to the latest reported statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were nearly 205,000 liposuction procedures performed just last year.
But at the same time, just last year researchers reported in the medical journal Obesity that after liposuction, the fat came back, redistributing itself to the tummy and shoulder/arm areas. But according to new research published in the most recent (August) issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the ASPS, liposuction does, in fact, get rid of the fat permanently.
According to study author Eric Swanson, MD, Leawood, Kansas, previous studies reported less accurate results given their smaller patient populations and less sophisticated body fat measuring techniques. His study, he points out, uses both a higher number of patients and more advanced measuring techniques, which he believes, makes his results more accurate.
Dr. Swanson was quoted in a recent ASPS press release as saying, “Patients can be reassured that their improvements will last and they need not worry about putting weight back on disproportionately."
In a total of 301 liposuction (with or without tummy tuck) patients, Dr. Swanson took photographs both preoperatively and 3 months or more after surgery and used computer-assisted body measurements to evaluate change in body dimensions. His results showed no additional fat development in other areas of the body (especially, the tummy and shoulder/arm areas). Not only did fat not redistribute itself in other areas of the body, but reduced measurements achieved by liposuction (with or without tummy tuck) were maintained past the 1-year mark.
In a sub-group of 34 patients who gained weight (5+ pounds) after surgery, average measurement for hip reduction was still significant. Dr. Swanson explained that fat removal via liposuction simply takes away excess fat cells in areas prone to weight gain. It doesn’t affect a person’s natural ability to go up or down on the scale. Astutely, he pointed out, “For any given weight you will be in the future, your proportions will be better after liposuction, barring extremes in weight gain."
Originally Published Wed, 16 Sep 2015