The new study, evaluated 301 patients having liposuction, either alone or in combination with abdominoplasty, using standardized photographs and computer-assisted measurements of body dimensions obtained preoperatively and at least three months after surgery. The study revealed no evidence of fat regrowth in treated areas of the arms, abdomen, or lower body. Additionally, upper body dimensions were unchanged after surgery, indicating no fat redistribution. Average reductions in hip measurements remained significant in patients followed one year or more after both liposuction and combined liposuction/abdominoplasty procedures. The average hip reduction was significant even among a subgroup of 34 patients who gained five pounds or more after surgery.
We have discussed fat returning after liposuction before.
Despite the fact that liposuction removes fat, it is not weight loss surgery. People have a hard time realizing this in part because advertising demonstrates the opposite picture usually.
People in whom large weight swings are common have a high redo rate or are just plain unhappy with liposuction. In their cases, weight tends to come back. The best patients for liposuction are those with stable weight.
Technically, the fat removed doesn’t “return.” The cells that were removed during surgery do not come back. You can however fill the fat cells that remain after surgery with more fat depending upon diet, exercise and your metabolism. In this newer study, it should be noted that tummy tuck surgery was included which has better long term rates of fat removal than other operations.
So both the study showing fat returning after liposuction and this newer one showing fat not returning after liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can both be correct…in the right patient groups. It depends upon the general conditioning of your average liposuction patient and this varies.
As always patient selection and consent are all important in choosing your procedure and your surgeon; that is, if you want that fat to stay off.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2012-08-01 07:30:57.