Does Liposuction Really Work?

Apparently liposuction has been done for decades with no studies or follow-ups on whether or not it actually works long-term.

Someone finally studied it.

It works … in the area of the body where the procedure was done. But the fat comes back in other places!

(Click here to read the full article.)

This challenges what I knew (or thought I knew) about fat cells, so I will need to do some more research on my own on that one.

But basically, what the researchers found was that in women who had fat removed from their thighs and lower abdomen remained slender in those areas but gained fat in the upper abdomen and upper arms.

Depending on their issues, they might not care that they’re fatter in other places. I personally don’t like floppy upper arms, so I would not be happy at all, but that’s just me.

“Dr. Felmont Eaves III, a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, N.C., and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, said the study was ‘very well done,’ and the results were surprising. He said he would mention it to his patients in the context of other information on liposuction.”

If a person who makes a living doing these procedures concedes that the study was well-done and that he will mention it to patients, I suspect that it’s actually well-done.

Another good reason to avoid cosmetic surgery.

Diet and exercise. Not glamorous. Not instantaneous. Tried-and-true.

Have you or anyone you know had liposuction? Was this your/their experience?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa on 2 May 2011 at 08:04

    I was wondering if you were going to comment on this when I posted it on FB yesterday. It confirms what I’ve previously heard about fat cells – that they’re around to stay. Kind of depressing, but explains a hell of a lot at the same time. Hmm.

    • My understanding of fat cells was that they don’t go away and they don’t reproduce, but they get bigger and smaller which is how you gain or lose weight. The exceptions were third trimester, some point in toddler-hood, and just before puberty. I need to do some reading on newer material to see what the current understanding is… Maybe that’s still true, and liposuction is the exception to those rules? We’ll see…

  2. Posted by Shawn on 2 May 2011 at 10:12

    Very interesting. I had always heard that the number of fat cells was fixed. At first I figured that sure, the weight would come back, but distributed into the remaining fat cells, but they’re actually saying that new cells grow. Fascinating.

    Did they study what would happen if they did the liposuction and then had the subjects change their diet to have an appropriate amount of calories for their weight?

    Also, Figure C from the article looks like a caricature of a weightlifter.

    • I had heard the same thing, which is what I need to look into. If you learn anything about that before seeing it here, let me know.

      I didn’t read the study itself, just the summary that was linked, so I don’t know any of the details for the follow-up. It did say late in the article that the participants only had one pound of fat removed, so caloric intake shouldn’t have changed drastically. That said, if they continued on whatever dieting path led them to be overweight in the first place, they still would have been eating too many calories.

      LOL Figure C. True!

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