Liposuction Keeps the Fat Away, Study Says

Liposuction is a popular treatment, having been somewhere among the top five cosmetic surgeries every year since 1992. Some critics, however, believe that liposuction can’t deliver what it promises, and that fat cells will just regrow or migrate to other parts of the body.

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.

Fat Doesn’t Regroup After Liposuction

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 those 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 well as any other invasive cosmetic procedure. But you can rest assured that any weight gained after liposuction won’t be because the surgery didn’t take.