Liposuction Produces Only Temporary Weight Loss

A pioneering new study of the popular liposuction surgery finds that the fat which a surgeon sucks out from one part of the body gets added back in elsewhere by Mother Nature.

The study published in the journal Obesity found that within a year, all the fat suctioned out in a liposuction was regained by the body — not in the location of the liposuction but in other places such as the upper abdomen and shoulders.

Obesity researchers say that the body “defends” its fat, carefully regulating the total amount of fat in the body. So fat removed by surgery in this respect is no different from fat lost by dieting — the body’s natural mechanism tends toward putting that fact back on.

No one quite knows why liposuction fat doesn’t come back in the same place, but researchers told the New York Times it may be due to the way that liposuction disrupts the fishnet structure under the skin where fat cells reside.

Since liposuction has been around since the 1970s, why hasn’t a carefully controlled study like this been done before? It has a lot to do with surgeons who rely on anecdote to prove that their methods work, rather than careful statistical studies.

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