After Liposuction, Fat Returns ... Somewhere Else

Study finds fat gets 'redistributed upstairs' within a year

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 3, 2011 3:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – People who undergo liposuction are playing Whac-A-Mole with body fat instead of achieving permanent reductions, new research suggests. Researchers found that after patients had fat deposits removed from one part of their body, the fat reappeared within a year in a different part of their body, the New York Times reports.

The study focused on non-obese women who had fat removed from their thighs or lower abdomen. The fat, researchers say, was "redistributed upstairs," mostly in the belly but also around the shoulders and upper arms. Liposuction is the most popular plastic surgery procedure, with more than 450,000 operations carried out each year, and it looks set to stay popular. More than half of the women in the study's control group still chose to have liposuction after learning of the study's findings.

Some 450,000 liposuction procedures are carried out in the US every year.
Some 450,000 liposuction procedures are carried out in the US every year.   (Shutterstock)
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It's another chapter in the 'You can't fool Mother Nature' story. - Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University

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