Fat redistributes after liposuction

According to a new study from the University of Colorado, published in the research journal Obesity, women who underwent liposuction for removal of fat deposits from the thighs and lower abdomen found that new fat deposits appeared on their shoulders, arms and upper abdomen. Post-procedure measurements were taken at 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year to tract fat distribution.

The redistribution of fat appears to be modulated by adipocyte hyperplasia (the growth of new fat cells) or hypertrophy (the increase in size of existing fat cells). Since liposuction destroys the structures under the skin, this could explain why fat cells don’t grow back in the same place from which they were removed.

The take home message is that if caloric intake and energy expenditure (or lack of) remain constant pre and post liposuction, the surgical procedure will reduce the fat from the localized area, however, only temporarily reduce total body fat. When more calories are taken in than expended fat accumulation occurs by hypertrophy of existing fat cells or the creation of new adipocytes to store fat.

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction is the number one plastic surgery and makes up 18.8 percent of procedures (200,000 in the US in 2010).

Just think, the money spent on liposuction could be used to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist for 6 months and produce significant weight loss, a gain in lean mass, create a greater sense of well-being and establish life-long exercise and nutritional habits.

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