After Liposuction, Exercise Keeps the Fat OffBy GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Liposuction, generally considered the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States and worldwide, involves suctioning out subcutaneous fat cells, those that accumulate just beneath the skin. But to gain lasting benefits, a new study suggests, people need to exercise. Otherwise they risk regaining the fat lost during surgery and redistributing that fat to their midsections, an outcome that has the potential to make them less healthy than before the operation.
For the new study, which appears in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil recruited 36 healthy women, ages 20 to 35, who had not exercised regularly during the six months before the study began. All were of normal weight but gladly volunteered to have two and a half to three pounds of abdominal flab removed via liposuction.
Despite the popularity of the procedure, there have been intimations for several years that it might not permanently reduce bodily fat stores. Surgically excising fat pads from rodents, for example, almost always ended in the fat’s return after a few months or a year, although not always in the same area from which it was removed.