What you can do to help ensure a successful liposuction

Fitness, Plastic Surgery

Abdominal liposuction is the most popular plastic surgery worldwide. A big question people typically ask their plastic surgeon: is the fat loss permanent? Often the answer is yes, but is it really?

Two studies over the past year give an answer, which is both yes and no. The second study, from USP (Brazil) is more reassuring, but let’s look at the study from the University of Colorado (USA) first.

This study followed 34 non-obese women over a period of one year, and at the beginning of the study, half the women underwent abdominal liposuction (<5 liters removed), and the other half did not have surgery. During the year, the women were intensively studied for fat distribution throughout their bodies. This is not an easy task, and involved multiple MRI scans and sophisticated blood and exercise testing to track the fat distribution exactly.

They found that, disappointingly, the fat returned within a year in the woman who underwent surgery, and it returned elsewhere in the body: mostly in the upper abdomen, arms (triceps area), and the shoulders. Some fat returned to the deep abdominal area, called “visceral fat”, since it forms around the deep viscera (organs). Visceral fat is considered more dangerous to your body than superficial fat; more harmful to your cardiovascular system.

An interesting and irritating fact about fat is there seems to be a “memory effect” to fat in our bodies, and if we lose fat in one area, the body compensates and re-forms fat in another area. And if we lose significant weight, and later return to bad dietary patterns or decrease activity levels, the fat often returns.

Now the good news comes from the Brazilian study published recently in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. These researchers also studied women undergoing liposuction, but half the women after surgery led a sedentary life, and the other half were enrolled in a regular exercise program including 40 minutes three times a week of light jogging on a treadmill along with light weight training.

Of the women who post-surgery did not exercise, many of them regained fat. Within 4 months after surgery, half of them had increased their deep visceral fat by 10% compared with before surgery. But the women who exercised post-surgery did not regain fat, superficial or deep, and happily kept their good shape and good metabolic condition.

The bottom line: yes, liposuction can give long-lasting results, and you can end up looking better and healthier than you were before surgery, but only if you make the commitment to exercise regularly after surgery. If you do not, you could end up with fat distributed elsewhere in your body, some of it being the more dangerous deep visceral fat variety.

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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