In an era of extreme body-consciousness, increasing numbers of men and women are looking for ways to whittle their waistlines and rid themselves of unsightly bulges. Body contouring with liposuction has been the go-to treatment for getting rid of stubborn fat, but there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion about the longevity of this procedure. Does lipo permanently eradicate fat or will it come back months or years later?
According to many experts, including California plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Singer, lipo truly is permanent fat removal, meaning that fat cells will not return or redistribute to other areas of the body.
“As long as you maintain your weight after your procedure, you will maintain the benefits of liposuction,” explains Singer, whose opinion is supported by a 2012 study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle
Liposuction, as its name implies, sucks out adipose tissue from targeted areas, giving patients a more toned and sculpted appearance. Whether used on the midsection, thighs, arms, back or buttocks, the procedure is well-tolerated by most and delivers impressive results – the immediate loss of 5-15 pounds, depending on the patient. After the procedure, fat cells in the surrounding areas that were treated will continue to swell and shrink, which means that patients can still gain weight without attention to diet and lifestyle.
The take-home: Lipo is permanent, but you can still put on weight if you eat and drink more calories than you burn. For this reason, consistent physical activity and a balanced diet can optimize your results.
Massive fluctuations in weight may compromise the results of liposuction, so it’s best to steer clear of yo-yo diets or other programs which aren’t sustainable over the long-term.
And while lipo does eradicate intact fat cells, those which remain in the body can grow in size in the absence of healthy dietary changes, leading to overall weight gain. In sum, as long as patients keep a steady weight after the procedure, their results should last forever.
No fat regrowth after lipo
“Of course, liposuction does not change your ability to gain or lose weight. Its value is in permanently reducing the number of fat cells in problem areas. For any given weight you will be in the future, your proportions will be better after liposuction, barring extremes in weight gain,” explains Dr. Eric Swanson, whose study refutes the concept that fat redistributes or returns after lipo.
Swanson’s team followed 301 patients who had either liposuction alone or combined with a tummy tuck. Using precise measurements, the researchers found that post-op patients did not show evidence of fat regrowth in the stomach, lower body or arms that were treated.
Liposuction in New York City
Dr. B. Aviva Preminger offers traditional and laser-assisted liposuction in her Manhattan plastic surgery suite to qualified patients. To learn more about the advantages of lipo or other body contouring procedures, or to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Preminger, we invite you to call 212-706-1900.