A study conducted last year about the benefits of liposuction raised some eyebrows. Researchers found that fat cells from the procedure may return to other untreated sections of the body. However, a follow-up study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that not to be the case.
The study, published in the August issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, looked at 301 patients who had liposuction either alone or together with a tummy tuck procedure. Looking at patients before surgery and three months after treatment, the team found no evidence of fat regrowth in treated areas or a transfer to untreated areas as the original study suggested.
"Previous studies have evaluated small numbers of patients and used imprecise measuring techniques, limiting their power to reliably detect changes," said the study's author. "Our study included a sufficient number of patients and used precise measurements, making the conclusions highly reliable. Patients can be reassured that their improvements will last and they need not worry about putting weight back on disproportionately."
Still, the results do not mask the importance of exercising after liposuction or tummy tuck surgery. After the recovery period is over, patients should make a point to stay physically fit so that they can maintain their results for years after the procedure. Even with liposuction, it's possible for patients to put back on weight if they return to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Given the results of liposuction, it's no wonder it has been among the top five most performed procedures every year since 1992. That trend continued in 2011, when 205,000 patients had the surgery, placing behind only nose reshaping and breast augmentation in terms of popularity.