And as far as simply removing large volumes of subcutaneous fat from one’s body, it just may be the most effective method – certainly, far superior to diet/exercise or bariatric surgery.
But there are a few catches.
As I have previously discussed, in contrast to losing weight via lifestyle modification or bariatric surgery, liposuction does not make an obese person healthier. In fact, the removal of benign subcutaneous fat stores may actually make you worse off in terms of metabolic health.
Also, as I suggested in an earlier post, there was some very preliminary evidence suggesting that after the removal of fat from the buttocks, thighs, and abdomen, women see a compensatory increase in the fat deposition in other places – namely, their breasts. A 2-for-1 deal, if you will.
However, a hot-off-the-press study by Hernandez and colleagues suggests something less ideal than this scenario. Indeed, the authors found that a year after liposuction was performed the fat initially removed is basically all replaced, but not necessarily where you’d want it to go.
Specifically, while fat removed from the thighs and buttocks tended to stay ‘off’, abdominal fat increased to essentially compensate for any initial fat reduction (regardless of whether or not abdominal fat was removed during the procedure). There was a particularly significant growth of fat in the visceral depot.
So, essentially liposuction can permanently reduce fat stores in areas that may be beneficial to metabolic health (butt, hips and thighs) but increase fat stores in areas known to lead to metabolic problems (abdominal, specifically visceral fat).
Finally, as was suggested by other studies, the women who underwent liposuction in the current study did not experience any metabolic benefits from the procedure.
To sum up, liposuction will:
1) not improve your health
2) not permanently reduce fat mass
3) redistribute body fat from good to bad areas of your body
Hernandez, T., Kittelson, J., Law, C., Ketch, L., Stob, N., Lindstrom, R., Scherzinger, A., Stamm, E., & Eckel, R. (2011). Fat Redistribution Following Suction Lipectomy: Defense of Body Fat and Patterns of Restoration Obesity DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.64