Health

Liposuction's ugly side effect: belly fat

A new study published in Obesity found that women who've had liposuction may be trading their saddlebags for a tubby tummy, and not losing any fat.

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A new study published in Obesity found that women who’ve had liposuction may be trading their saddlebags for a tubby tummy, and not losing any fat.

Drs. Teri L. Hernandez and Robert H. Eckel of the University of Colorado looked at women who had had lipo on their thighs and found that although at six weeks post-surgery their overall body fat had decreased by 1.82 percent, by a year later, it had crept back to normal. And that’s not all: It hadn’t rebounded in their thighs, but rather found its way onto their waist, prompting researchers to conclude that “body fat was restored and redistributed from the thigh to the abdomen.”

The reason? Your body controls the number of fat cells carefully, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University, told The New York Times, explaining that mice grow new fat cells after having fat removed.

Liposuction’s the most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S., and it doesn’t look like this study’s going to quash many women’s desire for it: those who had had the procedure were still happy with the results, and those in the control group still wanted it.

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