Since 1983, liposuction has been one of the most popular procedures in plastic surgery. Through tiny incisions, fat is vacuumed from your thighs, belly or neck. You’re back to work within a week and on the beach in a month. The satisfaction rate for liposuction is very high and the complication rate is low.
Women most commonly have liposuction of their thighs, bellies and necks. Men have their bellies and necks suctioned most often.
But like a bad dream, that fat has a way of sneaking back into your body. By a year after surgery, most people who have liposuction of their thighs wind up with more fat in their bellies. And if it was the tummy that was suctioned, don’t be surprised to find chubbier arms and thighs a year later.
This is not surprising to me as a plastic surgeon, since nearly all of my patients weigh the same a year after surgery as they did before the surgery … even after suctioning off 4 pounds of fat.
Our bodies seem to fight to get that fat back. That’s because thousands of years ago, people who could store fat lived longer when no food was around. And since lifespan was 20 years, we didn’t have to worry about heart disease and diabetes from obesity. There was a survival advantage to storing fat and being overweight; our genetic program would be ready for the next famine.
Liposuction will still get rid of those unsightly bulges that prevent you from wearing tight pants and almost everyone who has the surgery says they would do it again. But to keep that fat from returning, you still have to diet and exercise.