May 10, 2011
Liposuction Fat Loss Not Permanent

It just shows up again at other parts of the body. Since it fully comes back in a year how about periodic 3 month liposuction? Get it when you go in for botox? Or whole body liposuction?

AURORA, Colo. (May 8, 2011) Liposuction has become one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the country. It has been around since 1974 and there are now more than 450,000 operations a year. But does the fat come back? A recent study by Teri L. Hernandez, PhD, RN and Robert H. Eckel, MD, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that the fat eventually returns within one year, and is redistributed to other areas of the body, especially the upper abdomen. There was further redistribution around the shoulders and triceps of the arms.

"The fact that fat returned is of great interest to us as scientists. It supports the idea that levels of body fat are very tightly regulated by mechanisms we have yet to uncover," said Eckel. "This was the hypothesis we were testing and it was confirmed. In rodents when fat is removed it returns, and after weight loss in humans most everyone regains the weight. We think the brain somehow knows how much fat is on board and responds in a manner to regulate that weight. That's why preventing obesity is so important".

Imagine injectable drugs that would suppress fat cells in the area of injection. Maybe a gene therapy could instruct fat cells to shrink and stay small. The injection route to remold one's fat distribution would be far less invasive and traumatic. In the long run I expect most plastic surgery that involves cutting into people will be replaced by injections and topical treatments that reprogram cells to resculpt our bodies without crude mechanical cutting.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 May 10 10:46 PM  Bodies Perfected Resculpting

Brett Bellmore said at May 11, 2011 4:41 AM:

Well, duh. Of course it's not permanent. Considering that even an ounce of fat, anywhere in the body, is perfectly capable of growing to any arbitrary extent necessary to store whatever excess calories you consume, why would anybody be surprised at this? You'd have to remove every fat cell in the body for liposuction to be permanent, and that would have all sorts of undesirable consequences even if it were feasible to do.

The only thing at all interesting about this is that it confirms that the fat cells themselves are not (the only thing that's) driving you to consume extra calories. Or else liposuction would result in at least a partial long term weight reduction.

The body is trying to maintain a set point percentage of fat, and defends that set point quite successfully. The only problem with this is that we tend not to like where that set point is, and that it has a tendency to drift upwards as we age. But it does raise a question: How does the body KNOW, to such precision, exactly what it's percentage of fat is? Because it's clearly not a matter of the body controlling calorie intake vs activity directly; It would have to do so to absurd precision to cause the stability of weight we actually see, something on the order of 10 calories a day.

I would assume that there's SOMETHING fat cells either secrete, or remove from the bloodstream, which allows the body to determine it's own fat percentage, and adjust your hunger and activity levels according to how that percentage compares to the set point. The obvious target for any weight control intervention would be to identify that chemical, either alter the way fat cells interact with it, or independently manipulate it's concentration in the bloodstream.

Now, I would say that, since that set point does typically drift upwards, and fat cells reproduce fast enough in the body to be subject to evolutionary pressures, the set point drift might be due to the fat cells evolving inaccurate signaling in order to enhance their reproductive potential. This would suggest comparing the biochemical behavior of fat cells in young, skinny people, to those in old, fat people.

Another hypothesis would be that the drift is due to the fat cells being less efficient at signaling due to the gradual degradation of their mitochondria with aging. Signaling probably does require energy... I understand SENS has had some partial success in their efforts to transfer mitochondrial genes to the nucleus; Does this reduce the set point drift with aging?

Fat Man said at May 11, 2011 5:24 AM:


gcochran said at May 11, 2011 9:09 PM:

Lipo vampires, the obvious, wildly popular, and darkly romantic solution.

bbartlog said at May 12, 2011 5:50 AM:

'the set point drift might be due to the fat cells evolving inaccurate signaling'

Makes little sense; the advantage would be distributed across all the fat cells, i.e. there is no opportunity for evolution here. I suspect that it is actually human evolution at work and that there is (or rather would have been) some advantage to getting slightly heavier as you get older. Possibly the disadvantages attendant on being heavier would be less burdensome for an older person while the caloric reserves would be more necessary.

The complications possible for liposuction would make undergoing it every three months a foolish choice. Actually I wonder whether it has any positive effect on health whatsoever; I always thought that the excess fat was a symptom of metabolic problems (insulin resistance or the like) and not a cause of the attendant morbidity. In which case lipo would be medically useless, other than as a way of reducing load on the joints or something like that.

Diane Johnson said at November 10, 2011 8:54 AM:

I am working to the tummy tuck beverly hills canter and I have a lot of patients who came there in order to get away of their body imperfections. Abdominoplasty is a revolutionary technique and a lot of women choose it in order to obtain in a very short time the perfect body shape. But this doesn't mean that after an abdominoplasty or a liposuction you can eat whatever you want and keep the same weight. A healthy diet and lifestyle is very important in order to look good because if not the fat cells reproduce and you will gain weight again.

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