Liposuction is the second most common cosmetic procedure performed in the country, almost 300,000 in 2010. It involves a procedure where special suctioning rods, or cannulas, are used to remove extra fat deposits for improvement of body contour. A common question some people have is the long term outcome of the procedure if weight gain recurs.
A new study came out in 2011 which analyzed the percentage body fat of patients before and after liposuction of the belly, thigh, and hips; then followed the patients over a year to see if and where body fat returns. The results show that for this group of patients, the percentage of total body fat dipped down but did return to near baseline by one year. However, the fat tended to stay off the hips and thighs, and redistribute elsewhere like the abdomen. Take home message? Liposuction, though not recommended as a weight reduction procedure, can still be a powerful way to achieve long term contouring of specific body areas.