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Summary: Liposuction has long been heralded as a weight loss solution. The problem is that often times, the weight comes back, and there’s been disagreement over whether the weight is proportional when it does make its comeback. Old research seemed to indicate the weight would simply migrate to other place, ruining the overall look achieved with liposuction. But new evidence seems to suggest that this doesn’t hold true, that any weight that comes back does do in a naturally proportional way. Either way, when people approach the procedure as liposculpting instead of liposuction, they’re thrilled with the body-sculpting results.

woman in a red bathing suit on the beach

What is Permanent?

Most surgical procedures are touted as permanent. And, likewise, most nonsurgical procedures fall under the category of “nonpermanent.” These two categories aren’t so much misnomers as they are exaggerations. There are few plastic surgery procedures that are truly permanent: breast implants will need to be replaced over the decades, your facelift will eventually give way to more wrinkles, and so on. This does nothing to mitigate the decades of enjoyment plastic surgery patients get out of the experience (and it’s certainly worth noting the high rate of satisfaction that comes with almost all plastic surgery procedures).

Liposuction and Weight

There is, of course, one procedure for which this question of permanence is a little more immediate, and that’s liposuction. During the liposuction procedure, which thanks to modern technology is far less invasive than it used to be and much more effective than other, pockets of persistent fat are targeted for removal. There’s been conflicting reports as to whether that fat—in those areas which were removed—ever comes back. According to some plastic surgeons, patients who gain weight after a liposuction procedure will see that weight distributed to different areas—arms and legs, for example—rather than the original belly area where it may have been removed. In other words, plastic surgeons have long maintained—based on their own experience—that removed fat tended to stay removed.

Your Body Changes

The anecdotal evidence seemed born out in a study published in Obesity, which concluded that fat eliminated in one area tended to show up in another. But in 2012, research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery seemed to contradict the conventional wisdom. According to this study, patients who underwent liposuction saw no statistical change in the where the fat later gained ended up. This is actually good news, because it means that weight will not be disproportionately added to your body after your liposuction procedure.

The Power of Proportion

Let’s put it this way: your body has a way of distributing fat. If you gain weight, your fat goes to certain areas. Sometimes these areas are more flattering than others. But at the end of the day, what you’re looking for is a kind of proportion. This is why liposuction procedures have invested so much in the sculpting aspect of the procedure—because the desire is to maintain that proportion. The new research suggests that patients shouldn’t necessarily be worried about a disproportional amount of fat to go to the arms, legs, breasts, or other areas.

Targeted Areas

Of course, the best way to preserve your results is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and as always that includes diet and exercise. It’s also important to remember that it’s quite likely your weight will come back at some point. Therefore, plastic surgeons often urge people to remember that liposuction is a limited procedure when it comes to massive weightloss surgeries. Rather, liposuction is great at correcting disproportionate dispersal of fatty tissues. It’s great at targeting those areas which seem, somehow, immune to exercise and diet.

Sculpt Instead of Suck

According to the website of the Wisconsin liposuction experts at Milwaukee Plastic Surgery, liposculpting is more accurate than ever before. This is one reason why the term “liposculpting” has seem heavy use in cosmetic surgery circles lately. The emphasis is on sculpting away smaller portions of fat in order to achieve an overall desired look. In fact, patients that really emphasize the sculpting aspect of liposuction end up thrilled with their results. It can help clothes fit better, and it can help you feel more confident in your own skin when you finally achieve that look you’ve been struggling to get.

Great Results

When it comes to getting the shape you want, liposculpting or liposuction are definitely wonderful options. And while it’s true that nothing lasts forever, protecting the investment you’ve made in the procedure means you’ll be able to enjoy the results for a long time to come—you’ll be wearing your swimsuit on the beach with total confidence, and that’s worth the price right there.

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