Liposuction is a very effective way to eliminate stubborn pockets of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise. However, it is important to remember that liposuction is a body contouring tool, not a weight loss method. In order to achieve the best possible results and maintain them for years, you will need to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle after your procedure. The best liposuction results are typically achieved when smaller volumes of fat are removed. Most board certified plastic surgeons will not remove more than 5 liters of fat during a procedure due to increased safety risks, and many surgeons will recommend removing substantially less than this. For this reason, it is important to achieve your target weight prior to undergoing liposuction. There have also been several studies in recent years which demonstrate the need to maintain your weight after liposuction in order to prevent the removed fat from returning. While the fat cells that are removed during liposuction will not regenerate, you may accumulate fat in other areas of the body, creating a disproportionate body appearance. A recent study conducted by Robert H. Eckel at the University of Colorado School of Medicine evaluated the ways in which fat returns after liposuction. The study evaluated 32 women with an average body mass index and a stable body weight. Of the 32 women, 14 were undergoing liposuction for the first time while the other 18 served as a control group. The study found that while the women undergoing liposuction experienced an initial body fat loss of 2.1%, this difference had been erased within a year. In addition, the fat that returned was more likely to be the deeper visceral fat which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Due to the small sample size used here, additional follow-up studies will be required in order to draw any conclusions with a degree of certainty. However, these initial findings underscore the importance of treating liposuction as a body sculpting tool rather than a weight loss method, and it reaffirms the notion that maintaining a proper diet and exercise regimen is necessary to keep the removed fat from returning. If you are interested in liposuction in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, please contact Dr. David Bottger today to schedule your initial consultation.