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Study: Fat May Return After Liposuction

Researchers Say Fat May Come Back 1 Year After Having the Cosmetic Procedure

Liposuction Not for Weight Loss

Phil Haeck, MD, is president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Seattle plastic surgeon. He reviewed the new research for WebMD and calls it a ''landmark'' study.

"I hope we have more of these," he says.

However, he notes some limitations, such as the small number of women studied.

He would have liked to see before-and-after photos, to gauge how noticeable the fat return was.

Of the fat return, he says, "I haven't seen it in my patients."

Neither has Marcel Daniels, MD, a plastic surgeon in Long Beach, Calif., who also reviewed the study findings for WebMD.

He has performed liposuction for 20 years.

''With that small study, it's preliminary," he says of the findings. "You can't draw a conclusion from that."

He wonders if some of the changes in fat tracked over the year could be age-related, as the women's average age was 40.

Anyone thinking of having liposuction, say Haeck and Daniels, should know that it is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Nor is it a weight loss procedure.

When done correctly by a qualified doctor, Haeck says, liposuction "can be a very gratifying operation but it's not a substitute for diet and exercise."

''Liposuction should serve as a springboard to a healthier lifestyle," says Daniels, who is also associate professor of plastic surgery at the University of California Irvine.

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