Chicago, IL- Liposuction is a great way to eliminate unwanted fat, but in order to maintain the aesthetic and health benefits patients need to get plenty of physical exercise a study found.
Many of the patients who seek out liposuction to do so because they want a flat stomach and while this is achievable, the results from a study released last year shows that keeping the stomach flat after surgery requires the patient add exercise to their routine.
Researchers at University of San Paola followed 36 women who had liposuction to remove a small amount of fat from their abdominal region. All of the women admitted that they did not exercise prior to their procedure, but half of the women were instructed to begin an exercise routine, according to Reuters.
Four months following their liposuction, the women were evaluated to determine if any of the fat returned. While the group instructed not to exercise still had a flat stomach, some of them had a 10 percent increase of visceral fat—the kind liposuction cannot since it is deeper fat that surrounds the internal organs and can lead to chronic medical conditions such as type II diabetes and heart disease.
The women who exercised at least three times a week either through cardio or light weight lifting maintained their flat stomach but also showed no increase in visceral fat.
The researchers believe the increase in visceral fat can be attributed to their sedentary lifestyle. Liposuction completely removes subcutaneous fat—the fat that lies beneath the skin, but it cannot reduce visceral fat.
Researchers are not entirely sure why visceral fat can increase. They have two theories, either visceral fat is more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat, or fat taken into the body is directed to visceral cells in the absence of subcutaneous cells. More research will have to be conducted before doctors know for certain what causes visceral fat to increase.
While the researchers used a small sample to come up with their findings it is important for liposuction patients to realize regular exercise is crucial to truly reap the benefits liposuction has to offer.
Head researcher Fabiana Benatti explained to Reuters, “If one should choose to undergo liposuction, it is very important, if not essential, that this person exercises after the surgery.”
The ideal candidate for liposuction is a person of average weight or person who is slightly overweight, but has already added exercise to their routine. Patients should not view liposuction a method to lose weight. Most plastic surgeons will recommend their patients get closer to their goal weight before undergoing the procedure.
Though patients can lose a few to several pounds following liposuction, liposuction is really a way to refine and tone areas of the body that hold onto fat. Even though some people exercise regularly and watch their calorie and fat intake areas like the abdomen, buttocks and thighs often retain fat that can be difficult to exercise away.