Special Uses and Recent Research on Liposuction

Recent Research on Liposuction

Below is some research on liposuction, categorized broadly for ease of understanding. The next level organization is the ‘subject’ of research on liposuction. Within the subject of liposuction findings are the relevant study details.


Category: Fat Transfer

Fat transfer is proving quite useful in corrective contouring procedures.Liposuction fat extracted from heavy body areas, such as the abdomen and thighs, is infused into the body part requiring fat to achieve symmetry or contouring. Here is some of the research conducted in the field:


  • Subject: Breast reconstruction improvement in post–mastectomy patients with fat injections
    • Researchers: Dr. Gregory R. Scott, MD, Plastic Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA
    • Sample: 42 women who had undergone breast implant surgeries
    • Paper Presented at: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Annual Meeting
    • Abstract: P25
    • Paper Presentation Date: November 4, 2008
    • Research Summary: Breast implant after mastectomy can slightly deform the organ. In such cases, fat transfer can help achieve the required symmetry. Dr. Scott conducted fat insertion surgery on the sample. Abdominal liposuction was done on 40 and thigh liposuction on 2 candidates to extract fat. The amount of fat transferred to the breast tissues was between 30-180 ml. The results confirmed fat transfer as a good option for correcting breast implant issues.
    • Link: www.medscape.com/viewarticle/583239


  • Subject: Eyelift with fat transfer
    • Researchers: Dr. Yeh and Dr. Edwin Williams, the Albany Medical Center, New York, USA
    • Sample: Pictures of 99 people who had abdomen and thigh liposuction aided fat-transfer surgery between 2004 and 2008
    • Paper Published in: The Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, 2011, JAMA – American Medical Association (AMA)
    • Paper Publication Date: 2011
    • Research Summary: The study aimed to compare the results of fat transfer to the lower eyelid versus the effects of commercial anti-wrinkle fillers to rejuvenate aged looking eyes. Dr. Yeh and Dr. Williams studied the pictures of the sample. They revealed that the fat transfer procedure was safer, more natural looking, and more lasting compared to commercial products. The cosmetic procedure is slightly more expensive and carries the risk of temporary swelling, but is more advanced and offers effects lasting up to 3 years.
  • Link: archfaci.ama-assn.org/content/13/4/252


Category: Fat Relapse

  • Subject: Fat relapse after a liposuction procedure can be prevented with exercise
    • Researcher: Dr. F. Benatti, the Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Brazil
    • Sample: 36 women who underwent stomach liposuction
    • Paper Presented at: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 58th Annual Meeting
    • Abstract: 1893
    • Paper Presentation Date: June 2, 2011
    • Research Summary: The study highlighted that fat removed through surgery liposuction can be prevented from reappearing through physical activities. The sample was divided into a group of two. One group was the control and the other experimental. The experimental group was required to participate in a 4-month long exercise program. After the program, measurements showed an increase in the fat mass in the control group. The experimental group maintained the post surgical body mass.
    • Link: www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743924


  • Subject: Fat relapses a year after liposuction procedure, but redistributes
    • Researchers: Teri L. Hernandez, John M. Kittelson, Christopher K. Law, Lawrence L. Ketch, Nicole R. Stob, Rachel C. Lindstrom, Ann Scherzinger, Elizabeth R. Stamm, and Robert H. Eckel of the University of Colorado, Denver
    • Sample: 32 non-obese women, aged 35-37 years
    • Paper Published in: Obesity – A Research Journal – 19 and shared in The New York Times on April 30, 2011
    • Abstract: 1388-1395
    • Research Results Published on: July 2011
    • Research Summary: 14 women from the sample were kept in the experimental group that underwent small volume thigh liposuction. Approximately, 5.8 pounds of fat was extracted. 18 women were kept in the control group. They did not undergo the procedure. Lifestyle was kept unchanged pre or post liposuction. After a year, the liposuction patients gained weight, not in the thigh, but in other areas, like upper abdomen, upper arms, shoulders, etc. The fat had redistributed itself as the body produces new adipose cells as soon as the old ones die. Since, during liposuction, tissue damage disturbs the fat cell generation process, the fat does not readily return in the treated area. However, the other fat prone zones of the body continue to produce the fat cells.
    • Link: www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/weekinreview/01kolata.html


Category: Liposuction and the Body’s Biochemistry

  • Subject: Link between liposuction and metabolic abnormality
    • Researcher: Led by Dr. Samuel Klein, MD, from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Sample: 15 obese women 10 to 12 weeks before and after abdominal liposuction
    • Paper Published in: Shared on Medscape News Today, WebMD LLC from the New England Journal of Medicine
    • Paper Published Date: June 17, 2004
    • Abstract: N Engl J Med 2004; 350:2549-2557
    • Research Summary: This study proved the incompetence of liposuction as a treatment for metabolic abnormalities and obesity. Obesity is usually marked by increased waist and abdominal measurements. It is linked to insulin resistance, which in turn leads to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The study evaluated the sample for insulin sensitivity, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and coronary risk factors, 10 to 12 weeks before and after liposuction. The results showed that though liposuction was helpful in removing the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissues, its effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance is not convincing. This indicates that abdominal liposuction does not have a significant effect on obesity related metabolic irregularities.
    • Link : www.medscape.com/viewarticle/481185


  • Subject: Liposuction and other health benefits
    • Researcher: Dr. Eric Swanson, MD, a plastic surgeon in Leawood, Kansas, USA
    • Sample: 322 candidates who underwent liposuction and abdominoplasty
    • Paper Presented at: the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Annual Meeting at Denver, Colorado
    • Paper Presentation Date: September 25, 2011
    • Research Summary: The study intended to explore the possibility of a decrease in the body’s triglyceride levels after liposuction. The lowered levels may reduce health risks, including stroke, type-2 diabetes, and vascular and coronary artery diseases. The overall post-operative examination showed a notable decrease in the patient’s triglyceride levels. The substantial reduction was observed in 37%  of the patients who had a high level of triglyceride post surgery.
    • Link: www.medscape.com/viewarticle/750706


Non-Cosmetic Uses for Liposuction

A liposuction procedure is often an effective tool for reducing the side effects of some medical conditions.

  • Lipodystrophy Syndrome: This condition is generally an outcome of certain HIV medication called antiretroviral. Here, the patient looses fat in some body parts, while gaining excess fat in some other. Obviously, that leads to disfigurement, which can often cause embarrassment. It is probably the last thing an already traumatized HIV patient needs. Liposuction surgery can be helpful here in reducing this disproportionate fat concentration, thereby improving their appearance.
  • Lipoma: Lipoma is a painless, fatty tissue tumor of benign nature. Many doctors prefer to remove it with the help of surgery liposuction, as it results in lesser scarring than any other surgical process.
  • Lymphoedema (lymphatic obstruction): This is a malfunctioning of the lymphatic system, resulting in fluid retention in the limbs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Procedure liposuction may help reduce pain and swelling by suctioning the fluid out of the affected areas.

An Unusual Perspective on Liposuction Uses

Biofuel is increasingly gaining popularity in today’s eco-conscious world. A strange, connected perspective of liposuction use has come up in the recent times. Some scientists have been pondering over the proposal that lipo suctioned fatty fluid drained from the human body can be used as biofuel. The idea may be feasible. However, people disapprove of it and the biofuel implementation has been termed illegal.