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Holiday feasting could sabotage liposuction results

November 30, 2004

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Although liposuction is mistakenly viewed by some as a "quick fix" for weight loss, liposuction patients are 3 times more likely to gain weight without adhering to a proper diet and 4 times more likely to gain weight without regular exercise says a study published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Patients who do not follow a healthy lifestyle after liposuction may be considerably less happy with their results, the study also found.

"If patients want positive long-term results from liposuction, they have to be willing to eat a proper diet and exercise. Ultimately, it's a lifestyle choice," said Rod Rohrich, MD, ASPS past president and author of the study. "This is especially important to remember as we approach the holiday season when people are invited to more parties and social activities where diet and exercise may be overlooked."

According to the study, patients play a considerable role in the long-term success of their liposuction results. Not only are patients who have poor eating and exercise habits more likely to gain weight after liposuction, those who do gain weight have a 62 percent chance of an increase in clothing size, causing them to be 10 times more likely to be dissatisfied with their results - compared to patients who eat a healthy diet and exercise.

In contrary, patients who adhere to a proper diet after liposuction are two times more likely to lose weight. These patients have a 96 percent chance of a decrease in clothing size, causing them to be 15 times more likely to be satisfied with their results and have improved long-term outcomes, the study concludes.

"Liposuction should be used as an adjunct to living a healthy lifestyle rather than as a weight loss tool," said Dr. Rohrich. "My practice turns away approximately one in five patients requesting liposuction because they are not appropriate candidates - many are 50 to 70 pounds overweight. Patients need to understand that they are responsible for the long-term results of their liposuction by adopting and continuing a healthy lifestyle."

In the study, which surveyed more than 200 patients, 43 percent gained weight after having liposuction, with the majority gaining weight after six months; 25 percent lost weight; while 32 percent experienced no change in weight.

Liposuction is the second most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States. More than 320,000 people had the procedure in 2003, up 13 percent since 2002, according to the ASPS.
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For referrals to ASPS member plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and to learn more about cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, call ASPS at 888-4-PLASTIC (888-475-2784) or visit www.plasticsurgery.org.

ASPS is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. With nearly 5,000 members, more than any other plastic surgery organization, ASPS is the definitive voice of the plastic surgery specialty. Viewed throughout the world as the pinnacle of information for new techniques, advances and plastic surgery trends, the society represents 94 percent of all the board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. Ninety-four percent of all ASPS members perform cosmetic plastic surgery and 89 percent of all ASPS members perform reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS, founded in 1931, represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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