Obesity is considered a serious problem in many of the more affluent parts of the world: not just a problem of individuals, but also a social problem that, in some cases, is being addressed by government programs. At the same time, contemporary media often promotes thinness (sometimes to the extent of ghastly emaciation) as an ideal of beauty. Therefore, it is no wonder that many millions of people are on a sort of quest to lose weight.
For people who have tried diet and exercise and not gotten the results they wanted, or who want a quick (if pricey) fix, liposuction appears to be a very popular choice. Female celebrities who have children and quickly lose weight afterwards are often suspected to have undergone liposuction. On the other hand, there are people who may undergo the procedure purely for health reasons, having been recommended to do so by their physicians.
However, getting liposuction does not necessarily mean that one’s weight issues have been solved. It often happens that a patient can regain a lot of his or her weight just a few months after undergoing the procedure, partly due to the body’s tendency towards stasis: the liposuction caused a sudden loss of fat, so the body reacted by facilitating the rebuilding of fat deposits. However, post-liposuction weight gain is not only a disappointment for the patient. It can also be downright dangerous.
This is because, while the liposuction process is designed to remove subcutaneous fat located under the skin, the fat gained shortly after the procedure tends to be visceral fat, which gathers around the organs, much deeper inside a person’s body. The difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat is not always obvious to cursory inspection, but can have a huge impact on a person’s health. Many doctors agree, for example, that fat around the organs is a major factor that increases a person’s risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and other ailments. Therefore, getting liposuction can make a person more prone to serious diseases, especially if they already have a prominent place in his or her family’s medical history.
On the plus side, recent research indicates that the gain of visceral fat deposits after liposuction is not something that doctors and patients necessarily have to take lying down. We refer here to a study done on Brazilian women who had just undergone liposuction. The women, who were all fairly young and healthy, were divided into two groups. One was generally sedentary in the months following the procedure, while the other group did a specially-designed program of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. The second group kept weight off more easily, while the former group regained more weight, a lot of it in the form of visceral fat.
It appears from this study that exercise can be a critical factor in slowing the body’s gain of fat following liposuction. Besides helping a person to hold on to the figure he or she obtained from the procedure, exercise can aid in retaining the health benefits of a lower body fat content.
Then again, it must be remembered that the results of this study should not be carelessly generalized for anyone and everyone who undergoes liposuction. For example, older women, very obese patients of both sexes, and men might have very different results from undergoing the same type of post-surgery regimen. The importance of exercise should be taken as a general principle, but exact regimens probably have to be tailor-fitted to the needs of each individual case.
Exercise may be considered a very important part of post-surgical care for those who have undergone liposuction, along with measures to keep wounds safe from infection. Not only can it help patients maintain a trim figure, but it can also keep them from experiencing long-term side effects associated with the build-up of visceral fat deposits. Patients may also find that they prefer to keep up a regimen of exercise and healthy eating for long after the surgery, or even the rest of their lives.