Why Lipo Sucks

If the fat comes back, what's the point?

A new medical study out of the University of Colorado says that fat liposuctioned from a woman’s hips will return to her belly within 12 months.

Officially, the study is titled “Fat Redistribution Following Suction Lipectomy: Defense of Body Fat and Patterns of Restoration.”

Unofficially, I call it “Lipo Sucks.”

You pay big dollars to a plastic surgeon to transform your hips from Secretariat’s saddlebags to human-sized haunches. Less than a year later, your hips are still reasonably toned but your upper abdomen, and maybe your triceps, too, have become adipose magnets.

I’ll take “Fat-Free Fantasies” for 200, Alex.

Turns out the body’s fat cells are tough little suckers, according to the study, published in the online research journal, Obesity. When one fat cell dies, the body manufactures another one to replace it. Each fatty’s lifespan is about seven years.

New fat cells migrate to another corporeal Zip code, the researchers theorize, because liposuction may have destroyed the subcutaneous structure where the old fat cells had lived. Lipo: Katrina for your body’s neighborhoods.

I admit it, I’m bummed. My bum is bummed. My wife’s bum is bummed.

For years, we’ve joked about our fantasy of pulling up for a double-wide lipo. We imagine it as a kind of corpulent carwash—you drive in as a Hummer and drive out as a Mini-Cooper. A true auto-erotic experience.

Nonetheless, this new research doesn’t appear to have dampened the public’s fascination with the L-word. (As a Google search term, for example, it produces 6.72 million results.)

“Less is more” might work in some spheres, but in the liposuction world, less is less, even if it leads to more somewhere else.