As you know, through the centuries there were a LOT of "factual" books printed which were convinced the Earth was flat, that our arteries carried Air (hence the origin of their name) instead of blood, that applying searing hot irons cures some incurable diseases (according to The Father of Medicine - Hippocrates - "What drugs will not cure, the knife will; what the knife will not cure, the cautery will; what the cautery will not cure must be considered incurable"), that ingesting poisonous Calomel (Mercury chloride) (all the rage during Revolutionary and Civil War America), cupping and leeches were beneficial to our health and the list of medical idiocies and scientic "facts" can fill stadiums. They were NOT true.
The most honest presentation of ever evolving medical knowledge was delivered by Dr. Sir William Osler, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins when he told his stidents ""Gentlemen, I have a confession to make - half of what we have taught you is in error; and furthermore we cannot tell you which half it is.”
How about some REAL Facts?
FACT 1 - Liposuction PERMANENTLY removed anything which goes into the sterile stainless steel cannula. Ones that fat is removed from an area, it is gone. (To quote Monty Python, that fat has "passed on, is no more, has ceased to be, is expired and gone to meet its maker, it's bereft of life, it rests in peace, it's pushing up the daisies, its metabolic processes are now history, it as kicked the bucket, it shuffled off its mortal coil, it has run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile").
FACT 2 - Unless the fat has be surgically transferred / grafted to other parts of the body, it does NOT have the magical transformational ability to make its way from the suction canister across the room back into other parts of the patient.
FACT 3 - The REAL truth which this rather simplistic study does not address is the challenge posed by our individual physiologies AND "The Get Out Of Jail - ALL You Can Eat" Card Psychology seen in many body contouring patients.
Fat is a very sophisticated microscopic storage room. In times of caloric drought (decreased eating, massive caloric expenditures exercising / farming etc) , fat cells will be empty. BUT - the CAPACITY of filling up will be retained. In times increased caloric intake which are not matched by a corresponding or higher burning of calories, the excess calories will be deposited in our fat storage units AS DETERMINED BY HORMONAL FACTORS (men - centrally, Women - Thighs, buttocks, arms etc).
Unfortunately, some people think that Liposuction comes with an invisible Kevlar jacket-like immunity to the consequences of over-eating and under-exercising - "The Get Out Of Jail - ALL You Can Eat" Card. Now that the areas which previously bothered them have been nicely smoothed down, many lose sight of the importance of watching their diet.
As they incease their caloric intakes, the excess calories can no longer be deposited in the areas which were liposuctioned. But - this does not mean that the billions of fat cells elsewhere in the body will not open their little doors to this caloric transgression. They do and they fill up. As a result, other areas of fat fill up and GIVE THE IMPRESSION that the fat "MOVED" there.
Going back to previously accepted (sometimes enforced "facts") - If you are watching the skies at night, you will see the moon and stars circling our Earth. It is therefore easy to assume as millions have done that the Earth is at the center of the universe. This was Church (Ptolomeic) doctrine and considered FACT for centuries: MANY were persecuted (Copernicus, Galileo Galilei) or burned at the stake for saying otherwise.
The SAME "Lying Eyes" phenomenon is clearly in play here and in this rather fact-challenged article published by the New York Times as a clear swipe to Plaqstic Surgery.
If you have properly done liposuction AND watch your diet - you will NOT be a victim of the "shifting, transmutating fat". Chuck it to a MODERN version of other foolish "facts" / urban legends.
Peter A. Aldea, MD