A new review looks at the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and the aesthetic surgeries, including abdominal liposuction and abdominoplasty, meant to improve body contour. Among other things, it reveals that while these patients tend to report after their procedures that they are less self-conscious about their appearance and are more satisfied with their shapes, the reality is they’re not necessarily healthier because of those procedures, says review author David B. Sarwer, Ph.D., associate dean for research and director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education, College of Public Health, Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn.
The disconnect is this: Consumers, in general, often think that liposuction removes a significant amount of fat, which could dramatically change what they see on the scale and potentially improve their health, according to Dr. Sarwer.
Demand remains high for surgical liposuction, which is the only surgical procedure to have a place in the top 10 cosmetic procedures overall, according to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) 2015 Statistics on Cosmetic Surgery.
Tummy tuck is the third most popular surgical procedure, after liposuction and breast augmentation, according to ASAPS stats.
“The evidence that we reviewed suggests that the typical weight loss seen with liposuction is quite modest. Also, there is limited evidence to suggest that it leads to significant improvement in health,” he says. “Liposuction is well designed for individuals with pockets of fat around their waistlines, but the procedures are not necessarily appropriate for individuals who are 30, 50 or 100 pounds or more overweight.”
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