Liposuction fat is back within a year: What’s taken from thighs ‘returns on arms’

By Chris Brooke
3rd May 2011

Liposuction carries the unwanted side-effect of making other parts of a patient’s  body fatter, a study  has found.

One year after having litres of fat removed, those undergoing the procedure will effectively be back at square one in terms of  the amount of fat in  their body.

However, the fat will not return to the areas of the body where it was removed from, usually the thighs, lower abdomen and buttocks.

Woman getting marked by doctor for liposuction plastic surgery

Can’t cheat nature: A new study finds that fat removed by liposuction comes back within a year, though not in the same place

Instead it will reappear elsewhere, typically around the shoulders, arms and  upper abdomen, according to U.S. researchers.

Liposuction is a simple but crude surgical process involving the insertion of a tube under the skin attached to a powerful vacuum pump which literally sucks the fat out of chosen areas of the body.

After bruising and swelling from the operation has healed, the areas treated visibly shrink to achieve what months of dieting has failed to do.

Last year there were 3,369 liposuction operations carried out in the UK by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

The procedure, which usually costs up to £5,000, has boomed in popularity in recent years.

But the latest findings could be a serious blow to its popularity.

The study involved 32 non-obese and healthy women of average weight and aged in their mid-30s.

While 14 were randomly selected to have a modest amount of fat removed by liposuction from their hips and thighs, the remaining 18 acted as ‘controls’ who did not have the procedure.

Liposuction surgery tools

Tools of the trade: About 450,000 liposuctions are performed every year, at a cost of several thousand dollars a pop. But it might not be effective in the long term

All the women agreed not  to undergo ‘lifestyle changes’ while the research was  being conducted.

Measurements of all the women were carried out at  six weeks, six months and a year, to monitor the distribution of fat.

After six weeks the treated patients had lost 2.1 per cent of their fat, compared with 0.28 per cent in the control group, but this difference had disappeared at one year to the point where it was ‘no longer significant’.

The fat did not return to the same place, but in general was ‘redistributed from the thigh to the abdomen’.

However, the findings were not regarded negatively by many of the women involved.

The women who underwent liposuction were happy that fat had been removed permanently from their hated hips and thighs, even at the expense of transferring the  fat elsewhere.

And more than half in the ‘control’ group still decided to go ahead with planned procedures – which they had earlier been promised at reduced cost at the end of the study.

Tara Reid on the beach in Malibu
Actress/Comedian Kathy Griffin arrives at the 77th Annual Academy Awards

Cut celebs: Tara Reid and Kathy Griffin are well-known devotees of liposuction

Louise Ennis to be known as 'Suzanne Bates' for Liposuction Treatment

Men and women: Although researchers targeted women in their study, men get liposuction too, including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who had it in the chest

The study was led by Teri Hernandez and Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado.

Commenting on the results, Dr Eckel said fat ‘was redistributed upstairs’, mostly in the upper abdomen, but also around the shoulders and triceps of the arms. Tests previously carried out in the laboratory on rats have shown similar results.

Fat was surgically removed and returned in other parts of the rodents’ bodies.

Analysing the results, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at New York’s Columbia University, said that liposuction surgically destroys the structure under the skin, which may be why the fat cells don’t regrow in the place from which they were removed.

Instead the body compensates for their swift loss by growing new fat cells in  other areas.

‘It’s another chapter in the “You can’t fool Mother Nature” story,’ Dr Leibel said.

Liposuction techniques were developed during the 1970s and have been popular in the United States for 30 years.

About 450,000 liposuction operations are carried out annually there.

Fat cells in humans die  and new ones are born throughout life.

Scientists have found that fat cells live for only about seven years and that every time a fat cell dies, another is formed to take its place.

Liposuction fat is back within a year: What’s taken from thighs ‘returns on arms’ | Mail Online.

Stiglitz – 1% Controls 40% of US Wealth

Joseph Stiglitz, left,  is a professor at Columbia University. He was fired as chief economist of the World Bank in 2000 for criticizing its policies.

As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the [Middle East], one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.

from Vanity Fair May 2011

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year.

In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably.

Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent [earned 1/4 of the income] and [top 1 % controlled] 33 percent.

One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats.

That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.

For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous–12 percent in the last quarter-century alone.

All the growth in recent decades–and more–has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride.

Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.


Economists are not sure how to fully explain the growing inequality in America. The ordinary dynamics of supply and demand have certainly played a role: laborsaving technologies have reduced the demand for many “good” middle-class, blue-collar jobs.

Globalization has created a worldwide marketplace, pitting expensive unskilled workers in America against cheap unskilled workers overseas.

Social changes have also played a role–for instance, the decline of unions, which once represented a third of American workers and now represent about 12 percent.

But one big part of the reason we have so much inequality is that the top 1 percent want it that way. The most obvious example involves tax policy.

Lowering tax rates on capital gains, which is how the rich receive a large portion of their income, has given the wealthiest Americans close to a free ride.

Monopolies and near monopolies have always been a source of economic power–from John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the last century to Bill Gates at the end.

Lax enforcement of anti-trust laws, especially during Republican administrations, has been a godsend to the top 1 percent.

Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself–one of its best investments ever.

The government lent money to financial institutions at close to 0 percent interest and provided generous bailouts on favorable terms when all else failed. Regulators turned a blind eye to a lack of transparency and to conflicts of interest.

Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth…. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending.

The personal and the political are today in perfect alignment. Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office.

By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.

When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift–through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price–it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work.

America’s inequality distorts our society in every conceivable way. There is, for one thing, a well-documented lifestyle effect–people outside the top 1 percent increasingly live beyond their means.


Of all the costs imposed on our society by the top 1 percent, perhaps the greatest is this: the erosion of our sense of identity, in which fair play, equality of opportunity, and a sense of community are so important.

America has long prided itself on being a fair society, where everyone has an equal chance of getting ahead, but the statistics suggest otherwise: the chances of a poor citizen, or even a middle-class citizen, making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries of Europe.

The cards are stacked against them. It is this sense of an unjust system without opportunity that has given rise to the conflagrations in the Middle East: rising food prices and growing and persistent youth unemployment simply served as kindling.

With youth unemployment in America at around 20 percent (and in some locations, and among some socio-demographic groups, at twice that); with one-out-of-six Americans desiring a full-time job not able to get one; with one-out-of-seven Americans on food stamps (and about the same number suffering from “food insecurity”)–given all this, there is ample evidence that something has blocked the vaunted “trickling down” from the top 1 percent to everyone else.

All of this is having the predictable effect of creating alienation–voter turnout among those in their 20s in the last election stood at 21 percent, comparable to the unemployment rate.

In recent weeks, we have watched people taking to the streets by the millions to protest political, economic, and social conditions in the oppressive societies they inhabit. Governments have been toppled in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests have erupted in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain. The ruling families elsewhere in the region look on nervously from their air-conditioned penthouses–will they be next?

They are right to worry. These are societies where a minuscule fraction of the population–less than 1 percent–controls the lion’s share of the wealth; where wealth is a main determinant of power; where entrenched corruption of one sort or another is a way of life; and where the wealthiest often stand actively in the way of policies that would improve life for people in general.

As we gaze out at the popular fervor in the streets, one question to ask ourselves is this: When will it come to America? In important ways, our own country has become like one of these distant, troubled places.


Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society–something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest–in other words, the common welfare–is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.

Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook–in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul–it’s good for business.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

Neuroplasticity: New insight into the brain’s ability to reorganize itself


Image by Mark Cummins via Flickr

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2011)

When Geoffrey Murphy, Ph.D., talks about plastic structures, he’s not talking about the same thing as Mr. McGuire in The Graduate. To Murphy, an associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change as we learn.

Murphy’s lab, in collaboration with U-M’s Neurodevelopment and Regeneration Laboratory run by Jack Parent, M.D., recently showed how the plasticity of the brain allowed mice to restore critical functions related to learning and memory after the scientists suppressed the animals’ ability to make certain new brain cells.

The findings, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, bring scientists one step closer to isolating the mechanisms by which the brain compensates for disruptions and reroutes neural functioning — which could ultimately lead to treatments for cognitive impairments in humans caused by disease and aging.

“It’s amazing how the brain is capable of reorganizing itself in this manner,” says Murphy, co-senior author of the study and researcher at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. “Right now, we’re still figuring out exactly how the brain accomplishes all this at the molecular level, but it’s sort of comforting to know that our brains are keeping track of all of this for us.”

In previous research, the scientists had found that restricting cell division in the hippocampuses of mice using radiation or genetic manipulation resulted in reduced functioning in a cellular mechanism important to memory formation known as long-term potentiation.

But in this study, the researchers demonstrated that the disruption is only temporary and within six weeks, the mouse brains were able to compensate for the disruption and restore plasticity, says Parent, the study’s other senior author, a researcher with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and associate professor of neurology at the U-M Medical School.

After halting the ongoing growth of key brain cells in adult mice, the researchers found the brain circuitry compensated for the disruption by enabling existing neurons to be more active. The existing neurons also had longer life spans than when new cells were continuously being made.

“The results suggest that the birth of brain cells in the adult, which was experimentally disrupted, must be really important — important enough for the whole system to reorganize in response to its loss,” Parent says.

Additional Authors: Benjamin H. Singer, Ph.D., Amy E. Gamelli, Ph.D., Cynthia L. Fuller, Ph.D., Stephanie J. Temme, all of U-M

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Temme is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and was also supported by a U-M Rackham Merit Fellowship.

Journal Reference:

  1. B. H. Singer, A. E. Gamelli, C. L. Fuller, S. J. Temme, J. M. Parent, G. G. Murphy. Compensatory network changes in the dentate gyrus restore long-term potentiation following ablation of neurogenesis in young-adult mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015425108

New insight into the brain’s ability to reorganize itself.

FBI agents seek the right to tap texts, emails and websites – Telegraph

The FBI says extremists and drug cartels are increasingly communicating online rather than using telephones, leaving US investigators struggling to keep track of them.

A new bill requesting the additional powers to investigate suspected criminals and terrorists will be presented next year. It is likely to face stiff opposition from civil liberties advocates who say the security services have historically abused extensions of power.

James Dempsey, of the pressure group Centre for Democracy and Technology, said: “They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique architecture of the internet.”

The proposals are likely to require that all encrypted messaging services, such as BlackBerry, include a facility or back door, that would allow investigators to examine communications with a warrant.

Any foreign communications providers operating in America would also have to have an office in the country able to provide intercepts.

Software developers of internet communication services such as Skype, which are heavily encrypted, would be required to redesign their products to enable interception.

Valerie Caproni, the FBI’s general counsel, said: “We’re talking about lawfully authorised intercepts.

“We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

Apart from ethical objections, experts said there were significant technical hurdles.

Creating a back door to encrypted services would provide hackers with another opening, said Steven Bellovin, professor of computer science at Columbia University.

“There are lots of really sophisticated attackers out there,” he said. “Do we really want to create a new area of attack? It may prevent some crimes but it could lead to new ones.”

In Britain, encrypted messages can be examined in a criminal investigation under the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act.

FBI agents seek the right to tap texts, emails and websites – Telegraph.