Is fat a liability or an asset?
It is a well-known fact that when a human body reaches the age of adolescence, fat cells stop increasing in number. Therefore from that age onwards, fat cells grow in size when there is extra fat the body can not burn, which is called fat storage.
According to Belhoul European Hospital’s Plastic Surgeon Dr Riad Roomi, fat does not accumulate evenly in our bodies. “The reason for this is simple, fat cells in tight areas like arms and lower legs do not have enough room to expand freely, so they ‘kick out’ the fat which is circulating through the blood stream looking for ‘home’,” Dr Roomi said.
Whereas fat cells in loose areas such as the hips, waste, tummy and inner thighs are “too welcoming”, absorbing fat freely on the expense of the body contour, resulting in “saddle bags”, “love handles” and “potbellies”.
“The problem is that it is too difficult to loose unwanted fat from those areas with exercise and dieting,” Dr Roomi says. “Weight control measures take care of the weight not the shape. This is because those measures burn inner fat faster than outer fat.”
Fortunately suction assisted lipectomy (liposuction or lipsculpture) has evolved during the last decade. American surgeon Dr Jeffery Klien invented the “tumenescent fluid”, a mixture of normal saline, local anesthetic and adrenaline which stops bleeding.
This fluid when injected makes the area numb and bloodless, allowing the surgeon to perform liposuction. According to Dr Roomi, liposuction not only removes fat cells it also prevents future accumulation of fat.
“The reason is that the remainder of the fat tissue left behind is squeezed by a special compression garment that has to be worn after surgery for a period of four to six weeks. This compression will hold the spongy fat flat during the healing process, turning it into tight tissue with less room for expansion.”
Areas which can be treated by liposuction are jowl, tummy, waste, back, bottom, hips, inner thighs, arms and knees.
In recent developments in the US, the fat which is removed by liposuction can be used to enhance other areas of the body, called fat transplantation. Fat can be injected into areas such as lips, face, hands and breasts. This has turned unwanted fat to a useful treatment modality.
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