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Fat - what is it and how can we get rid of it?

This article was written by Dr. Brian Peterson in an issue of Bliss:

Fat; can neither be created nor destroyed!

Well, that’s not actually true, there is liposuction. 

Every year billions of dollars are spent, and made, on dieting and weight loss to get rid of unwanted fat.  Recently there have multiple advertisements in the press showing “unbelievable” results of fat reduction and skin tightening.

The truth is that our bodies are machines that require energy.  If you put an excess supply of fuel in, calories, you put on weight.  If you burn more energy than calories consumed, you lose weight.  Sounds pretty simple, but sticking to the formula is the problem, and everyone is looking for shortcuts.

We are born with a certain number of fat cells.  This is genetically determined.  Unfortunately you can’t choose your parents, and eventually you’re probably going to end up looking like them.  During the 1st year of life you have the unique ability to make more fat cells.  Fat babies, often make fat adults.  The second opportunity to make more fat cells is from age 7 to 14, and after that, the fat cells that you have increase or decrease in size, like little balloons depending on how many calories you consume.  When you gain weight, they get bigger, and when you lose weight, smaller.  If you become morbidly obese, greater than 100 lbs over your ideal body weight, you can once again recruit some cells to become fat.

As you age, your metabolism slows, your activity normally decreases, and therefore you don’t need as many calories to get through the day.  In addition to this your uniform fat distribution changes to more central in the body.  This is seen in the chest and abdomen in men, and the abdomen, hips and thighs in women. 

Body weight can be controlled by caloric intake.  To change the genetic message, you have to remove fat cells, and this can only be done by excising the fat or liposuction.  This is best performed on healthy individuals who have select areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise.  It is not to be used in overweight people as a form of weight reduction, as the average amount of fat removed is in the range of 5 – 10 pounds.

With the fat removed from “problem” areas, you can still put on weight, but not to the same degree in the treated areas, as the number of fat cell in these areas has been decreased.  A myth that you will just put on weight in other areas to compensate is not true, as long as you maintain your normal calorie intake.

Liposuction has evolved over the last 20 years to include tumescent techniques, and the use of ultrasonic energy to lessen risks and improve results.  Liposuction is normally done under general anesthesia, on a day care basis.  Risks include infection, bruising, and waviness of the skin, so this procedure should be performed in those less than 50 years of age where the skin still has the ability to contract.  As always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

For more information on liposuction, or any fat removal procedure, contact Dr. Peterson in Kelowna, Okanagan, today on (250) 868-9099 or 1-888-505-8895.

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I recently had liposuction done by Dr. Peterson to fix Coolsculpt I had had done that left me uneven. He was very professional, caring and compassionate and assured me everything could be fixed. I can't express my gratitude to Dr. Peterson for what an amazing job he did and how well he took care of me. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a plastic surgeon, in fact I have recommended him to many friends and they have all been very happy. My experience at the clinic was amazing, right from the beginning talking with Cynthia and the amazing care I got from all the nurses, I felt very special.

T. G.

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