Women gain weight and fat mass despite lipectomy at abdominoplasty and breast reduction
DUS Bulugahapitiya1, AS Rinomhota2, SJ French3, S Siyabalapitiya3, CM Caddy3, RW Griffith3 & RJ Ross3
Removal of fat results in compensatory weight gain in animals. The objective of this study was to examine changes in weight and fat mass in patients who underwent lipectomy at abdominoplasty and bilateral breast reduction.
In a retrospective analysis, weight changes in 16 patients who had abdominoplasty and 17 patients who received bilateral breast reduction surgery were compared with 16 patients who had carpel tunnel syndrome release (control group). Following this, a prospective study was carried out on 7 subjects awaiting abdominoplasty and 12 subjects awaiting bilateral breast reduction surgery. These subjects were reviewed before surgery, at 4 weeks and 18 months following surgery. The study was approved by the North Sheffield Local Ethics Committee and patients gave informed written consent.
In the retrospective study all three groups gained weight following surgery, mean weight of 3.55±8.29 kg for abdominoplasty, 2.60±4.09 kg for bilateral breast reduction and 2.66±2.84 kg for carpal tunnel release. The abdominoplasty group was heavier before surgery and showed greatest weight gain but there was no statistically significant difference in weight gain between groups.
In the prospective study, abdominoplasty group had a mean fat removal of 1.77 kg (1.46%) and breast reduction group had a mean of 3.22 kg (3.25%). 18 months following surgery the abdominoplasty group showed a significant increase in mean body weight of 4.29 kg (6.65%) (P≤0.04) and BMI increase of 6.79% (P≤0.034). In the bilateral breast reduction group from pre-surgery to 18 months post-surgery, there was a non significant mean gain in weight of 0.43 kg (0.97%) (P≤0.762) and 0.94% increase in BMI (P≤0.807).
Patients undergoing surgery with or without lipectomy tend to increase body weight. Patients undergoing abdominoplasty are generally heavier and show the greatest weight gain long term. These results highlight the limitation of lipectomy as a weight control measure.