Medicine is often accused of treating the effect rather than the cause, and one good example of this is liposuction. It's become a lucrative procedure, and one that preys on the increasingly desperate. Trouble is - it doesn't work.
Researchers have concluded that liposuction, which removes adipose tissue mass, 'does not achieve the metabolic benefits of weight loss'.
Only doctors could come up with that sort of conclusion and find it revelatory. But then, we suppose it depends from where you're starting. Many doctors have proposed liposuction as a successful treatment for abdominal obesity brought on by metabolic complications.
But when researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis reviewed the progress of a group of 15 obese women following liposuction, they found that their insulin sensitivity had not altered. In other words, they would eventually put the fat right back on. Now there's a surprise.
(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2004; 350: 2549-57).
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