Katherine King is like 205,000 patients who last year had liposuction surgery--it was her last resort after exercising like crazy.
"I worked out a lot and everything like my legs got smaller,” Katherine said with a chuckle. “Everything else but my stomach."
Katherine loves the results and still exercises to make sure her flat stomach stays that way.
She'd heard stories of fat coming back.
"It scared me a little bit because I paid all this money and I don't want the results to be ruined," Katherine said.
According to a new study her fears are well founded.
Researchers at the University of Sau Paulo in Brazil followed 36 healthy women--all between the ages of 20 and 35 who had liposuction performed on their stomach.
Half of the women exercised while the other half didn't and within the first four months the women who didn't exercise regained fat--mostly visceral fat--the kind that surrounds internal organs.
In fact—visceral fat increased by about 10 percent.
Forest Park Medical Center plastic surgeon Clayton Frenzel said he tells liposuction patients to eat right and exercise or risk seeing the benefits disappear.
"It's very interesting that this study shows that there was an increase in the visceral or intra-abdominal fat and that is the fat that has been linked to dangerous diseases like coronary artery disease and things like that can cause heart attack and stroke," Dr. Frenzel said.
Researchers think that destroying subcutaneous fat cells may cause the body to redirect visceral fat production.
Dr. Frenzel said more research is needed but agrees that patients should be physically active after the procedure.
"There is not one silver bullet that fixes everything,” Dr. Frenzel said. “You've got to do it all together and that's how you get the best results."
That's why Katherine does cardio and light weights three days a week.
She wants her stomach fat--gone for good.
"I don't want to ruin my results," Katherine said.