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Thigh Girth Loss in Women with Lower Body Fat Distribution Increases Breast Volume

Dhurandhar, Emily; LeBlanc, Mary; Rebello, Candida R.D.; Caruso-Davis, Mary M.S.; Guillot, Thomas M.D.; Bissoon, Lionel D.O.; Greenway, Frank M.D.

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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: September 2013 - Volume 132 - Issue 3 - p 483e-484e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31829ad4a3
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We have reported a reduction of thigh girth measurement following topical application of aminophylline cream while body weight did not change.1 We did not assess for fat redistribution in that study, and reciprocal changes in fat distribution in areas not treated with aminophylline cream have not been reported. Twelve healthy women between 18 and 50 years old with a body mass index between 20 and 30 kg/m2 and a lower body fat distribution who wanted smaller thighs and larger breasts applied 5 cc of 1.5% aminophylline cream to both thighs twice a day for 12 weeks. Thigh girth was measured using a measuring tape and breast volume using the Grossman-Roudner device, the most cost-effective measure of assessing breast volume; in addition, body weight was measured, and a complete blood count and comprehensive blood chemistry panel were performed.2 The difference in the sum of the circumference changes in both thighs and the difference in the change in breast volumes at baseline and at 12 weeks were compared by paired t test. Twelve women were enrolled and seven completed the trial at a stable weight (<1 kg weight change). There were no adverse events and no changes in the blood tests from baseline to 12 weeks. The combined thigh girth decreased by 1.3 cm (p = 0.05), and the combined breast volume increased by 8.9 cc (p < 0.01) (Fig. 1). Thus, aminophylline cream effectively reduced thigh girth at a stable weight as previously reported, and breast volume was increased consistent with a redistribution of body fat. Fat redistribution following local fat reduction has been evaluated using different methods. Using a photographic method after liposuction and abdominoplasty, no fat redistribution was observed.3 Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, magnetic resonance imaging, and measurements of circumferences and skinfold thicknesses after liposuction, thigh fat was redistributed to the abdomen.4 Our study demonstrates a redistribution of thigh fat to the breasts with a topical aminophylline-containing lipolytic cream. Redistribution of fat from the thigh to the breast or fat redistribution with a topical lipolytic cream has not previously been reported. Women with lower body fat distribution often have smaller breasts and desire smaller thighs and larger breasts. Reduction of body fat through dieting mobilizes fat preferentially from the upper body in these women.5 Using a topical lipolytic cream on the thighs during weight loss may counteract upper body preferential fat loss that is often distressing to women with lower body fat distribution. Topical aminophylline cream may represent a less invasive, reversible, and potentially less costly method of thigh fat reduction that is associated with fat redistribution to the breasts consistent with the cosmetic goals of many women with lower body fat distribution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1:
The sum of the thigh circumferences decreased by 1.3 ± 0.53 cm (mean ± SEM) over the 12-week study (p = 0.05). There was a statistically significant increase in the total volume of the two breasts combined from baseline to 12 weeks by 8.9 ± 3.52 cc (p < 0.01).


This study was supported by a grant from Sierra Research Group, LLC, using experimental formulations manufactured by third parties. The authors have no competing interests to disclose.


1. Greenway FL, Bray GA, Heber D. Topical fat reduction. Obes Res. 1995;3(Suppl 4):561S–568S
2. Caruso MK, Guillot TS, Nguyen T, Greenway FL. The cost effectiveness of three different measures of breast volume. Aesthet Plast Surg. 2006;30:16–20
3. Swanson E. Photographic measurements in 301 cases of liposuction and abdominolplasty reveal fat reduction without distribution. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012;130:311e–322e
4. Hernandez TL, Kittelson JM, Law CK, et al. Fat redistribution following suction lipectomy: Defense of body fat and patterns of restoration. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011;19:1388–1395
5. Smith U, Hammersten J, Björntorp P, Kral JG. Regional differences and effect of weight reduction on human fat cell metabolism. Eur J Clin Invest. 1979;9:327–332


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