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Fat Cells Return 6 Months After Liposuction?

I had a consultation today and was told that because I had a higher than average BMI, the fat removed from liposuction would completely return within 6 months. Is this true? The only reason he gave was my BMI, I asked him to clarify, that if after the lipo I stick to a healthy lifestyle, would it still return? He didnt give me a straight answer, just that the results would only be temporary with me. Needless to say I dont want short term results. I would appreciate any insight on this.

Doctor Answers (15)

Return of Fat after Liposuction

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  Fat does not return after liposuction unless the patient gains a significant amount of body fat.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Post Liposuction Results - Fat Cells Return?

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Thank you for your question. It is important after any liposuction procedure to maintain the results with a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits. If you stick to healthy choices, you should maintain your results. Be certain to be under the supervision of a board certified plastic surgeon who are the experts in this area. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Fat returning after liposuction

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The short answer is that the fat cells removed wont return but the ones the remain can get bigger if you go on to gain more weight.  Talk with another surgeon and make sure they are board certified in plastic surgery 

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

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Will Fat RETURN After Liposuction

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The simple answer is no and regardless of BMI.  I do not understand what your doctor had in min when he told you the fat would return.  The more complete answer is that people with higher BMIs tend to do less well after liposuction because they gain weight and the fat cells they have all over their body swell with fat ingredients.  Fat people tend to stay fat and worse yet they gain weight.  A person more than 50 lbs over weight has a 2% chance of losing weight and keeping it off.  They tend to gain.  Fat cells that are gone and gone but very little of the body's total fat % is removed in any given liposuction (10% or less).  So if you eat more calories than you burn off you will get FAT.  Lets look at the tummy.  If liposuction is performed on the tummy of a good candidate ,the results should be nice.  But if that person gains weight, the fat can go on internally around the intestines and their tummy will look FAT.   The best liposuction results are in patients that REFLECT on the scale the weight the doctor removed and then MATCH that weight reduction.   The heavier the patient and the higher the BMI the more likelihood that this will not occur.  So I guess your doctor was just discouraged by results from his recent patients that were overweight, had liposuction, gained weight, and then complained and blamed him for a bad result.  THIS HAPPENS.  Fat cells never return but if you  over eat fat comes on you body where all the other 90% of fat cells live.  What gos in, gos on.  So the higher the BMI the more likelihood of failure.  This is one reason very large volume liposuction lost some of its glamor.  Fat people tend to stay fat and become fatter.  If you are serious get your eating under control and shape up first, then have liposuction .  This is especially true if you are over 50 lbs overweight.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat returning after liposuction

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The volume of fat cells that are removed by liposuction can only be replaced if the remaining fat cells in the area expand and fill with more fat.  That will only happen if you gain a lot of weight.  Having a high BMI to begin with doesn't mean you will gain a lot of weight after liposuction.  If you strictly maintain a healthy calorie count, you should not gain weight.

Lawrence A. Osman, MD
Woodland Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Can fat cells return after liposuction?

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Fat cells will not return to the liposuctioned areas but remaining cells can enlarge if you gain weight. The elevated BMI is a red flag indicating that you are likely to gain weight back after liposuction if you do not alter your lifestyle  - particularly your diet and exercise. The fat will go one other areas more, but you will probably gain some weight in the areas liposuction. If you are motivated to lose weight and keep it off then liposuction can be a useful adjunct to get those 'instant' results that can help motivate and encourage some patients to keep up with their lifestyle changes. If that sounds like you then you would probably be a good candidate for liposuction. Best of Luck   Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

BMI and liposuction

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Liposuction is permanent, that is fat cells are removed and can not return. But that assumes that you maintain or improve your weight after surgery. Most patients after liposuction become encouraged to improve their diet and exercise for even a better outcome. However liposuction is not used for weight loss, and if your BMI is high it is best to loose the extra weight and bring your BMI closer to normal and use liposuction for contouring. Its well known that patients with higher BMI are at risk for more complications.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Fat return after liposuction

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The fat cells will not return after liposuction, however the remaining fat cells will enlarge, and the amount of visceral or inside fat will increase. Your BMI is a red flag to the surgeon, who might be saying that you are not a good candidate for liposuction.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat cells aspirated from lipo

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Fat cells aspirated during liposuction do not return. Certainly if you gain weight the fat cells in the areas treated do enlarge.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat Cells Return 6 Months After Liposuction?

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You don't mention your height/ weight or BMI. It would be helpful to know those and even better to have a photograph. I frequently turn down heavier patients who request liposuction because the results are often less than satisfying and I feel it is not a good idea to charge for and perform a procedure that I am fairly certain will be disappointing to my patient. Of course I cannot comment on your case specifically without the above information. But in general, whatever result you have from liposuction satisfactory or not, after the healing process of 6-8 weeks should be maintained if your weight is stable.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.