Ask a doctor

If Hypothetically All Body Fat Were Liposuctioned, Where Would Excess Calories Go?

Hypothetically, if a healthy 120 lb, 5'4" female who ate a steady diet of 1300 calories and exercised everyday were to be liposuctioned on ALL of her subcutaneous body fat - if ALL of it were taken away - and then she proceeded to gain weight due to a metabolic illness, or let's just say she decided to stop working out and ate often at McDonalds, where would those excess calories be stored if there were no fat cells to take them in? What do you think would happen?

Doctor Answers (6)

Where would the fat go?

+3

Whoa, what a weird concept but here goes -

In theory, if every fat cell under the skin were removed, the excess calories would go to other fat stores in the body - the omentum, the liver, the mesentery and even the fat pads that surround your eyeballs.  YIKES.  This would make for one very unattractive and very unhealthy person. 

Rule #1 for liposuction and all body contouring - have it done at a healthy and stable weight and do not gain fat after the surgery.  See my blog on this topic.  


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Whole body fat removal

+3

Excess calories can be stored by the body in 3 different ways.  Protein is stored by the muscles, glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and the muscles and fat is stored in fat cells throughout the body.  All fat cannot be aspirated by liposuction.  Hypothetically, if there where no fat cells anywhere in the body, then the fat entering the circulation would not be removed.  Fat will accumulate intra-vascularly interfering with circulation and potentially be fatal.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

If all body fat were liposuctioned, where would those MacBurger Calories go?

+2

If all your external body fat were suctioned - not really possible but for sake of discussion we will assume it is - there is still some fat inside your skull around your brain, and inside your abdomen around your intestines and abdomimal organs. So if you kept on eating MacBurgers either your head would explode or your belly would explode depending on whether you are a fathead or a bigbelly.

Braden Stridde, MD
Federal Way Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

You might also like...

Liposuction of all body fat

+2

Great question! Here's the answer -

If you liposuctioned all possible fat you will still have fat in the body -- 

  • Around the intestines and other body organs like the liver, heart, lungs and kidney
  • In the brain
  • Around the eyes
  • Around joints and in muscles.

Result - totally weird with thin skin, flabby muscles, bulging tummy and protruding eyes.

Don't try it!! But it's still a great question. 

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Hypothetical answer to a hypothetical quesation

+2

Obviously it is impossible to remove all the subcutaneous fat cells. But let's assume that it is possible. So if you gain weight due to disease or a sedentary lifestyle, the extra calories will be deposited in the intraabdominal fat, the omentum (internal fat apron) and around the bowel walls. This is the so called "beer belly" or metabolic syndrome.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Where would extra fat be stored after all fat liposuctioned?

+1

It is impossible to remove all the fat in your body.  You have fat around your internal organs and even in your eye sockets.  Even if all the subcutaneous fat were removed with liposuction (this is impossible by the way), your body would store fat in these stores.  As most of us have noticed, our fat has a limitless possibility for expansion. 

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 365 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.