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Weight Gain After Liposuction

After I had Liposuction surgery done a year ago, I feel I've been constantly gaining weight. I hardly have any bad eating habits, so I don't understand the weight gain after Liposuction. Why is this happening, and what can I do about it?

Doctor Answers (30)

Weight vs. liposuction


Liposuction or liposculpture reduces fat in problem areas. At 2-3 months, stable patients get on the scale and see a few pounds missing. Yet some patients notice that they have actually gained weight.


Immediately after surgery, swelling replaces where fat was removed. This swelling, caused by leaky capillaries, consists primarily of water. Once the swelling recedes, and they become more physically active, patients typically notice that their weight improves. By nature, surgery causes soreness and patients are usually restricted from full workouts for a period of time after surgery. This explains the weight gains often noticed immediately after surgery.

For weight gain that continues past this point, the patient has gained fat in their body. Period. Some patients will gain a false sense of confidence after their liposuction procedure. Areas that they have monitored as their "alarm bell" are now much better. They relax and allow their good eating and exercise habits to lapse. By the time the usual alarm bell goes off again, they have gained ten pounds.

This underscores several points. We all typically gain weight over time and gain fat and lose muscle. This is normal human physiology. As time passes, the effort and will power to remain "fit" increases. Anybody who has been to a school reunion knows what happens to a classful of previously fit people.

Liposuction is not a weight loss tool. It is to aid in losing fat from problem areas. If anything, patients should plan on being more active and healthier about their eating habits after surgery than they were before. One week in the gym watching their weight and a patient can lose weight perfectly, with no irregularities, much better than I can sculpt in the operating room. Some of the worst results I have seen are from very wealthy people who think they can just suck out the fat and get many procedures done, each time developing a few more irregularities in the process.

This is not what people like to hear, I know. But the rewards for healthy and restrained eating and regular exercise are great.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Liposuction has nothing to do with your weight. Liposuction deals with weight distribution.


If you are gaining weight, you are violating the equation of stable weight: metabolism (exercize) equals oral intake. If you are eating too much or slowing your metabolism, then weight will increase. A few tricks to losing weight.


  1. Cardiovascular exercize is good for your health but not best for weight loss.
  2. With little time in a busy day, always start by building muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than other parts of your body and will burn them day and night.
  3. Best muscle groups to work on are the biggest - thighs and butt.


  1. Eat protein for breakfast.
  2. Eat every 3 and 1/2 hours. Small meals reduce the overall daily intake and reduces the urge to binge eat.
  3. Eat slowly. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for a full stomach to register in your brain. Thus many people on the go over-eat.
  4. Eat hot soup - it slows you down.
  5. Eat with other people and talk the most - it slows you down. Of course, let others talk, but focus on talking more then eating.
  6. Avoid eating anything white. That includes margarine and butter. Use olive oil for cooking and soaking the whole grain bread at the beginning of a meal.
  7. Diets that deprive you of food fail!
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Liposuction is not a license to eat


This is something that I tell all of my liposuction patients. Patients tend to view it as such without even knowing it. Areas that were previously the most noticeable for them are much smaller after liposuction. This gives patients a sense that even though they are eating more they are not gaining weight because the liposuctioned previously more noticeable areas are the last to show the weight gain. Get to the gym and protect the investment that you have made in your body. Good luck!

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Weight gain is unrelated to liposuction.


To iklugirl,

Liposuction is good for improving shape. Unwanted bulges are removed and contour is enhanced. And the improvement in SHAPE should very long lasting. That means the localized bulges should not come back.

But this does not affect your overall size and weight. Unfortunately, if you eat more calories than your body needs and if you don't exercise enough, then weight will accumulate. One thing is sure: the liposuction that you had is not causing your weight gain.

Hope this is helpful. Now you know what to do!

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction


There are only two reasons that weight gain occurs after liposuction.The most common reason is that you simply take in more calories than you burn up with normal daily activity and exercise. Most patients love the way they look after their liposuction and get complacent in their eating habits. 

You state that has not happened in your case. If so, the only other reason to gain weight is to gain muscle mass through diligent exercise training. In this case your clothes should fit you well, despite the weight gain. The differences in your body shape as a result of these two causes of weight gain is obvious. 

Many patients want to blame liposuction for their weight gain. I don't hear that in your question but it is a common misconception. They often think that there is some "factor" that makes it easier to gain weight after liposuction fat removal. This is simply not true. If you are gaining fat in other areas not suctioned after liposuction it simply has to be because you are taking in more calories than you are utilizing despite your perception of eating habits. 

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction


Post liposuction procedure I like to recommend our patients to perform lymphatic massages to help with the swelling and the liquid accumulation in the surrounding tissues. Also I recommend to gradually reduce the size of the post surgical girdle and to have it on for an entire year to see optimums results.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Weight gain longer term has nothing to do with lipo

As I have always said liposuction has virtually nothing to do with weight or muscle tone. The role of the liposuction surgeon is to recontour and reproportion the body. While initially the patient may have some swelling for a few weeks and this may cause temporary weight gain, it is not permanent. It is the patients responsibility to keep their weight down through proper diet and cardiovascular exercise. I agree that your metabolism may also be changing. You should consult a good nutritionist, get good exercise advise and maybe to be complete have your hormones looked at.
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Liposuction and Weight Gain


Although liposuction does permanently remove the targeted fat cells from problem areas of the body, it is not a vaccination against future weight gain elsewhere. Your previous liposuction would not have any effect on the weight gain that has occurred since the procedure. Unexplained weight gain can be caused by other issues besides your diet and activity level, including hormone imbalance and stress. If you’ve tried a committed approach toward diet and exercise and are still gaining weight, check with your primary care doctor. And don’t get too discouraged. Remember that revision lipo is always a future possibility if you need a touchup after you get back down to your target weight.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Liposuction and Weight Gain


Some weight gain is common immediately after surgery due to swelling. However, after a year, all swelling should be resolved. If you are eating healtfully and exercising, then I would speak to a nutritionist or doctor and look for another cause. Hormones, thyroid issues, and many other medical conditions can all affect metabolism and cause weight gain. Liposuction does not cause weight gain, so another issue may be present. Best of luck!

San Ramon Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction


I recommend to all my Cleveland liposuction patients that they keep a food diary following their liposuction procedures. Why? Because it's so easy, once thinner, to ignore the basics and find, like you, that a year later they've gained weight.

Remember, liposuction isn't a weight loss method; it's a "redistribution" method. Just because it removes fat cells from one area doesn't mean you will never gain weight again.

To your health & beauty,

Dr. Paul Vanek, Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon near Cleveland, OH

Web reference:

Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.

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