Advice on Fat Distribution After Liposculpture?

I’m planning to have a liposculpture in the abdomen area (to remove a small amount of fat from my first baby) and get pregnant 1 year after. I understand that fat won’t appear in the treated area but a friend told me that since my body will generate the same amount of fat during pregnancy, the “new” fat, instead of being distributed all over my body (including the abdomen), will find its way to other parts of my body (ie, arms, legs, back). I don’t want to end up with legs like an elephant’s. Any advice?

Doctor Answers 13

Redistribution of fat following liposuction and weight gain

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You will gain fat in areas that were not treated. The degree of fat growth obviously depends on the amount of weight gain as well as your genetic tendencies for fat deposition. It is unlikeley that you will gain suffcient fat to have elephant legs but you may notice that they are heavier. If you return to your pre-pregnancy weight, most of this fat should resolve.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

New Fat DOES NOT "find its way"

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New fat does not Zen-like "find its way" elsewhere after liposuction. This is one of the most common Liposuction myths out there. But - it is a myth. Liposuction removes PART of the fat in an area BUT if the body is overwhelmed by a large amount of calories which are NOT burned they are stored PROPORTIONATELY in every remaining fat cell in the body.

The take home lesson: Liposuction is NOT a Get-out-of-Jail-All-You-Can-Eat ticket and will not protect you from the consequences of over-eating.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Advice on Fat Distribution After Liposculpture?

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After liposuction, there will be less fat cells under the treated areas than before surgery. Therefore, there will be less storage areas for fat to deposit into. If your body is producing more fat than it usually does, then the excess will distribute to all the fat cells in the body as directed by hormones. It is therefore obvious that your treated areas i.e. abdomen and flanks will be getting less of this fat than other areas. And this is how other areas may get more fat .

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Significant weight gain after liposuction can cause new fat accumulation in treated areas

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It is true that once fat cells have been removed with liposuction you will not accumulate fat in those cells that have been removed.

However not all of your fat cells are removed from an area treated with liposuction.

One fat cell can increase in size to 4 times it's normal size when excess weight gain occurs.

Thus the fat cells left behind after lipo can substantially increase in size after Lipo if you gain a significant amount of weight.

The point is to wait until you are done having children and have reached a stable weight that you can maintain before having liposuction.

It is disingenuous for anyone to tell you that you will never gain fat in an area that has been treated with lipo. This is only true if you never gain substantial weight and fat after the procedure--and pregnancy will cuase weiught gain and stretching effects on the skin.

Advice on Fat Distribution After Liposculpture?

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-- Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift!

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 441 reviews

Advice on Fat Distribution After Liposculpture?

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I think the key here is not relying on liposuction as a substitute or alternative for weight management.  All too often people mistakenly believe that removing fat cells from their body (through liposuction) allows them to keep the poor dietary and exercise habits that lead them to the weight problems in the first place.  If a person stays relatively fit but has a couple of areas of "stubborn" fat, then liposuction of these areas will not create a strange accumulation of fat elsewhere in the body.  However, if a person with a longstanding weight-management problem uses high volume liposuction (especially on multiple occasions) without correcting their poor diet and exercise habits, then they are likely to regain their weight and to see exaggerated fatty accumulations in areas previously not treated with liposuction.  Best of luck!

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat distribution after liposuction

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It is best to have a healthy diet and exercise after liposuction procedure to avoid weight gain and enlargement of areas that have not been liposculptured.

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews


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Your friend is smart. After puberty we dont make more fat cells. That being said we have evidence during pregnancy that you do make some fat cells. Fat will be distributed in a female proportion when weight is gained in a women after liposuction. You will only notice if you gain a lot of weight

Fat distribution

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Most fat is genetically programmed.  There is superficial and deep fat that is separated by a thin septa. Liposuction target only the superficial fat, while the deep fat is left behind. Any attempt to remove the deep fat will cause uneven lumpiness that is hard to correct. There is also visceral fat which is the fat that surrounds intestines.and other organs. This fat is only influenced by diet and exercise.

Weight gain after liposuction - Los Angeles

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Liposculpture is useful for those patients who want to eliminate disproportional fat on their body.  It is a well defined procedure with amazing results, provided you do not have severe weight gain afterwards. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.