Does Gained Fat After Liposuction Become Internal Abdominal Fat?

My mom wants to have liposuction done, but we are a little afraid because 2 surgeons (in Germany) told us that after the procedure, she must watch her weight closer because the number of fat cells in the body remains the same throughout life. Though liposuction does reduce the number of fat cells, they're back to their original count after a few weeks; not in their original place BUT as internal abdominal fat, which is actually more dangerous because we don't notice it and can lead to heart attack and other things. Is this true? Thank you! 

Doctor Answers 4

Lose weight after Liposuction

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If liposuction removes 5 pounds of fat, then the new "optimal" weight should be 5 pounds less.

If you start at 150 pounds, have liposuction to remove 5 pounds, then the new optimal weight should be 145 pounds. If you go back to 150 pounds then the fat will go to new areas such as internal fat or external fat in other areas.
Go ahead and have some liposuction and if 3-5 pounds are removed, then work to be 5-10 pounds less in total weight! Good luck!

Weight gain after surgery

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There are many myths and inaccuracies floating around about liposuction and what happens after surgery when weight is gained. Fat cells that have been removed with liposuction are permanently eliminated. If you gain weight after surgery, fat cells that still remain in the body can either become larger or, in the case of excessive weight gain, actually split up (although this is not typical). Growing fat cells may be anywhere, including around your internal organs. However, this doesn't mean that only these fat cells will be affected. Other fat cells will also be affected. 

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Patients Usually Maintain or Lose Weight After Liposuction

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If you regain weight after liposuction it is possible that a small part of this fat would become internal abdominal fat. This is not a major concern for several reasons:

1. The amount fat lost with liposuction is usually not large. For example if 4000 ml of aspirate was removed, this might translate to 4-5 pounds of fat.
2. Most patients who spend the time and money to have liposuction are careful about their weight and don't tend to regain this weight.
3. More often I see patients become even more motivated by the improvements they see and they lose additional weight. This makes the result look even better. Often patients tell me they don't seem to feel as hungry after liposuction making it easier to lose weight.
4. In the unlikely event that you did regain some weight it is distributed over the whole body and not just along the internal fat stores.
Once again, most people actually lose some additional weight after liposuctions so I wouldn't be afraid of your Mom having liposuction for this reason. More importantly she should be in good health without major heart or lung disease and be able to get moving quickly after the surgery. Make sure the surgeon has experience with liposuction and good credentials, including board certification in plastic surgery.

Gaining Weight After Liposuction?

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Thank you for the question.

There is a lot of mythology surrounding gain weight issues after liposuction surgery. Bottom line:  the best liposuction patient candidates are patients with isolated diet and exercise resistant adipose tissue who are close to their long-term stable weight  and have adequate overlying skin elasticity ( to redrape nicely after the liposuction procedure).  These patients will maintain their weight postoperatively as well.

Best wishes.

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.