Is Abdominal Liposuction or Liposculpture a Permanent Solution to Stubborn Belly Fat?

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction for belly fat

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When I hear "belly fat",  I think intra-abdominal or visceral fat.  This fat surrounds the internal organs and is not treatable with liposuction.  Only weight loss will reduce belly fat.  It is a mistake to do abdominal liposuction on a patient with mostly belly fat.  There is very little improvement in contour. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

How to make liposuction results last

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The human body has a set number of fat cells and as those fat cells are removed with liposuction, they are permanently removed.  However, there is no limit to the amount of fat a fat cell can store.  So if a patient gains weight after liposuction, the remaining cells in the area treated and around the body will store the new fat.  This is why some liposuction patients if they gain weight post-operatively they notice more fullness in a new area.  So the key is to make sure to maintain or continue to lose weight after liposuction surgery.

Della C. Bennett, MD
Rancho Cucamonga Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Once you have achieved you ideal weight, liposuction is very helpful to shape belly fat.

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Liposuction is not a substitute of good nutrition and exercise.  Once you have achieved a stable weight as near ideal as possible, liposuction can be used to shape the belly fat to a pleasing contour for most individuals.   Maintaining your weight is also critical to a lasting result.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction Results Permanent?

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Thank you for the question.

Fat  cells are removed with liposuction  surgery are permanently removed. However, if the patient gains weight the remaining fat cells will grow in size.

There is a lot of mythology surrounding gain weight issues after liposuction surgery.  

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.

Belly fat

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Liposuction is a permanent solution for subcutaneous fat in the abdominal region provided that you do not gain weight.. It can not treat the fart that is deep to the muscle that over lies the intra-abdominal contents. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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An area of fat deposits can grow in size because the cells retain more fat and get larger or the fat cells divide so you get more fat cells i.e. number of fat cells vs. size of fat cells. Traditionally it was thought that after reaching adulthood fat cells only could get bigger they could not divide and increase in number. It turns out that is not always the case. Since liposuction should not be performed to the point of removing all of the fat cells under the skin (that would also remove blood supply to the skin) there should always be some fat left behind. If your body tries to store energy as fat after a liposuction procedure it may put more in other areas of the body besides the area liposuctioned. It depends on the number of fat cells remaining after liposuction and their individual affinity as a storage depot for fat.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction is an Excellent Procedure for Contouring of the Belly

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Liposuction (also known as liposculpture) is an excellent way to contour the belly and to remove stubborn fat that is resistant to dieting and exercise.

The fat that is removed during liposuction is permanently removed, so long as you maintain your weight afterwards. If you gain weight after liposuction, the results will be lost.

It should also be noted that liposuction remains the gold standard for body contouring and produces significantly greater improvement compared to noninvasive treatments such as Coolsculpting and Liposonix.

Choosing a liposuction provider can be very confusing because there is heavy marketing and because there are many technologies and methods available, eg. "Smartlipo," "Pro Lipo," "Vaser," "laser liposuction," "ultrasound assisted liposuction," "water assisted liposuction," "power assisted liposuction," "tumescent liposuction," "liposculpture," "liposelection," "tickle lipo, "cool lipo," etc. My advice to all of the readers out there:

Beware the marketing hype. The most important factor to consider, BY FAR, is the skill and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Board Certified Dermatologic Surgeon.

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Is Abdominal Liposuction or Liposculpture a Permanent Solution to Stubborn Belly Fat?

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There is NO permanent solution only an improvement in your situation. Best to discuss in person with your chosen surgeon to fully understand the results and expectations. 

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.