Fat relocation after Lipo?

I am seriously considering arm lipo (and a TT that will include lipo) and people are telling me that after lipo if you gain weight it relocates usually in an area higher up on the body. Is this true? I have visions of any weight going straight to my face since there's not many other places to go higher after arm lipo .... !

Doctor Answers 9

Weight gained after lipo can appear in other areas

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If you gain a significant amount of weight following a liposuction procedure, then yes, that weight can appear in other areas of the body. Interestingly, the additional fat is evenly distributed and does not go to a certain area, in addition, the additional fat does not return to the areas treated with liposuction. Generally, as long as patients maintain a stable weight after their liposuction treatment, this does not become a problem, however. I recommend visiting a board-certified dermatologist who will be able to discuss your concerns in person and advise you on the best way to proceed.

San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Increase of fat

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Thank you for your question.  It is true in a way you will get more fat in other areas if you gain weight but general it is not above an area you did liposuction on, it can be anywhere on your body you did not have liposuction on.  After liposuction you can still gain weight and when you gain weight the fat cells you have get bigger, you do not make new fat cells.  The areas that had liposuction have less fat cells to get bigger so when you gain weight you notice it less in the liposuction areas.  At your consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon discuss these concerns with them.

Fat shifts after liposuction

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck and arm liposuction.

  • This is a very thoughtful question -
  • In most cases, after liposuction, you can avoid fat reappearing by losing 5 - 10 pounds, depending on how much fat was removed.
  • Fat does tend to appear in new areas after liposuction if you don't lose that weight.
  • However, liposuction is excellent for changing proportions.
  • And generally after a tummy tuck, I usually don't see my patients gain back the fat because the surgery makes them so much more able and willing to be active.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Weight management

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As long as you maintain your current weight, you won't have any problems post liposuction. However, if you gain more than, say, 10% of your body weight, then yes, the fat will form in the areas that weren't treated with liposuction. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Weight gain or loss after Liposuction

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As a rule, fat cells to not divide to make new fat cells.  As a person gains weight, they do not make more fat cells, instead each existing fat cell just gets bigger storing more fat. So as we gain and lose weight, our fat cells get bigger and smaller, but the number of fat cells in our body remains essentially the same.  Liposuction permanently reduces the number of fat cells in the treated area. This not only improves the contour and shape in that area, it also makes it more difficult to store fat in these areas if you gain weight after the procedure.  If after liposuction you gain weight, the new fat will generally be distributed somewhat evenly over the rest of your body.  You can still gain some weight in the treated areas, but not as much as before.  So think of liposuction as providing you with a permanently new shape.  Your new shape gets bigger and smaller with weight gain and loss after liposuction but your new shape (proportions) generally remains the same.

Martin B. Weiss, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon


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weight redistribution can occur after Liposuction if a patient gains more than a certain percentage of weight. excess fat will store in other areas or can even re-accumulate in the liposuction areas if not enough fat was taken out. if you maintain your weight then you will be fine. below is a pic of my patient I treated; before and 1 yr after the procedure. as u can see she is still skinny

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Lipo and fat accumulation

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If you maintain your weight, then you should have no issues. If you gain weight, you might see it go to areas that were not treated more so than where you had liposuction.

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

After liposuction patients do not deposit fat in other areas provided their weight remains reasonably stable.

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If you have liposuction and maintain your body weight after the procedure you will not deposit fat in another area.

There have been these stories since liposuction was first presented over...

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30 years ago.  No, in my experience, I have never seen this in my practice, meetingdesde qus, or nationally.  Healthy patients do best and ones within 10-15 lbs of their ideal body weight. 

Existen historias desde que la liposuccion fue presentada por primera vez hace mas de de 30 anos, No,en mi experiencia , nunca he visto esto en mi practica,reunions o nacionalmente.

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 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.