When the Fat Cells Are Removed Do They Develop Somewhere Else?

Doctor Answers 9

Where does fat return after liposuction

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many of my patients tell me that they are afraid that they will grow lumps of fat in other areas after liposuction, and they ofthen ask me if this is true!! Once fat is removed from an areas by liposuction, and then the patient gains a lot of fat, then they will gain more fat in the areas that were not suctioned before. thereofre, you will not grow fat lumps, but your other body areas such a your buttock or breasts can get full faster if you gain weight after liposuction.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Removal of fat cells

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When liposuction is performed, fat cells are removed. These fat cells will not grow back, but the ones you have may expand if you gain weight.

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

After liposuction new fat cells do not grow elsewhere

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AFter liposuction, weight gain is possible in other areas, more than the area that underwent liposuction by the existing cells gaining volume, but the number of cells don't change. New fat cells don't grow. There is a possible exception, if someone gains more than 170% of their ideal body weight, it has been reported that new fat cells can grow.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

fat cells are removed.

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This question has been answered on the site many times. Simply the fat removed can return only after other areas gain first by % of increases. You see the # of fat cells in an area decrease by the liposuction, but the remaining ones increase in size more slowly due to this # decrease. Hope you understand.


The "Mexican Bean" Theory of Fat Cells Regeration - Fat Cells Sprouting Elsewhere - is FALSE

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Once removed fat cells do NOT regenerate anywhere else. They do not reappear elsewhere on your body.

The most common reason why sometimes this APPEARS to be the case is that some patients treat Liposuction as a permanent "All YOU Can Eat" pass. They forget that they need to continue watching their diet and exercise after surgery. As a result, while ALL fat cells fill up equally, the lower number of fat cells in the suctioned areas stops them from filling as much as the fat cells in NON-treated areas which fill MORE.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fat cells are fixed in number as an adult

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Following puberty the number of fat cells are fixed, they do not multiply after this time.  Following liposuction you will reduce the number of fat cells but the fat cells that stay behind can get bigger.  When you consume more calories that you are burning the extra calories go to your fat for storage.

Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

They don't but the ones you have can get bigger

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No new fats cells grow elsewhere but fat cells have a tremendous capacity to store fat.  The fat that is removed from one part of the body by liposuction will eventually find their way back to your body unless you change what you eat or how much exercise you do.  The fat that returns is more uniformly distributed than the fat say localized to the saddle bags.  So the other parts of the body do not develop new fat cells, the ones that were there just get a little bit bigger.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat removal with lipo is permanent

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Fat cells behave differently in different parts of the body, but once they are removed from a particular area they don't come back. That is how you get a permanent change in body shape from lipo. The idea is to identify the areas where the fat is resistant to change with diet and exercise, and target those areas specifically. These are the fat cells that behave as sort of 'emergency reserves" and you would be too thin in other areas before they start to diminish.

If you have say 3 areas like this and you only have lipo on 2, then the other will become an even bigger problem. A classic example is the "apple body" where there is excess fat around the middle but skinny legs; an often overlooked part of that body type is the upper inner thighs. If the lipo addresses all of the problem areas, you can still gain weight but it would have to spread out evenly.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Fat cells removed with liposuction do not grow some where else.

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This is one of the great myths of cosmetic surgery.  After the teen age years, we do not make new fat cells.  If a person gains weight, the same number of fat cells just get bigger.

The fat cells removed with liposuction do not come back.  That's why the correction of bulges with  well done liposuction is so long lasting.  If you gain weight after liposuction, of course the weight has to go somewhere, and it is evenly distributed throughout your body. But the old bulges do not come back.

With liposuction in NYC, we have seen women who got rid of their saddle bags, then get pregnant and put on 60 pounds.  They were pretty big, but no saddle bags!

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.