How Will Fat Return After Liposuction?

If weight gain occurs after liposuction, will it only return in areas that were not affected by liposuction? Or will fat grow back as it did prior to liposuction? If someone has lipo on the abdomen, will that area stay trim looking, even if they gain some weight back?

Doctor Answers 14

Gaining weight after liposuction

Liposuction re-contours the body by reducing the number of fat cells. This is permanent and your body will not compensate by creating more fat cells if you maintain your weight. If one does gain a significant amount of weight, however, the fat cells that do remain can enlarge and diminish the benefits. Overall contour, however, remains improved. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Can fat return after liposuction?

Liposuction works by removing whole fat cells from an area or buldge.  Once removed, those fat cells will not return.  Even if one gains some weight following liposuction, a buldge will usually not return.  However, I counsel my patients that liposuction is an adjunct to, not a substitution for, proper diet and exercise.  If one over eats and fails to exercise, they can compromise their results from liposuction.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

How Will Fat Return After Liposuction?Answer:

Fat will get larger in all areas after eating and weight gain, but just not as much in the areas that had the Lipo...Resist the temptation to ruin your result by over eating...

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

What's the deal with fat after liposuction?

Your question about the effects of weight gain on the results of liposuction is an excellent one and a commonly asked one. Liposuction works by removing fat cells permanently, thus allowing for contouring. However, fat cells remain and those will change with increased weight - becoming larger. The distribution of the body's increased size due to weight gain will be different as compared to if no liposuction had been performed. The bottom line is that if you want to maintain your results, keep your weight at a stable level.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How will fat return after liposuction?

Fortunately, once you hit adulthood, you do not gain additional fat cells.  Once fat cells are removed from an area by performing liposuction, those fat cells will not return.  The remaining fat cells will get larger or smaller as you gain or loose weight.  That means that for modest changes in weight, your new shape acheived by liposuction should be largely preserved.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

There is NO Fat Migration or Fat reappearance After Liposuction

The Whack a Mole theory of fat reappearance and disappearance is a common urban myth. Like all other tissues, once surgically removed, the fat is gone and does not reappear. What does happen is SOME people confuse liposuction with a personal responsibility to watch what they eat. After surgery, as they consume more calories than they spend, the body will store these excess calories as fat in all REMAINING fat cells throughout the body. Since the areas treated do not have as many fat cells available to store fat, there appears to be a disproportionate increase in fat cells in the untreated areas. Hence the theory of the disappearing and reappearing fat.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Weight gain following liposuction may cause uneven fat distribution.

It is best to maintain the same weight or lose some additional weight if possible.  Gaining weight following liposuction may cause an uneven distribution of fat depending on the response of you body and the amount of weight gained.

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

Fat Return after Liposuction?

Thank you for the commonly asked question.

Fat cells that are gone (for example removed with liposuction surgery) are gone forever.  However, if a patient gains weight the fat cells that remain in the area treated with liposuction and in areas that were not treated will grow.  Do your best to maintain a healthy weight  after your procedure.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Liposuction and weight gain

Once fat cells are removed they do not grow back, but those fat cells that remain may expand with increasing weight.  Usually weight goes on a bit differently after liposuction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Does Fat Return to Problem Areas Treated with Liposuction?

Liposuction removes fat and fat cells that have the potential to expand with weight gain. Between reduction of number of fat cells and scar tissue that normally develops after surgery, "problem areas" are less problematic after liposuction. Having said that, it is extremely important to watch your diet and exercise after liposuction. Liposuction should only be used for localized "problem areas," not for weight reduction or an easy fix.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 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.