Fat Returning After Liposuction

So I've been hearing about this article: http://www.healthnews.com/Categories/Diet-Weight-Loss/Fat-Removed-Via-Liposuction-Returns-in-All-the-Wrong-Places

I was wondering if there was any truth to it. I know that fat will be gained in areas that weren't lipo'ed but will the body make new fat cells? Will it be easier to gain weight after? Does the body know that fat cells have been lost and does what it can to conserve the remaining?


Editors Note: Check out our blog entry for more coverage on this issue.

Doctor Answers 3

Liposuction: your body's friend or foe?

This hot-off-the-press research is making major waves in the media for many reasons. Surgeons and patients alike are questioning the benefits of liposuction and, perhaps more importantly, whether liposuction places patients at increased risk of heart disease. While this is a small study of 32 subjects (a limitation self-proclaimed by the investigators), it provides what is called “Level 1” evidence - the strongest, most scientifically sound information supporting their hypothesis - that fatty deposits come back over time following liposuction.  Eckel and colleagues claim that, despite a short-term reduction in total body fat as a result of liposuction, the body re-accumulates fatty deposits preferentially in the abdominal region and around the internal organs (the “visceral” fat) after just one year.  This increase in fatty deposits may indicate that remaining fat cells are growing in size rather than the body making new fat cells. Furthermore, while this was not investigated in the study, prior research suggests that an increase in visceral fatty deposits may place patients at increased risk of heart disease, though this has not been definitively proven.  The investigators admit that liposuction “resulted in a desirable and retained cosmetic benefit over 1 year,” but more studies are needed to determine if health risks are significant.  The bottom line is that liposuction is still a safe and effective treatment for fatty “problem areas,” and it should not necessarily be shaken from its regal stature as “the most commonly performed plastic surgical procedure.”  Nonetheless, this study is an important step in understanding how our bodies react to liposuction and its long-term effect on our health.


Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Look at your weight trends first.....


Liposuction removes fat cells but leaves others behind. Your trends regarding your weight are the most important in figuring what might happen after liposuction. If your weight commonly swings by large amounts (20-30 pounds,) then after lipo you might see more fatty gains in new and different areas.


Patients with pretty much stable weight see fewer problems with fatty tissue growth in other areas afterward.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction Fat Cells Gone Forever

The liposuction fat cells that were removed will never grow back. However, like balloons, the other fat cells are free to store what may seem like an unlimited amount.

So it is important to use liposuction for shaping and not for weight loss. Otherwise, it would likely to be a temporary reduction.

But don't worry, if you do gain weight, you are likely to be more proportional.

With proper coaching and education, sucess is very much achieveable. Just ask for help!

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.