Why Have my Liposuction Results Disappeared?

I had some lipo done on my stomach and sides in August of 2009. I was 23 at the time, now I"m 24. The results were great for the first two months, and it has been almost 9 months and it looks like me fat has come back again. It only looks flat when I suck my stomach in, and when I'm not wearing tight clothing. Do I need a second procedure?

Doctor Answers 6


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That is curious for you should have had more swelling and less visible result for first two months. One of the answers is that you may have gained weight. If you stay the same weight, the fat usually never returns in that area but if you do gain weight it may. Check your weight and go see a lipo surgey on my site. 

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Results of liposuction will not be permanent if weight gain occurs

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Liposuction typically removes 80-85% of fat cells from the area treated. This means if one gains weight, other areas and eventually the area treated will gain excess fat.

Has your weight changed since last year?  If your weight has increased, it may explain your result.

Liposuction should ALWAYS be combined with a life style change of appropriate diet and exercise.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Does fat return after liposuction

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Your result may not look as good now as it had if you gained weight.  Before liposuction, the mass of fat you had was related to how many calories you consumed per day minus the calories expended in exercise and maintaining your body's functions (even at rest). Once some fat is removed, you suddenly need less calories per day to maintain the newer less amount of fat. If you consume the same amount of calories as before surgery then your fat may regrow unless you execise more.  Some people need a tummy tuck in addition to the liposuction. See a plastic surgeon to determine what your condition involves.

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

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To understand Vanishing Liposuction Results - Follow the Calories

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Liposuction is NOT a permanent Monopoly "get out of jail" like "All You Can Eat" ticket for the rest of your life. Although many people treat it as such.

Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from certain locations. The improved contours after surgery are a proof of this fact. Despite multiple urban myths the operation does NOT cause fat cells to go elsewhere nor does it make the remaining fat cells behave any differently than they did before the operation. Fat cells are a storage depot for calories we consume but do not burn. The less we burn, the more calories we store as fat in fat cells. The more activity we engage in, especially when combined with decreased caloric intake (IE less eating...), the more calories we burn, the more weight we lose and the more we empty our fat cells.

To understand what happened to your liposuction results, all you need to do is keep a record of your activities and your corresponding caloric intake since your operation. Start exercising, cut down on empty calories and your liposuction results may re-appear.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction results disappeared

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Did you gain weight? If you could post the before and recent after photos maybe we can answer your issues. Otherwise very difficult to predict outcomes. From MIAMI DR. B

Most likely it is those muffins you are having for breakfast

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Or perhaps it is something else you are putting in the mouth or the fact that you can no longer get to the Tuesday morning yoga class.  Only two things determine how much fat we carry on the body: what we eat and how much exercise we do.  If you were satisfied with your liposuction and now you don't see the result, either you have short term memory and should visit your liposuction surgeon and study your before and after pictures, or you have gained weight.  

Gaining weight is caused by increasing what you eat (some of those muffins contain 1200 calories) or you are burning fewer calories ( can't make it to the gym because of your stressful lifestyle).  So the short answer is to put yourself on the scale.  If the needle reads higher than before liposuction, the loss of effect from your surgery has nothing to do with your liposuction.  The answer is eat less and work out more.

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