Does Weight Gain After Stomach Liposuction Bring Fat Back to Upper Body?

When you have liposuction around the waist and in your stomach area, is it is it true the fat comes back in your upper body? I've heard it will reappear in your arms, upper back and chest area and in your face.

Doctor Answers 20

Weight Gain After Liposuction In Stomach and Upper Body

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If a patient has liposuction anywhere on their body to achieve a contour improvement, the patient MUST maintain their body weight.   If the patient does not follow this advice and packs on 10 plus pounds that fat has to go somewhere on their body.   As there are fewer fat cells to "fill up” in the liposuctioned areas, the body will fill up other areas.   So the fat does not "come back", but rather the patient increased their weight and it “shows up” elsewhere.   The key to great long term results is to maintain your immediate post op body weight (or lose some weight!!).

New York Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction is best reserved for body contouring and addressing stubborn pockets of fat.

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Most people who undergo liposuction are very in tune with their bodies.  They are very good at maintaining their physique and will not allow weight gain.  If you put on a few pounds you will not notice an abnormal distribution of fat.  However if you put on a significant amount of fat you may get abnormal deposits.

Weight gain and fat distribution following liposuction

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Yes, this is true. You will tend to accumulate fat in areas that have not been liposuctioned especially when you tend to gain more than 10% of your ideal body weight.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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Weight gain after liposuction

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Liposuction removes fat from targeted areas. Liposuction is not magic and does not prevent you from gaining weight in the future. That is up to you. You have to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you do gain weight after liposuction, the majority of the fat goes to areas of the body that were not treated with liposuction previously. This means that if you had abdominal liposuction and then gained weight, the weight would go to areas other than your belly. It may go to your thighs, your back, your butt, your breasts, etc. Liposuction is a great procedure and, when used performed on the right patients, can have excellent and long-lasting results. Good luck.

Treated areas are unlikely to revert to pre-liposuction levels

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After liposuction, the areas treated are not likely to regain fatty fullness, as many fat cells have been removed. These areas have reduced fat storage capacity.

However, if weight gain occurs, the fat will be stored in areas that have not been liposuctioned.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Gaining weight after Liposuction

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Simply having liposuction will not cause weight gain. Overeating and lack of exercises will, however. Fat gained after you have had lipo tends to deposit in areas you did not have the lipo, which can result in your figure becoming disproportionate.

Lipo is best for patients who are near their ideal weight and who are stable with that weight. It is an expensive, temporary, and generally poor substitute for weight loss.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Weight gain can occur after liposuction

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If one were to gain weight after liposuction, the weight has to go somewhere. It will proportionally go back to the operated area less than other areas because there are fewer fat cells left there compared with areas that did not undergo liposuction. The weight might be distributed in certain areas more than others. Maybe the face, maybe the breasts or the back or the thighs, or all over. The key is not to exercise less and eat more after liposuction. Continue your healthy habits.

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

Abnormal fat distribution after liposuction

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Thank you for your question.  Liposuction does indeed remove fat cells - storage reservoirs for fat - from the areas treated.  With that in mind, if a significant amount of weight is gained after liposuction (>20-30lbs), fat can be disproportionately stored in other areas that have not been treated.  It is always my recommendation to liposuction patients to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle after surgery and going forward.  If this guideline is followed, abnormal fat distribution from weight gain should not become and issue.

Effects of weight gain after liposuction

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Thank you for your question. While there are definitely safety concerns with respect to weight and liposuction there are several considerations:
1) Are you goals for the surgery achievable with liposuction? E.g. Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, even though you will lose a few pounds. It is more to contour areas of the body.
2) Is your weight stable? i.e. does it fluctuate upwards or downwards more than 10lbs? Weight gain after liposuction will diminish your body contouring results as the remaining fat cells enlarge to store more energy. In addition, you may that other parts of the body that were not liposuctioned may enlarge disproportionately compared to pre-liposuction weight gain. If your weight is stable, your results will also be stable.
3) There are increase risks with liposuction if your BMI is greater than 30.
I would recommend that you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon who can work with you to discuss your goals and discuss whether liposuction is the right procedure for you. In our practice, we offer a pre-surgical and post-surgical weight management program to balance our patient's weight and body contouring goals.

Weight gain after lipo

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Gaining weight after liposuction, the fat has to go somewhere.  It will go in some degree to the entire body, even the areas that are suctioned.  Hopefully, you won't gain so much weight that it creates contour abnormalities elsewhere, as this is unusual.

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.