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 19

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

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.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Weight Gain After Liposuction In Stomach and Upper Body

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!!).

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Weight gain and fat distribution following liposuction

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 82 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction

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.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Treated areas are unlikely to revert to pre-liposuction levels

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Gaining weight after Liposuction

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 271 reviews

Weight gain can occur after liposuction

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 38 reviews

Effects of weight gain after liposuction

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.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Weight gain after lipo

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.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Weight Gain & Liposuction

Liposuction is a procedure that targets localized collections of fat. The fat cells in these problem areas are different from other fat cells because they’re typically hormonally sensitive and diet resistant. For this reason, these fat cells don’t respond to diet and exercise. When patients diet and exercise, they lose weight in the surrounding areas, but the problem areas are only minimally effected.

Liposuction is an effective method for removing fat cells from these problem areas. Once these fat cells are removed, fluctuations in weight are associated with a more even distribution of fat.

Following liposuction of the abdomen, subsequent weight gain wouldn’t occur primarily in the upper body, but would be more evenly distributed throughout the body. In contrast, prior to liposuction, weight gain might affect the mid-section disproportionately.

Liposuction is a significant investment and for this reason, should be accompanied by life style changes. These changes are the best way to insure that fluctuations in weight don’t create these types of problems in the future.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 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.