Is Liposuction a Worthwile Procedure? If I Gain Weight, Will It Go Back to my Mid Section?

Im thinking of getting liposuction because I have two punds in my midsection that i cannot seem to lose despite being thin. My weight fluctuates between 10 or even 15 lbs throughout the year depending how active I am and what I choose to eat. I am wondering if I get liposuction if I will just gain the weight back to my midesction like I usually do or will it go someplace else? I dont really know if people get this done for stubborn fat or for a "quick fix" (i wouldn't be, since im thin already)

Doctor Answers 5

Liposuction can be a worthwhile procedure given the right situation

If you have somewhat localized fat in your midsection and good skin tone, liposuction can provide you with a very nice improvement. If you did subsequently gain 10 - 15 pounds, this would be dispersed in fat throughout your body and not preferentially in your abdomen. With the fat cells removed from your midsection, you should not see a significant deterioration of results here with such a weight gain. You should also consider avoiding such sizable weight fluctuations.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction

After the abdomen is liposuctioned, if you gain 10-15 pounds, it is more likely to be spread in other parts of your body, including the back, thighs and breasts. The goal of liposuction is body contouring which will change your shape but not prevent you from gaining back the weight.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Weight gain after liposuction

lower and mid abdomen are areas very commonly sought for liposuction in my practice. these areas are very difficult to trim with diet and exercise alone in most patients. u can get very good results with Tumescent liposuction performed under local anesthesia with faster recovery. should u gain weight after the procedure most likely you will gain it in areas where u didnt get liposuction done.

Misbah Khan MD, FAAD, FACMS
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Liposuctioning your mid section makes it hard to put the fat on there in the future.

If you gain weight after liposuctioning the mid section, then the fat usually goes more uniformally across your body at first and not just to the midsection.  Wherever the most fat cells are in your body, that is where you will accumulate more bulge if you gain a lot of weight. This is usually the breasts or buttocks in many women. Liposuction under local tumescent technique with the micro cannulas should give a great result and be back to work in only 2 days. Expect to pay $5-6,000 on special and enjoy the new you!  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Liposuction removes fat permanently. Just not ALL of your fat, and what remains can be "fed."

Many physicians believe that we are born with a defined number of fat cells in our bodies, and as we gain weight, the number of fat cells does not increase, but the size of those present increases.

Though the scientific debate about this is certainly interesting, it is of no significance regarding liposuction (any variety), which removes some of the fat cells from the areas operated upon. The important word in the last sentence is not "removed," but "some." in other words, unless something is done incorrectly, your liposuction surgeon will ALWAYS preserve a normal thin layer of residual fat in the area being suctioned. If "too much is removed" then the skin would adhere to the muscle below, and would look like a wrinkled, adherent skin graft, not normal lean areas.

If your caloric intake exceeds your metabolic demands, you gain weight. And if you gain that weight right after liposuction surgery while the area of concern is healing, the metabolic demand in the healing area is higher than any other area of the body, and the fat that remains in the treated area preferentially gains additional volume with those "extra" calories.

The fat that was removed is still GONE, but the fat that remains can indeed be "fed" and enlarged again!

After spending the money, time healing, and expectations of improvement, most patients try to be good and watch their caloric intake and activity levels. These patients do not gain weight, and in fact may even lose a bit more, enhancing their results. Once healing is complete (6-12 months) and metabolic activity has returned to normal in the operated areas, then "extra" calories are deposited in the body's fat cells more or less evenly, not preferentially in the (higher metabolic demand) operated areas. The body does not "keep score" as to the number or size of fat cells in any area, and you do NOT just gain weight randomly. (But, you do gain weight if you eat more than you burn, and THAT is the real problem, not failure of liposuction as a worthwhile procedure.)

Since many patients do gain weight in certain areas of their bodies differently from other patients, your midsection may indeed have a preferential receptor status for "extra" calories. But if you have liposuction of that area, a certain percentage of those fat cells are permanently removed, and only the remaining (fewer) fat cells can accept those "extra" calories. But ALL the fat cells in your buttocks, chin, thighs, etc. remain if all you had liposuctioned was your midsection. So if you gain enough extra weight, it can certainly seem to be preferentially gained "someplace else."

It just doesn't "jump" from the liposuction canister to your "someplace else." It gets there through your mouth in the form of calories taken in and not burned.

Liposuction works, and the improvements are permanent, if you eat no more than you need to maintain weight. If you gain weight,  it is because you took in more calories than your burned, not because liposuction "doesn't work." So, if you can maintain weight with proper intake and activity levels, then GO FOR IT! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.