Can Removed Fat Cells Grow Back?

I had liposuction but the results where in consistent. I would like to know if the excess fat cells removed in one area can grow back and even themselves out with the other side of my body. It's been around 6 months since surgery and the distribution of fat is still uneven. In addition, the manner in which the fat was removed in that area was not smoothly, is the region able to smooth itself as well?

Doctor Answers 2

6 Months after Liposuction and Unevenness

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  In general, irregularities after liposuction may be improved with a combination of liposuction and/or fat grafting.  If there is skin laxity, excisional procedures may be required.  An exam would be necessary to sort this out.  The fat cells will not grow back, but the remaining cells can grow larger.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Can Fat Cells Grow Back After Liposuction?

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After liposuction of people under 300 pounds, there is no possibility of new fat cells growing.  However, excess fat can be stored in the cells that weren't removed, and that process is known as fat cell hypertrophy.  The process by which new fat cells grow is known as fat cell hyperplasia.  This phenomenon does not occur in most people, and only gigantic-sized people, such as sumo wrestlers or people over 300 pounds, can actually grow new fat cells.  

If the liposuction was done in an uneven fashion and it has not evened itself out after 6 months, then it will never even itself out.  Also, with reference to dents and divets, if these remain after 6 months, the area in which they occurred needs to be revised.  

Depending upon your age, ethnicity, skin tone and weight, the revision surgery will either be very simple or very difficult.  I recommend you see your plastic surgeon and discuss your concerns. 

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.