Will Fat Come Back After Smart Lipo?

I'm considering getting a Smart Lipo done on my abdomen, muffin top and bra roll area. My question is: does the fat return after you gain weight?

Doctor Answers 8

Have the Procedure and Maintain Healthy Diet and Exercise

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The procedure you want can be done with SmartLipo – but you must maintain your diet and exercise program to maintain the results. If you gain weight, you may have a recurrence of fat in the area – the fat cells that were removed are gone, but the ones still there may take over and grow.

Have the procedure, then keep up the diet and exercise routine – and love the results you will get.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Can fat return after liposuction?

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Thank you for your question.  

Liposuction, smart or not, is a permanent removal of the fat cells in the areas treated.  Those fat cells that are removed will never 'grow' back, but it is important that patients realize that it is impossible to remove every single fat cell in the areas treated and that doing so, or being too aggressive with liposuction, can cause contour irregularities and dimpling of the skin.  

It is also important that patients who elect to have liposuction think of it as an investment and continue to invest in their new body contours and proportions with daily exercise and good eating habits.  If patients do not think of it in this way, and instead put on a significant amount of weight, it is possible that the fat cells that were not removed at the time of your surgery will continue to grow.  

I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the best.

Setting the Record Straight: Significant Weight Gain Can Cause New Fat Accumulation

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While it is widely believed (and even doctors incorrectly advise patients of this) that we have a fixed number of fat cells, and weight gain or loss merely changes the size of fat cells, the truth is that we do have the ability to grow new fat cells (hyperplasia). We also have the ability to increase the size of cells with weight gain (hypertrophy) and shrink the size of cells with weight loss (atrophy or hypotrophy). Morbidly obese people have tens to hundreds of millions more fat cells than individuals of normal weight, and their fat cells are larger. So, when we remove fat cells with liposuction, we do reduce the number of fat cells. If our weight remains the same, we maintain our sculpted results. Minor fluctuations in weight don’t change the results much. But, if we gain a significant amount of weight, we gain it everywhere, including the area where liposuction was performed, not by just increasing the cell size, but by stem cells located in the fat that are triggered to produce brand new cells. The best plan after liposuction is to maintain a stable weight, or mild weight loss to preserve your excellent results.

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Fat return after lipo?

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Smart Lipo or even regular Liposuction will be safe in your situation. Please understand that any Lipo suction reduces the number of fat cells but during times of weight gain each fat cell can grow to twice or even 3 times its size. Also any liposuction result is based on your starting skin quality.

Fat return after smart lipo...

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If you are thinking about having a procedure to remove excess fat, Smartlipo is an excellent option.  It works best for small areas and can sometimes be done under local anesthesia.  The fat that is removed is permanently removed.  However, if you do not maintain a healthy diet or work out regularly, the fat cells that are still present can enlarge, making it look like the fat has returned.  Smartlipo when combined with a healthy lifestyle can produce wonderful results.  Be sure to discuss your feelings with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Liposuction and fat

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 Fat removed from liposuction will not come back.  However, if you do gain weight, you may notice some increase in size of the areas that were treated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat is permanently removed by liposuction

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Although fat is permanently removed by liposuction or Smarlipo not ALL fat is removed. So if you put on a lot of weight, fat will return everywhere including previously liposuctioned areas. However, the degree of return is less in the areas where fat has already been removed. Liposuction is not a diet method and it works best when you are at a stable weight and not likely to put on weight after surgery.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Does fat return after Slim Lipo or Smart Lipo

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Fat cells are destroyed (melted) and removed during your Slim Lipo or Smart Lipo procedure.  These cells do not come back.  Your remaining cells do have the ability to enlarge and hence give you the appearance that some of the fat in the liposuction areas have "returned".  So what does this mean?  If you are making an investment in a procedure like Slim Lipo or Smart Lipo, consider the stability of your weight and your confidence in your diet/activity/exercise routine.  This is one reason plastic surgeons like to ensure that you have been relatively stable at your current weight before embarking on a body contouring procedure.  Six months is a reasonable guide to this.  If I encounter someone who is actively gaining or losing weight, I will still go through the various surgical options, but will ask that they return to make sure that we have achieved a stable weight before proceeding with the surgery.

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.