Can Stem Cells Convert to Fat Cells While You're in the Healing Process?

My surgeon told me to follow a low fat/sugar diet after lipo because they had recently discovered that the stem cells that heal the body can easily convert themselves to new FAT cells.

I was really disappointed after he told me this because it was one week prior to my procedure and I couldn't cancel without losing half the money. But that means that all these places that claim they can remove the fat FOREVER are lying.

I thought I would never deal with my problem areas ever again.

Doctor Answers 7

Liposuction, stem cells and weight gain

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The reason that someone gains weight after liposuction is not from growing new fat cells, it is a result of consuming more calories than are needed for the metabolism of that person.  Weight can increase if one starts to consume more calories with food and/or drink, exercises less, or their metabolism slows down with endocrine problems such as hypo(low)thyroidism.  The ideal candidate for liposuction is one that eats healthy and exercises but has a bulge that they can't lose, such as the lower belly, love handle or saddle bag (outer thigh).  If those depots are removed with liposuction, then fat cells and stem cells are removed too.  If you don't expend more energy on a daily basis, or consume less calories, after the liposuction, then the body's homeostasis or equilibrium, will add fat to the existing fat cells rather than add more fat cells because you are not doing something differently and energy in = energy out.  As you heal after liposuction and see your volume reduction in fat, then you realize there are less fat cells so you need less calories every day to support the new lowered weight!

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Stem Cells the "Miracle Cells" in Fat

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Yes! there are adult Stem Cells in fat in everyone of us, so how does liposuction work and yes it works and my patients have kept there body and neck form with liposuction, for over twenty years, with my first patients being over twenty years age, and the answer is actually a beautiful one, when we remove fat with liposuction, we are not just removing fat but lots and I mean lots of adult stem cells, as well, we are not just removing fat, but the next and the next beyond next generation of fat cells, so results do last and last.  So what does that mean, and that is were the answer becomes beautiful, yesterday with limited liposuction for one of my patients, we isolated more than eighty million stem cells from four tablespoons of aspirated fat, and gave them back to the same patient but added to her own fat, to enhance that fat for facial fat transfer injection, enhancing the regenerative cells within fat to treat the aging of the face, to fill the shadows and sinking inwards of the face as part of aging.  The recovery of these regenerative cells from fat, almost, like natures hidden secret, and how to best use them may become one of the most amazing steps medicine has ever taken.

Douglas J. Key, MD
Portland Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


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A recent study suggested that it may be possible to regain the fat that is removed after liposuction but although this was a fairly well done study it did have flaws and I would say that any of the Plastic Surgeons I know would tell you they have never seen this as long as the patient did not gain weight.   Liposuction is best suited for sculpturing and NOT for weight loss so if keep your weight down and live a healthy life style you will maintain the results you got from your procedure.  

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Stem Cells converting to Fat.

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Stem cells can actually convert into just about any type of other cell in the body as long as they are given the right environment and stimulus to grow and develop.  So as long as you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet after liposuction, or anytime for that matter, you will not cause stem cells to develop into fat cells.  Stay healthy and good luck.

Ryan A. Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Liposuction is for long-lasting reshaping not weight loss

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While it is technically true that the body is capable of forming new fat cells, it is also true that liposuction produces lasting changes in how the body distributes fat so there is a change in body shape. It is important to recognize the areas that are resistant to change, since those fat cells are different than others. For example, the "apple body" type carries excess fat around the middle and the upper inner thighs, while the "pear body" has too much in the outer thighs. Targeting all of the areas that are out of proportion to the rest of the body is the key to success.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

If you maintain your weight , you should not worry about it

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Our body will convert extra food into fat to store it. This happens wit or without liposuction after liposuction fat storage is mor directed to the new areas than the suction areas.If You maintain your weight after lipo and you will be fine.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

New fat cells

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Liposuction should provide a long lasting result IF you are able to maintain your weight at your ADJUSTED preoperative level.  This means you take your preoperative weight and substract the amount of fat that is removed at the time of liposuction.  That is you ADJUSTED preoperative weight.  For example, if you weigh 155 preoperatively and the lipo removes 7 pounds of fat, your ADJUSTED weight is now 148.  If you creep back up to 155 you have actually added 7 pounds of new fat and it cannot be predicted where it will go!  Liposuction is not a good procedure for patients who yo-yo with their weight and liposuction certainly does not mean a patient can slack off on healthy eating and exercise.  Bummer, huh?

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 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.