After a sculpsure treatment will fat come back in another area if I were to gain weight?

I had liposuction on my flanks and lower abdomen when I was 22 then got pregnant when I was 30. I gained weight, but not in my flanks or lower abdomen so now my lower back and upper abdomen have fat pads that look unporportionate to the rest of my circumferential trunk.

Doctor Answers 12

SculpSure Results

Thanks for your question.

SculpSure is ideal for patients who want to reduce fat in a problematic area. The treatment destroys targeted fat cells permanently in that area.

If fat gain occurs in the future, it will occur in existing fat cells, not in the treated area. This may cause a disproportionate look as you are describing. 

Good luck!


New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

SculpSure fat removal is permanent

Fat removal procedures like tummy tucks, liposuction, SculpSure and Cool Sculpting result in permanent fat removal.  We are all born with a finite number of fat cells and when we gain or lose weight those cells increase or decrease in size.  If they are removed, they do not regenerate, but there is always some fat cells left behind.  We are not able to remove all of them.  So, what we are really doing is contouring the body with these procedures.

In this situation, the abdomen and flanks have been contoured, but not the ribs/chest/upper abdomen and back.  Please see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options, SculpSure or even liposuction may be appropriate for you.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Once a Fat Cell Always a Fat Cell?

Once a fat cell is created by the body, it will not go away naturally.  The tendency of fat cells in humans is to remain full.  Due to various events in one's life (example pregnancy or lifestyle choices), fat can be stored in fat cells creating a situation where they are all full.  Once this happens, a signal goes out for the creation of more cells.  Unfortunately, in the human, there will never be a signal that will go out to destroy a fat cell.  So, the more you create, the more your shape will change and weight will increase.  

Liposuction is a surgical intervention that physically removes fat cells.  Once the fat cells are gone from an area, there is nothing left to fill.  

In your case, the events (example pregnancy), or possible lifestyle decisions that you have made, has triggered the filling of remaining fat cells to the point where they are full, and thus the need to create more fat cells, which, in turn, all strive to remain full.  The areas not subject to surgical liposuction, are the path of least resistance for this process to occur in you; hence your described experience in your fat and upper abdomen.  It is of note that one's lifestyle decisions could be of such extreme nature that even the liposuctioned areas would start to create new fat cells. However, this is not what you are experiencing.

SculpSure is a non-surgical means of physically disrupting and destroying fat cells.  Once this technology upsets the matrix of a fat cell, it can no longer act normally so it will not seek to be full. Indeed, your body's immune system will gradually remove these destroyed cells and eliminate them.  In my opinion, this method is far gentler to the body and is the preferred method over surgical modalities.

David Owers, MD
Vancouver Physician

Weight gain

Weight gain after medical procedures for weight loss can change the distribution of fat.  SculpSure is an excellent treatment for new localized diet resistant fat pads such as the upper or lower abdomen.

SculpSure permanently destroys treated fat cells

Once the fat cells are destroyed they will not return. The fat cells in the area treated that remain can increase with weight gain. If you have a weight gain after being treated more then likely you will notice the gain in other untreated areas and existing fat cells. 

Hope this helps! Dr Faraz


Sculpsure and weight gain

When you gain weight after Sculpsure the fat cells all over the body

will increase in size, including in the area that was treated. However
it is less likely to go there than before the treatment, since you have
less fat cells remaining there. Good luck.

Renata Wix-Harris, MD
Livingston Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

#Sculpsure/#Body Contouring/ #Hi Definition Procedures

Sculpsure is a noninvasive 1060nm diode laser treatment that removes up to 25% of stubborn fat in the treated area in 25 minutes.It is FDA approved for the abdomen and flanks. It is safe if you get pregnant in the future.

The body contouring effects are seen in as quick as six weeks with final results at 12 weeks.

The results are permanent as long as you maintain your weight and health.

The laser targets and destroys the fat cells only which are then naturally removed from the body. Since the laser does not affect the skin or muscle it can be used on all skin colors and there has been no reported incidents of burns when treated by a properly trained physician. It is protective since it alternates heating and cooling.

It has four applicators that can be customized to treat the areas of stubborn fat.

If a second treatment is needed we wait at least six weeks and usually closer to 12.

If you notice lumps after (which I've never seen) I would recommend massage. You should also alert your surgeon.  No compression garment required.

There is no downtime and you can resume your normal activities right after the treatment. There may be some soreness in the area for a few days for which you can take ibuprofen or tylenol. A cold compress can also be used.

Sculpsure is not used for skin tightening however some of our patients have seen this. If more skin tightening is needed we have combined this with thermi or Ulthera for a complete treatment. Sculpsure is recommended for stubborn areas of fat that are not being lost by diet and exercise. It is not a weight loss treatment.  If you gain weight, you will gain it in all areas -- treated and untreated.

Since I have both a coolsculpting and sculpsure I am working on protocols of utilizing both of these depending upon what areas need to be treated and the response to the treatment.

I have used sculpsure on other areas other than the abdomen with very good results.

I also use a Vectra 3D imaging system to try and show people what their treatment areas could look like.

Since Sculpsure outcomes can be based on technique and experience, please see a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes body contouring to see if Sculpsure or other treatments are available to meet your goals.

Take care,

Dr Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sculpting the Body for the Results You Want -- VASER HI DEF FEMALE CONTOURING VERSUS NON INVASIVE

coolsculpting/sculpsure do best when combined with vanquish RF along with diet and exercise.  If you gain weight, you can gain weight back in all areas -- treated or not.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 reviews

Sculpted areas getting fat in future

We are each born with a unique to us number of fat cells that remain through our lives. Surgery, suctioning, and SculpSure remove fat cells. These can never enlarge because they are gone, but the remaining ones are free to enlarge as you have seen. If you start with 3 cm. of fat thickness, SculpSure will kill up to 1/4 of this leaving you with 2.25 cm thickness. This dimension can swell if the areas around it swell through wt. gain, but it will always be smaller than the others.

Weight gain after sculpsure

Weight gain can occur after any invasive or non invasive treatment for body contouring and fat reduction if proper diet and exercise is not maintained.  The issue is that you are likely not to gain back significant fat in areas that have been treated.

In order to maintain results, calorie intake must  equal calorie consumption.  It really is all about balance and if you consume more calories than you burn, then you will gain weight  and your body will store these extra calories as fat.

Procedures that reduce fat cells from these areas do effect the body's ability to gain back fat in these areas simply because there aren't enough adipose cells present to store the fat. The body then compensates and will then store fat in other areas of the body with more available fat cells.



Sharon Scherl, MD
Englewood Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.