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 17

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
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 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 75 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Sculpsure gets rid of fat, but fat cells can still grow

Sculpsure gets rid of the fat cells removed permanently. However, our remaining fat cells can grow or shrink depending on our weight. That's why it's always ideal to be at a maintainable goal weight before getting body contouring procedure. Hope this answers your question. 

Sean T. Doherty, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Will I Gain Weight in Other Areas After Sculpsure?

When you have SculpSure or liposuction, the fat cells are destroyed, and they can't come back. If you gain weight it has to go to the areas that have the normal amount of fat cells. Both the remaining fat cells in the areas of treatment with SculpSure or liposuction can store energy and enlarge, but nowhere as much as the areas that were not treated. That is why those areas, your upper abdomen, for example, not look larger. You should try to maintain a level weight after SculpeSure or liposuction, and you will not get bigger in other areas.

Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

After Sculpsure, Will fat come back ?

After the Sculpsure procedure, the fat cells in that area are permanently destroyed and never return. 

SculpSure is permanent fat reduction

SculpSure permanently destroys fat cells.  Fat cells won't regenerate in the areas that were treated.  However, the fat cells remaining and the ones in untreated areas can still enlarge as you gain weight.

Anh-Tuan Truong, MD, FACS
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


Thank you for your question. SculpSure actually eliminates fat cells, whereas diet and exercise will simply shrink existing fat cells. SculpSure is a technique to contour the body. Please consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon about the newer fat in your lower back and upper abdomen to see if those fat areas are a good fit for removal via SculpSure.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

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.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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

Patricia Faraz, MD
Ladera Ranch OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 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.