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Is it possible for your fat to return after liposuction?

Question posted by Courtney C from Miami

I want to know about liposuction – how does it actually work and does it stop you getting fat forever?

Doctor's Response

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2 thoughts on “Is it possible for your fat to return after liposuction?

  • Liposuction is the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed in the world.  It generally involves using energy-assisted devices such as SmartLipo (a laser) or BodyTite (a radio frequency current device) or ultrasound energy or Vaser Lipo (ultrasound energy).  The fat is anesthetized with local anesthetic and little probes emitting these various energies are inserted into the fat.  The fat cells and tissue are liquefied, coagulated and then gently aspirated.  The use of energy devices such as SmartLipo, BodyTite also lead to skin contraction.
    Once the fat is destroyed and removed those fat cells cannot accumulate carbohydrates and will not swell up any more.  There’s always some fat left behind and if weight loss occurs after liposuction some of the contour improvements will be compromised by fat cells increasing in size with the weight gain in the area of the surgery.  Most commonly excessive carbohydrate and weight gain after liposuction is the fat accumulating and growing in areas where traditionally you do not gain weight.
    That is why it is extremely important to have some sort of weight maintenance following liposuction to protect your investment.  The fat cells removed are; however, gone forever and with weight maintenance your contour improvement will be a permanent lifelong enhancement.
    I’ve been performing advanced liposuction for over 20 years. I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.
    For more information, please review the liposuction page.
    To schedule a consultation simply fill out the online consult request form and a customer service representative will be with you promptly. R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
    Certified Plastic Surgeon
    Yorkville, Toronto

  • Transcribed from video attached:
    I have been asked a lot about this problem. The way that I explain it to my patients is that fat formation is due to an imbalance between the input and output of calories into the body. So, any extra calories that go into the body, our body is going to transform those into fat cells and deposit them. Now, the way that fat cells accumulate fat is not by increasing the number of fat cells; this happens very early on and to a limited extent. As a matter of fact, the way fat cells accumulate fat is by expansion, so that fat cell itself will increase in size and accumulate more fat. When we do liposuction we are suctioning out some of those fat cells, so the carrying capacity of the specific area where we are doing liposuction will be less. However, if that balance tips again to the side of having more input calories than the output of calories, then fat will accumulate. It will probably accumulate in other areas, not in the area that liposuction was done, but may still accumulate a little in that area as we cannot remove all the fat cells; there are still some fat cells in that area that can and will accumulate fat.

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