Weight Gain After Liposuction

Quite obviously, the purpose of liposuction is to remove unwanted pockets of fat.  As it is impossible, and unwise, to remove all of the fat that is present in an area, some fat must remain between the muscles and the overlying skin in order to obtain a smooth, natural contour.  This layer is known as the subcutaneous layer of fat.

Residual Fat Cells

The fat cells in the body that remain after liposuction continue to collect fat if the patient takes in more calories than he or she utilizes.  As a result, these cells can grow in size and can get very large.  If enough fat is collected, the area can get big again.  While it is possible to have liposuction again in the same area that was treated before, it is best to keep it off the first time.

Fat Metabolism

Where that fat is deposited in any one person is determined by that individual’s metabolism.   Unfortunately, where we put on fat first is where we tend to work it off last.  However, fat cells that are removed during liposuction do not grow back.  Under normal circumstances, the number of fat cells that you have as a teenager will not change during your lifetime unless you gain a large amount of weight.  In that case, your fat cells are becoming over-loaded and new cells are needed to collect the additional fat.

Best Liposuction Scenario

The idea, of course, is not to gain weight after having body-contouring surgery.  That is why it is best to lose the majority of your excess weight before having liposuction, a tummy tuck, an arm lift or a thigh lift.  Patients who lose their weight before surgery have far better long-term outcomes than those who try to use plastic surgery to ‘kick-start’ their diet and exercise program.  This had been proven by numerous studies on liposuction and long-term benefits.

Subsequent Weight Gain

It is surprising the number of patients who believe that they can’t ever gain weight if they have had liposuction.  That is clearly not the case. If you do gain weight after liposuction surgery, the new fat tends to be more evenly distributed in the body compared to before surgery; assuming, of course, that the area treated was the bodies preferential are for fat collection which is usually the buttocks and thighs in women and the abdomen and ‘love handles’ in men.  Women who have had their buttocks and thighs treated with liposuction and go on to gain weight afterwards may find that the gain it most in their abdomen and breasts.  There is no way to tell where is going to go; therefore, it is best to maintain your weight. 

Liquefied Fat

Some of the fat in the areas that are treated with liposuction will be liquefied as opposed to removed during the surgery.  This fat may be absorbed and deposited in other areas or be incorporated into surrounding fat cells.  Although this is a distinct minority of the fat, it is possible for it to accumulate in one area after surgery and leave a bulge. To prevent this, it is important to wear your compression garment religiously and to make sure that it fits snugly over the areas treated.

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