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Can Fat Return After Liposuction? By Dr. Adrian Smith

By: Dr. Adrian Smith


Due to the near immediate results, liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. Using gentle suction a physician can remove unwanted fat from isolated areas of your body. Over 222,000 liposuction procedures were done in 2015. Even those that are fit benefit from liposuction, using the technique to remove stubborn pockets of fat that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Although patients appreciate the initial dramatic results, many people considering having liposuction do have concerns over the longevity of the results. “Can fat return after liposuction?” is one of the more common questions we hear at our practice.

Liposuction involves removing fat using suction. The negative pressure created by the generator pulls fat from your body into a cannula. The cannula is a metal tube that is connected to a container by plastic tubing. The physician gently maneuvers the cannula under the skin, allowing small amounts of fat to be pulled into the ports at the end. These fat cells are permanently removed. No question about it.

The fat that is removed is gone forever. If a patient maintains a good diet and is careful not to gain much weight, the results from liposuction can be indefinite. Fat will return if you allow it however. Unfortunately weight gain or a change in medication can decrease the longevity of your results. Patients accumulate fat differently. When a patient gains weight after surgery it will occur in both treated and untreated areas.

If a patient only gains a small amount of weight after lipo, the results from the procedure will still be significant. This is because the fat cells throughout the body only get larger, they don’t divide. If the weight gain is more substantial, then the results will begin to fade. Each fat cell or adipocyte will begin to divide and create new fat cells. This occurs in both treated and untreated areas. Excessive weight gain will eliminate anything that lipo has accomplished.

So what are the tricks to maintaining an excellent outcome? Immediately after surgery patients are instructed on how to wear their special garments. These garment will minimize swelling and help discourage bleeding or hematomas from forming. Patients must also refrain from working out for a while. An increase in blood pressure and heart rate can influence the amount of swelling that will occur post-operatively. Once the initial healing period is over the patients must begin to play close attention to the following if they want to maintain their results

*Drink plenty of water

*Exercise 3-5x a week for 20-30 minutes

*Eat multiple smaller meals every day, including breakfast

*Don’t waste calories on starches but focus on proteins and vegetables

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. All before and after pictures are real patients of The Face & Body Center