What Happens to Fat Cells After Liposuction?

Many patients want to know what happens to fat cells in their body after liposuction.  It is very common to ask if your fat cells will grow back or if fat will return to problem areas down the road. It is impossible to predict with certainty whether remaining fat will expand, as several variables determine what happens to your fat cells after liposuction. Some people enjoy their new contours for years after their liposuction procedure and never regenerate fat, while others do experience some additional fat storage later in life. Fortunately, there are some methods to determine whether you are likely to maintain your liposuction results.  Being as informed as possible about how your body works will help shape realistic expectations and make the best possible decisions about which cosmetic procedure to undergo.

Fat cells are removed during liposuction

Most patients undergo liposuction to address one or two “problem areas.” For these patients, diet and exercise alone may help them get rid of unwanted fat, but there are stubborn pockets of fat that are less responsive to lifestyle changes.  Areas such as the stomach, thighs, hips, and buttocks often hold on to fat, creating unappealing bulges, even in people who have lost most of their excess weight. Liposuction is a highly effective option to address these problem areas and re-contour the body, leaving a smoother, sleeker silhouette. Treatment can be fully customized to your goals, targeting the areas of your body that are most bothersome to you.

Liposuction is effective and provides long-lasting results, as excess fat is physically removed during the procedure. The surgical process utilizes movement and vacuum suction to disrupt and then reduce fat cells from specific areas of the body. With only small incisions, your surgeon can treat an entire area of your body using specialized tools that allow for targeted fat removal.

Expanding fat cells vs. gaining new fat

Once the fat cells are removed, they are gone. With minor weight fluctuations, these cells will not return, and the body generally will not make new fat cells in this area. Liposuction results are generally well-maintained even with normal weight-gain and loss, But, if a patient were to gain a substantial amount of weight in the months and years after liposuction, the additional fat must be stored somewhere in the body.  First, fat is stored in fat cells that remain in the body (areas that were not targeted during liposuction). These cells can expand to store more fat, or they can shrink if additional fat is lost. In cases of small amounts of weight gain and loss, this is not noticeable. However, with excessive weight gain, the body can create new fat cells, often in other areas of the body.

Feedback mechanisms in your body are triggered by weight gain and stimulate your body to redistribute and store additional fat, creating new fat cells if necessary. For these reasons, most plastic surgeons recommend liposuction for patients who are at or near their ideal weight and who have carefully considered their role in maintaining their results after surgery.

Ask the Aesthetx team about your liposuction questions

Patients who are committed to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining their weight can have permanent, dramatic results from liposuction.  We find that these patients are delighted with their liposuction results, even many years after their procedure. If you have any other questions about what to expect after your fat removal surgery, and how your results can be preserved in the long term, we invite you to contact a member of our team.

To find out more about whether liposuction may be the right procedure to help you obtain the body you want, call 408.559.7177 today and schedule your consultation.

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