I have been asked this question more often than I can count. Patients are afraid that after liposuction, if they gain weight, that they will develop a particular deformity due to all the newly formed fat settling in one particular area. This simply isn’t true.
After adolescence, the number of fat cells in our bodies becomes fixed. The fat cells can increase or decrease in size due to the amount of fat to be stored, however, they will not change in number. (The fat stores in our bodies are the way the majority of our energy reserves are stored.) However, after liposuction, the number of fat cells decreases due to the removal and destruction of fat cells from the procedure. If your diet is in good control, and you are not consuming excess calories, then there should be no change in your fat stores. If, however, you consume more calories than you require, there will be deposition of fat. The question is “where?”
The answer is that the fat will be stored where it otherwise would have been had you not had liposuction. If you are female, the most likely place would be your abdomen (outside of the abdominal cavity), flanks, inner and outer thighs and buttocks. If you are male, then the answer is within your abdominal cavity, flanks and chest. If you underwent liposuction of one of these areas (except within the abdominal cavity which is not accessible by liposuction) then the remaining fat cells in those areas will enlarge as well due to the deposition of fat to the other areas listed here.
The end result if you gain weight after liposuction is that you will look heavier, but more like you would have had you not had liposuction, rather than developing a specific deposit of dreaded fat in one area of the body.
To your health & beauty,
Mark Epstein, MD