The Real Skinny on Liposuction and Fat


We perform liposuction for NY area men and women hundreds of times every year.  We field these and other questions from our patients as they look ahead into the future:

  • Doesn’t fat just come back after liposuction?
  • Does lipo in one area cause fat to pop up elsewhere?

The first thing to know about liposuction is that the procedure removes fat cells permanently.  So, for example, if your main trouble spot is saddlebags, liposuction of the outer thighs will actually take out fat cells from those areas—and they can’t come back.  They will be gone for good.

Liposuction The second thing to understand is that no experienced plastic surgeon will remove all the fat cells from a target area.  Doing so would cause craters.  The goal of body contouring is smooth, natural surfaces and this requires a thin, even layer of fat beneath the skin, not the complete absence of fat.

Once your recovery from liposuction is complete, you should have the smooth contours you were seeking.  Tummy bulges, fat deposits on your thighs, chubby knees—the place or places where you once had excess fat will have been brought in line with the rest of your body.  In the very best scenario, you will avoid weight gain and enjoy your new shape for the rest of your life.  This is the case for the majority of our patients.

If you should gain weight in the future, chances are the pounds will be distributed across your body more or less proportionally.  Since you no longer have large pockets of fat cells that tend to plump up first, you are likely to gain in a fairly even distribution.  Even if your weight does increase somewhat, your post-liposuction body should be shapelier than it would have been prior to surgery.

If your weight should increase substantially, however, you might notice more weight gain in certain areas than you did in the past.  New fat has to land somewhere, and fat cells can grow to many times their original size no matter where they reside.  If the place(s) you tended to gain weight in prior to liposuction no longer contain as many fat cells, the excess may go elsewhere.

When we hear people talk about liposuction in the NY area and reference myths about the behavior of fat, we correct them.  To borrow a phrase, liposuction doesn’t cause bulges, people do!

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