After Liposuction, Can Fat Return to Treated Areas?


Reader Laura’s Comment:

“A study was by Teri Hernandez and Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado says that fat removed during lipo returns to other parts of your body. That people who had fat removed from their hips, thighs and/or buttocks had the same amount of fat come back to other parts of their bodies. Have you found this to be true? Have any of your patients had an increase in arm, shoulder, or back fat after having lipo done on their hips, thighs or buttocks?

Also, Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at New York’s Columbia University, said that liposuction surgically destroys the structure under the skin, which may be why the fat cells don’t regrow in the place from which they were removed. Have you found this to be true? After lipo are people unable to grow fat in the same areas again?”


This has been demonstrated clinically for years. It is amongst the reasons I wrote parts of my practice web site explaining that liposuction is not weight loss and is best suited for those in stable weight ranges. I have re-iterated that here at the blog when discussing the folly of a doctor’s guarantee of liposuction results.

Liposuction removes some of the fat cells in the areas in which it is employed. Part of the healing involves scarring and a reduced tendency to “refill fatty tissues” in the areas treated. People who gain and lose more than small amounts of weight frequently tend to gain weight again in different areas, but some can gain it back in the treated regions. These are tendencies well known to those of us who do this surgery.

With this in mind, I have been counseling my patients accordingly for over a decade. The key on having satisfied cosmetic surgery patients is developing a reasonable understanding and screening patients wisely.

Liposuction is a good procedure for the right patient, but like for any other cosmetic operation there are considerations for the patient beforehand.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD


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