Liposuction involves the removal of fat from specific regions of the body through tiny incisions. After surgery, patients are told exactly how much fat the surgeon removed, and they can see which parts of the body are most improved. Patients who do not simultaneously consider their diet and activity levels however, might find it hard to keep from regaining pounds after this operation. Because it’s common for the returning weight to appear more diffusely throughout the body, patients must play an active role in their own recovery.
Fat cells do not multiply in adults—they simply get bigger or smaller according to weight gain and loss. After fat cells are removed via liposuction, these areas are permanently flatter because there are fewer cells to expand and contract. In a typical procedure, many of the fat cells that were once in the abdomen, hips, or thighs are gone. If a patient gains some weight after liposuction, this new weight will accumulate more uniformly across the whole body so that the liposuction areas are more proportionately affected.
Patients may notice weight gain most in new areas such as the face, arms, back, or chest since the post-surgical sites are better-contoured. In contrast, if the same person gained weight before surgery, the fat would have disproportionately accumulated in the problem areas. While some patients may not object to more fullness in the face, buttocks or breasts, most do not want to regain the fat. Ultimately, liposuction is intended to be a targeted contouring strategy, and it is up to patients to control their weight.
Ideal candidates for liposuction have responsible eating habits, exercise regularly, and have specific anatomic areas that are full of fat. Once the fat is removed, these patients find long-lasting improvement in their shape and contour regardless of whether they add a few pounds in the future.