Can fat cells grow back after liposuction?

Liposuction describes a surgery that literally sucks fat cells out of your body. This means that the fat cells that have been removed with liposuction can never come back. Despite this basic premise, patients still ask me routinely whether fat cells can grow back. This question arises because patients that undergo liposuction and then gain weight after their surgery will notice growth in the girth of areas that still contain a high density of fat cells. This observation results because following liposuction patients cannot gain any significant weight in areas that have undergone liposuction because these areas are depleted of any fat cells. 

Instead, as the patient gains weight, excess fat molecules must be stored in any areas that still have an abundant amount of fat cells remaining. These areas are typically problem areas that were not addressed during their liposuction. In contrast, areas liposuctioned on their body that have very little fat cells left will not gain in girth.  This leads to the typical patient comment that “the fat cells grew back!” With even small weight gain, existing fat cells simply get bigger by accumulating more fat molecules within the existing cell. When there is an excess caloric intake, the body creates molecules that need to be stored in fat cells. This is an important concept that many people don’t appreciate. When you gain weight, you don’t get more fat cells; instead the fat cells you already have become larger. This is in contrast to weight gain in children, who will actually get an increase in the number of fat cells.  Increasing numbers of fat cells are formed from existing stem cells by a process of differentiation with the creation of preadipocytes that then mature into full adult fat cells. This is why childhood obesity is such a detrimental process that will lead to adulthood that is much more vulnerable to weight gain. The daunting fact is that they have a much higher number of fat cells than those who did not experience childhood thus making them more prone to fat molecule storage and an increase in fat cell volume.

Can fat cells grow back after liposuction? The answer is a definite “No”. However, other fat cells that you have can grow larger. This is why lipo 360 ensures that all problem areas, i.e. areas that have a high density of fat cells, are eliminated. Following lipo 360, patients are protected from developing disfigurement with even modest weight gain. If you are interested in undergoing lipo 360, we recommend you consider a complimentary consultation to evaluate your body fat deposition. This protection is gained by making sure that all of your body areas have the same fat density. As a result, even modest weight gains will result in uniform distribution of fat molecules evenly throughout all of your fat cells.

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