Mythbuster Monday: If you experience weight gain after liposuction, will fat redistribute to the breasts?

Plastic Surgeon & Medical Spa Serving Oklahoma City, Edmond,Lawton & Nearby Central Oklahoma

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Posted: November 24, 2014

This question is pretty common among our clients – and anyone interested in cosmetic procedures, really.

Liposuction seems like an almost miracle procedure: you remove fat cells from a certain area, and they never come back. It almost seems to good be true – but it is indeed true.

Of course, there’s a reason it’s not a miracle.

Liposuction is the permanent removal of fat cells from the treatment area. Your body will not regenerate fat cells in the area in which you’ve had liposuction – say, your stomach (the most common treatment area).

Where does weight gain after liposuction happen?

But you can gain weight after having a liposuction procedure. It just won’t show up in the treatment area.

If you have liposuction on your stomach and gain, say, 10 pounds, that extra weight will evenly redistribute itself all over your body. You won’t see extra belly fat appear, but you might notice that your legs or arms are slightly more solid than they were before those extra pounds.

Does extra fat go to the breast area?

Depending on your current cup size, you might be more than happy if that extra weight gain went straight to your breasts – a slimmer waist and a bigger bust are at the top of plenty of women’s “ideal body” wish list. But typically, newly acquired fat distributes itself evenly wherever it can – so don’t size up for your new underwear just yet.

Research can back us up on this, too: Dr. Eric Swanson followed 82 women who had cosmetic surgery without liposuction, liposuction alone, and liposuction combined with abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck) to observe any patterns of fat redistribution to the breast area. His results showed that “neither liposuction nor abdominoplasty produces secondary breast enlargement.”

Can liposuction help you lose weight?

Most plastic surgeons will tell you that liposuction is a targeted procedure that works best when you’re at a healthy body weight – and that maintaining your body weight after the procedure is crucial to its success and your satisfaction.

Liposuction works as an effective treatment for a specific target area, but it should be used as a supplement to weight maintenance through healthy diet and plenty of exercise.  This procedure helps you achieve the proportions and shape you want – but it won’t prevent you from gaining weight. 

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