Is Liposuction Permanent?

Pretty adult girl with perfect legs - isolated on white

If you’ve decided to set aside time and funds for liposuction surgery, it’s understandable that you might be curious about the result. Patients often ask about the longevity of the results of liposuction during their consultations with Vancouver liposuction surgeon Eric Pugash. Here he sets the record straight about whether liposuction is a permanent solution to stubborn body fat.

Will Fat Grow Back?

First, it’s important to understand a little bit about how fat cells work. Typically, after the age of 18, an adult is set with a fixed number of fat cells. Individual fat cells can become larger or smaller, but they do not increase in number.

Liposuction removes some of the fat cells in the treated area (e.g., the abdomen, buttocks or thighs) and, once they have been removed, they cannot grow back. Remember that not all fat cells are removed from the treated area. A small layer of fat is left under the skin for cosmetic and functional purposes.

If you are planning to undergo liposuction and want to enjoy your results for many years to come, you must keep your weight stable. You should follow a healthy diet, watch your caloric intake, exercise regularly, manage stress and control other health conditions to avoid putting on weight. If you were to gain a large amount of weight after liposuction — imagine 20 pounds — the fat cells remaining in the treated area could, theoretically, become larger. Additionally, the fat cells in other non-treated areas of the body could also grow. This varies by patient, as everyone is genetically programmed to store fat differently. There is essentially no limit to the amount a fat cell can hold.

Candidates for Liposuction

Wondering whether liposuction is truly the best solution to your needs? Generally, liposuction candidates are individuals who:

  • are at, or close to, their ideal weight
  • eat wisely and exercise regularly
  • do not smoke
  • have reasonable expectations of surgery

While this may describe you, the best way to determine whether liposuction is appropriate for your body contouring goals is to meet with Dr. Pugash for a consultation and examination. During this appointment he can also offer information about maintaining the results of liposuction long-term. To schedule a consultation at our Vancouver plastic surgery practice, please call (604) 522-5199 or email us today.