Will My Belly Fat Come Back If I Have Liposuction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a very petite frame and am 5’1”and weight 108 lbs. But despite this small size I have a little area of stubborn belly fat that won’t go away. My weight doesn’t fluctuate that much and runs anywhere from 105 to 110 lbs. If I get this fat removed by liposuction what are the chances that it will come back? Since my weight fluctuates a little while this cause it to return?

A: The retention of liposuction results is definitely influenced by one’s weight. I tell all my liposuction patients that the long-term reduction seen will only be as stable as one’s weight and it also depends on what body area has been treated. The abdomen and waistline for both men and women is the area at greatest risk for fat return after liposuction since it is a primary depot site for excess caloric intake. However given your small frame and the relatively minor weight fluctuation that you have, this should not be a significant concern since you are talking about a weight fluctuation that is around 5% of your  total body weight. Fat return is more likely when weight increases are in the range of 10% to 15% or greater.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana