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There are three different layers of fat in the body:

  • Two layers of subcutaneous fat (the deepest layer and the superficial layer)

  • One layer of visceral fat (the fat within the abdominal area and organs)

The fat layer of skin is located in the subcutaneous layer of tissue called the Subcutis (or Hypodermis). This thickness of the fat layer - which varies greatly from one person to another depends on the size and the number of fat cells.

Typically our bodies have between 25 to 30 billion fat cells or adipocytes. Fat is also known as adipose tissue. Fat is essential to your body, as without it we would not have any energy, we would freeze in cold weather. We need some body fat to help pad our bones so we are comfortable sitting or laying down. 

The body fat of an adult tends to increase gradually over the years. After the age of thirty, fat starts to add fat according to predetermined "genetic pattern". Sometimes this fat is resistant to diet and exercise - such as a woman who has gone through pregnancy and has fat now appearing on her abdominal area and hips. Genetic predisposition with accumulating excessive fat sometimes is not responsive to diet and exercise and liposuction is the only realistic answer to re-contouring the body's silhouette.



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                                                               3-D Image of Fat Cells


What contributes to fat?

The job of a fat cell is to store lipids in which provide the human body with energy. Everything we eat is being stored, and if a person does not exercise or is not active and still eats the same amount, then the fat cells will start building up.


Unfortunately localized accumulation of fat can be genetically linked - and can be impossible to reduce these areas with exercise or dieting. Genetics play a big role, as after the age of 30, a person gains weight to a genetically pre-determined pattern. Liposuction is a huge help to patients like this, as they can finally be able to change their body's silhouette.

There are areas of the body that are resistant to diet or exercise:

  • abdomen

  • hips

  • under the chin


Pregnancy is very hard on some women, as the after effects of gaining weight for the baby can end up being totally resistant to dieting and exercise.




When a person gains weight the human body does increase its fat cells. The normal fluctuations one might see in their weight daily is associated with either an incremental increase or decrease in the average size of the individual fat cells. There is a maximum size to what fat cells can grow.  New fat cells are created from "fibroblasts" if there is a significant weight gain. When a person loses substantial amount of weight by dieting, the fat cells shrink in size but do not go away or diminish in number.

If liposuction is done on a patient who has been severely overweight at one time, but lost it all by the time the liposuction procedure is suppose to be done - the surgeon will still have to remove the same number of fat cells. 

The food we ingest does serve a purpose. Protein tends to regenerate lean tissue, a carbohydrate helps with "energy", and a fat protects the organs. When there is a leftover amount of food that the body has not used up, then this turns into extra fat. It is this fat that is stored in fat cells - which cluster together to form adipose tissue or fat tissue. We burn the fuel we need for energy, but everything that is not burned gets turned into triglycerides, which is basically fat.

Every human being needs fat to survive. However, when the fat cells become too excessive, the body starts to place the extra fat in places like liver cells, muscle cells and heart cells.




Liposuction is a tool for body sculpturing in which the plastic surgeon can help the patient with removing localized fat from areas of the body. Liposuction is not intended to be used as a tool for weight loss. Liposuction is not a good option for patients who have excess tissue or skin. If the patient has excess tissue and skin, a body lift or abdominoplasty might be suggested.

Exercise, diet, and healthy living are important components of any specific type of fat treatment, including liposuction.



                                             2010 Copyright ADAM, Inc. - Used with permission






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