Question about gaining weight after fat injection

Here is a recent question from a reader about gaining weight after fat injection:

“I read in an article online about the fat injection into the butt saying that once you take out the fat from where it was originally from and placed into the new area, that later if you gain weight it would be gained where the fat was injected and not where you took the fat out from.. is that so?”

Kae posted a very good question, because it helps understand how fat transfer works. The question relates to where you gain weight after a fat transfer: the donor area (where the fat came from, let’s say the belly) or the recipient area (where you put the fat in, let’s say the butt)?

The short answer to the question is: YES, after the fat graft takes, you will gain weight in the recipient area. In the case of the Brazilian butt lift, the recipient area is the buttocks. If you took most of the fat cells from the donor area, you would gain very little weight in the belly. If you want to know the technical explanation for this, read on.

The body stores excess energy (calories) in the form of fat inside fat cells. Fat cells are either ‘slow burners’ or ‘fast burners’. Slow burners capture excess calories quickly , but are slow to burn the fat cells. These slow burning fat cells are used by the body for long term storage of energy, so they will “burn” the fat only under certain conditions such as starvation states or severe energy depletion. We will call these “slow burners”. Other fat cells are less efficient at capturing excess calories, but can burn the fat quicker as the body needs it. In practical terms this means that excess calories will go in as fat into “slow burners” first, but when energy is needed,“fast burners” will use up their fat first. Thus, excess calories accumulate in slow burner cells.

The key point to remember is that fat doesn’t accumulate in a particular part of the body, but in a particular type of cell. The body clusters these cells together, so for example, if you have a lot of “slow burners” in the belly, you will gain weight (accumulate fat) first in the belly. If you have a lot of “fast burners” in the butt, when you try to lose weight, that’s where you’ll lose it first. Since Brazilian butt lift takes “slow burners” from other areas in your body (fat in your belly) and puts them in your butt – the slow burners are now in your butt. Thus, if you gain weight, you will gain in the butt, because that is where the “slow burners” are. The fat in the butt will be hard to lose, because it is in “slow burners.”

Weight gain in the donor area, the belly, will depend on how many fat cells were taken from there. If most cells were taken out, there will be little weight gain in the belly. If a lot of “slow burners” were left behind, then these too will gain weight. That is why a successful Brazilian butt lift depends not only on the work done in the butt, but work done on other areas to remove the slow burning fat cells.

Wondering if a Brazilian butt lift is right for you?

I am a board certified plastic surgeon, boarded by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and I have been in practice for more than 25 years. I am also a member of the Gluteal Safety Task force, which issues recommendations for safe Brazilian butt lift procedures. Contact Us to schedule your in-office or virtual consultation. Or just give us a call at 410-494-8100! Note: Virtual consults can also be used to get second opinions.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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4 thoughts on “Question about gaining weight after fat injection”

    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Elizabeth: Could you be more specific? I think my wife would object to you staying in our bedroom, no matter what the price ;) As for our accredited Surgicenter, you can recover in our PACU following the surgery, but Maryland law prohibits overnight stays in out patient surgery centers. Do you mean hotel stays before and after surgery? For that information on hotel rates you should contact Kelly at We have a lot of out of town patients and there are a few hotels we love around here that are very nice at reasonable prices, including some prolonged stay hotels that have kitchens, etc. Kelly would be happy to help you, and we'd love to hear from you.
  • liz says:

    Are there any risks of having the brazillian butt lift and your only 18 and are still hoping to have kids in the future.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      None that I am aware of as far as physical conditions are concerned. As far as your age, I would want a full consultation and meeting with your loved ones as there are issues of informed consent, what is considered emancipated adulthood in your state, etc. This would apply to any plastic surgery procedure I would be doing on an 18 year old. BTW, I see you are in the UK, my own daughter age 23 was born at the UCH in London