Liposuction May Have Health Benefits on Top of Cosmetic Improvements

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Family Guy’s Peter Griffin may be reaping health benefits in addition to becoming a hunk after his Liposuction procedure! (Picture from www.tbs.com)

Traditionally, liposuction has always been thought to confer only cosmetic benefits, as it is only able to remove subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) and not visceral fat (organ fat). For years, experts have assumed that visceral fat surrounding the internal organs has greater metabolic importance and is more directly linked to cardiovascular disease.

However, an interesting study led by Dr Eric Swanson, a plastic surgeon in Kansas, presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests that liposuction has legitimate health benefits as well – by reducing harmful fat circulating in the bloodstream and lower the risk of cardiovascular problems.

The study measured the triglyceride (fat circulating in the blood) levels in 229 people who had undergone liposuction. The results made people sit up and take notice – people who had started out with high triglyceride levels (150mg/dL or more) had a 43% decrease in blood levels 3 months after surgery. This was nearly twice the reduction one would usually experience by taking medication that lowers blood lipids.

However liposuction made no difference to people whose triglyceride levels were normal to begin with. Other types of lipids, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and fasting glucose was also unchanged.

Triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or greater are known to be associated with an increased cardiovascular risk and metabolic syndrome. Hence, a decrease in triglyceride levels after liposuction may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Also significant from the study was the effect of Liposuction on white blood cell levels. White blood cell counts of the 229 also fell by 11% after their liposuction. White blood cells are linked to inflammation within the body and therefore cardiovascular disease.

More and more, studies are beginning to suggest that subcutaneous fat may be just as metabolically important as visceral fat in determining risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. These new findings seem to suggest that even more, although more larger scale and longer term studies are needed to confirm these possible health benefits of liposuction.

Before you run to your plastic surgeon for a liposuction appointment, however, remember that liposuction is not a cure all. You need to supplement your weight loss/ body contouring program with a sensible diet and exercise. Speak to your doctor for more information about liposuction, and what it can do for you.

Reference:
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Sep;128(3):182e-197e. Prospective clinical study reveals significant reduction in triglyceride level and white blood cell count after liposuction and abdominoplasty and no change in cholesterol levels. Swanson E.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. My sister is thinking of getting liposuction to improve her lifestyle and confidence and I had no idea that there are so many benefits besides the cosmetic benefits. The fact that it reduces harmful fat circulating in the bloodstream and lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems will be very important to my sister because she is always looking for ways to improve her health. Also, I will make sure to tell my sister that liposuction will not cure everything and she will need to supplement with exercise and a healthy diet.

  2. That’s cool that the study found that liposuction is able to reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems. It probably also has helped a lot of people improve their self-confidence, which I’d imagine would help with your health. So it seems like getting liposuction could be a really good idea.

  3. I had no idea that liposcution treatment can reduce harmful fat circulating in the bloodstream and lower the risk of cardiovascular problems! I think it’s definitely important, when considering cosmetic surgery, too ensure that it will benefit your health as well. I have a friend considering lipo treatment, but she isn’t sure if it would be worth it or if it would benefit her overall. I’ll have to recommend that she find a reliable liposuction treatment center in her area that can perform a procedure to not only help her look the way she wants, but that can help her feel healthy, too.

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