Can Liposuction Lower Triglycerides?
Recently a fairly large study looked at triglyceride levels in people having liposuction. The study discovered that in patients with elevated triglyceride levels in the blood, there was a significant reduction in these levels. In fact, these levels went down by over 40%, which is a greater reduction than is usually seen with medications. In people with normal triglyceride levels, there was no significant change seen.
So why is this important and what really is a triglyceride anyway? Let’s take the second question first. We when eat, our bodies take in calories and some are used right away. What we don’t use is stored as fat or lipid, and these stored fats are triglycerides, which can circulate in our blood and be stored in our fat cells. They will later be released when we need calories between meals or if we don’t need them, they just build up and we get fat. (You can read more about body fat and plastic surgery in my related blog post.)
However, high levels of triglycerides circulating in our blood will increase our risks of atherosclerosis, which in turn leads to a higher rate of heart disease and stroke. Not good. So the things that reduce triglyceride levels will reduce our risks for these problems.
What does all this mean? Well, first of all, if you have high triglyceride levels and you are on medication for this, keep taking your medication! Is liposuction a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise? Again, no. The benefits of these healthy habits go way beyond triglyceride levels. And liposuction cannot be substituted for them any more than liposuction can be considered a weight loss operation (which it is not.) This study found that if you were having liposuction alone, your weight went down an average of 2.2 pounds and even more if you were having a tummy tuck.
Other Health Benefits?
There was also another benefit seen, which was a reduction of the number of white blood cells in the blood. This is thought to mean that there is a lower level of systemic inflammation. Again, this is a good thing. People who are significantly overweight have higher white blood cell counts. Such increased counts and higher levels of systemic inflammation can lead to higher rates of vascular disease, heart disease, and even type 2 diabetes.
These findings are not reasons, by themselves, to have liposuction. But if you do have liposuction, these added benefits are sort of a freebie. Just a little something extra from what is already a great operation. As a reminder,
All the best,