Yes, it is true. Finally, the evidence for the beneficial health effects of liposuction is mounting and starting to come together. Plastic surgeons have long suspected and hoped that in addition to the tremendous body reshaping possibilities offered by liposuction there might also be some extra fringe benefits. After all, why wouldn’t there be just as significant rewards to the body as a whole in having those extra pounds of fat removed? Until now, the data was somewhat contradictory and not all that supportive of such concepts. But a recent study is providing some concrete proof for those who believe liposuction may offer some true health benefits. Over 200 patients having liposuction had their pre-operative triglyceride (TG) levels measured. In those with normal pre-op TG levels, there were no significant long-term post-operative changes seen. But for those patients with higher than desirable pre-op TG levels, there was a 43% reduction on average in their post-op TG levels when measured some 3 months later. That degree of reduction in TG levels is twice the degree of TG level reduction patients who are on medications to control such levels are likely to see! Unfortunately, this study was unable to show similar beneficial post-op effects on cholesterol levels.
But more studies are on their way and the odds seem to be in favor of even more positive post-op health effects being demonstrable. So with liposuction, we can get a better look and a healthier body too? We’ll take that. Most of us believe, and science supports, that there are undoubtedly many advantages in carrying around less fat beyond just looking better. A big surprise to the physiologists was that the removal of the superficial (just under the skin) fat could lead to such an important change. It was previously widely believed that only changes in the deep (or visceral) fat would affect serum blood levels of lipids like the TG’s. Apparently, we have a lot more to learn.
Many plastic surgeons find that when their patients have a nicer shape created, they tend to take better overall care of themselves to protect their “investment” and maintain their new look. Some will even take it all a step or two further with a reinvigorated diet and exercise plan that enables them to really take their body reshaping to the next level. This re-focusing on one’s overall health and conditioning is a sort of secondary and indirect health benefit of liposuction, tummy tucks and other body reshaping procedures that plastic surgeons and their patients have also recognized for some time.
Dr. Lyle Back is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art cosmetic surgery procedures for the body and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.