Liposuction and High Triglyceride Levels

March 30, 2015

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), liposuction was the third most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed by ASPS member surgeons in 2014. A total of more than 210,000 were performed that year, which was up by 5 percent from the previous year. While it is obvious that the main reason for the continuing popularity of liposuction procedures is improving the shape of the body, research has shown that there may be other, less obvious benefits to undergoing a liposuction procedure.

In most cases, patients who choose to undergo a liposuction procedure have already dedicated themselves to a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a sensible, balanced diet. Nevertheless, they may still have high triglyceride levels. However, undergoing a liposuction procedure may do more than just give a patient a flatter stomach or thinner thighs. It may also reduce triglyceride levels. In order to understand how this may happen, it is important to first understand what a liposuction procedure entails, as well as how high triglyceride levels affect the body.

Liposuction Procedure

A liposuction procedure is designed to remove pockets of stubborn fat that have not properly responded to exercise and diet. The procedure is most often performed in the abdominal region, but can also be done on the thighs, upper arms, hips, back, or knees. It can be done in conjunction with a body contouring procedure, which will remove excess loose skin following dramatic weight loss.

In the procedure, Dr. Marcus Crawford or Dr. Steven Bailey will make a series of small incisions in the area to be targeted for fat removal. A thin metal tube is then inserted through the incisions, and the fat is gently vacuumed out of the body. This procedure may use ultrasound or low-level lasers to help melt the fat, making it easier to remove.

Triglycerides by the Numbers

Triglycerides are fat-like substances that exist in the cells of the body. Believe it or not, the body actually does require some triglycerides to store unused calories and provide energy. However, if the body has too many triglycerides in the bloodstream, there may be a risk of heart disease.

Can a Liposuction Procedure Lower Cholesterol Levels?

At a research presentation during the 2011 ASPS annual meeting, a group of researchers discussed their findings regarding the connection between liposuction, and triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The study looked at the cholesterol and triglyceride levels of more than 300 patients undergoing a liposuction procedure.

Patients with normal triglyceride levels did not experience any change due to liposuction. However, patients with high triglyceride levels before surgery showed a 43 percent drop in levels afterward. This is approximately twice the response that can be achieved with drugs to reduce triglyceride levels. The lead researcher noted that liposuction patients who have high triglyceride levels will not only have a better looking physique, but may also reduce their risk of developing coronary disease.

Although Drs. Crawford and Bailey stress that patients should not consider liposuction as a “quick fix” for their health issues, there are obvious health benefits from a liposuction procedure that may provide an incentive to follow a healthy lifestyle. 

Add new comment