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Does Liposuction Lower Cholesterol?

March 7, 2012

Written by Christine G. Adamo

Liposuction & Heart Health

Would it be wrong to say we (heart) liposuction? We don’t think so.

Liposuction can offer you great results – from creating a more slender and proportionate silhouette to restoring any self-confidence which you’ve watched slip away over time. After all, as we age, it’s natural to lament about how fit and toned our bodies once were.

Yet, if the rumors about liposuction research are proven true, there may even be more reason to (heart) the procedure. A number of studies have recently been conducted to determine if liposuction helps lower “bad”, or LDL, cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

If it does, it would mean that liposuction can improve your cardiovascular (heart) health.

Understanding LDL Cholesterol

Before we get too far into this discussion, let’s explain what LDL cholesterol is:
  • LDL is often considered “bad” cholesterol
  • LDL is an acronym for Low-Density Lipoproteins
  • The higher your LDL levels, the higher your risk of heart disease
  • LDLs carry cholesterol to various cells of the body which benefit from them
According to the National Institutes of Health, high levels of LDL increase our risk for experiencing heart attacks, narrowed arteries and related diseases. The NIH also states that there aren’t really any symptoms associated with high cholesterol.

The only way to know whether you have it is by being blood tested after a period of fasting. Yet, there are ways to manage and reduce LDL cholesterol levels. If you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, ask your doctor for a list of foods to eat and avoid.

As for liposuction’s ability to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, conflicting reports and studies show evidence that takes the discussion in both directions. Some say liposuction lowers LDL levels and others say it doesn’t. We’ll discuss that in a moment.

What they all seem to agree on, however, is that using liposuction to remove excess fat – especially from the abdomen – offers some unique benefits (see “Liposuction: Other Health Benefits” below).

Liposuction & Cholesterol Studies

Dr. David Kelley, of the Obesity & Nutritional Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, may have made the best observation: As public concern about obesity’s prevalence grows, the entire medical community’s interest in developing effective treatments for both obesity and its health consequences grows along with it.

From clinical trials to full-blown studies, liposuction and its potential for lowering LDL cholesterol has been on people’s minds. Recently we told you how ABC News reported that liposuction may offer benefits which “go beyond the waistline”.

That report was developed in response to a 2010 American Society of Plastic Surgeons study of 300 patients. The ASPS showed that, after liposuction, those patients saw drops in their weight, triglyceride levels and white blood cell counts.

Triglycerides and cholesterol:
  • Are both lipids
  • Circulate in the bloodstream
  • Serve similar but separate functions – Triglycerides store unused calories & provide energy, whereas cholesterol is used to build cells & certain hormones

And, while elevated white cell blood counts have been associated with heart attacks, obesity, strokes and high blood pressure, some cardiologists were skeptical of ASPS’s results. Yet, plastic surgeons were happy liposuction’s benefits were being recognized.

In reviewing academic and clinical studies which focused on liposuction and its potential effect on cholesterol levels, we found that the number of participants in those studies – on average – was lower than the number whose results were recorded by the ASPS.

Liposuction: Other Health Benefits

One thing researchers seem to agree on is that there are proven benefits of liposuction.

While it’s not a weight-loss strategy, liposuction does pick up where diet and exercise leave off. It treats problem areas resistant to proper diet and exercise by removing pockets of fat. It gives the body a more slender appearance and smoothes out the texture of the buttocks, arms, waist, hips, thigh, breasts, chin and more.

Well-known benefits of liposuction include:
  • Reduced appearance & incidence of cellulite
  • Overall improvements in health related to fat reduction
  • Improved self-confidence, self-esteem & self-perception
  • Greater mobility & the freedom to engage in physical activity
  • A more toned body than most people achieve with diet & exercise

Observations made about liposuction in studies/trials related to cholesterol include:
  • Liposuction changes the body’s weight & appearance long-term
  • Liposuction may/may not affect blood-glucose & HDL/LDL levels
  • Liposuction patients are great at maintaining their new weight & profile
  • Liposuction works best when patients schedule & attend follow-up visits
  • Liposuction patients tend to be highly physically active in their new bodies
  • Liposuction offers many cosmetic benefits which motivate patients to stay fit

Liposuction & Cholesterol: Final Considerations

In the end, we all (heart) liposuction, don’t we? Let’s think about it…

What other procedure gets our bodies looking and feeling their absolute best? And, whether its benefits “go beyond the waistline” or not, it never hurts to be informed or be reminded to consider your own personal needs, health history, lifestyle and goals before deciding if liposuction is right for you.

And, now, for a final cautionary note: Never schedule surgery with an unqualified or so-called professional. Look for training, experience and positive results. Hire a board-certified plastic surgeon who can explain the entire process to you. While you’re at it, insist on seeing liposuction before and after photos.

Lastly, learn more about liposuction cost and its risk and benefits by using our FREE Plastic Surgeon Finder. It will help you locate a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area, so that you can finally schedule a consultation and get your questions answered today.
 

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