Apr 17, 2012 12:33PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Liposuction is a cosmetic, body-sculpting procedure that removes excess fatty issues from specific areas of the body. It is particularly effective for those who have lost weight through diet and exercise, but still have unresponsive problem areas. For other patients, a successful liposuction procedure can provide the perfect motivation to begin a diet and exercise program. A recent study, however, suggests that liposuction may offer more than reduced measurements and increased self-esteem.
In September of 2011, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) released the results of a study it conducted that claimed liposuction patients experience a reduction in triglyceride levels and white blood cell counts.
“High triglyceride levels are know to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Eric Swanson, M.D., ASPS member and the study’s author. “The decrease in these levels after liposuction was surprisingly dramatic, and revealed that the permanent removal of excess fat cells by liposuction has a major impact on circulating levels of triglycerides.”
The study measured triglyceride and cholesterol levels in 322 patients undergoing liposuction and/or a tummy tuck. The majority of the patients, 71 percent, had liposuction only. Triglyceride levels in patients with normal pre-operative levels were unchanged. However, those patents with elevated, at risk levels experienced an average 43 percent reduction in triglyceride levels—about twice as effective as using drugs commonly prescribed to reduce triglycerides.
White blood cells showed an 11 percent decrease. This could be important because high white blood cell counts have been associated with raised levels of inflammation…a condition which has been linked to heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. The ASPS study, however, did not show any significant change in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol.
According to the ASPS, more than 203,000 liposuction procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2010. Liposuction is the fourth most popular cosmetic surgical procedure. As always, consult your physician and do your homework when considering an elective surgical procedure—there are risks involved with any surgery.