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A study presented at the recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting suggests that for some patients, liposuction alone or in combination with other fat removal procedures such as a tummy tuck, may have long term beneficial effects on health. Incredibly then, seeking to be more attractive or beautiful through liposuction may be beneficial not only for one’s mental well-being but it may also result in improved physical health.

A study was performed by plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Swanson and colleagues from Kansas which evaluated a variety of parameters that could be measured in the blood, both before and after liposuction. This involved a total of 322 patients over a year period. Among the blood tests performed were those for triglycerides, cholesterol, LDL, HDL and white blood cell count. These were assessed with regard to procedure (liposuction alone versus with a tummy tuck) and the patient’s preoperative weight, BMI (body mass index or weight as relates to height) and lab tests.

Among the findings was that patients who had an elevated preoperative triglyceride level experienced an average 43% reduction in the level following surgery. Furthermore, 62% of these patients ended up with normal triglyceride levels following their liposuction. This effect was more noticeable in those who were not markedly overweight. Patients who started with normal triglyceride levels experienced no significant change following surgery. With regard to health risks, elevated triglyceride levels are associated with type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.

Another interesting finding was a statistically significant reduction in the white blood cell (WBC) count noted at 3 months following surgery. This is quite noteworthy because previous studies have shown that individuals with higher average WBC counts have a significantly greater risk for coronary heart disease than those with lower levels. There were no significant effects on cholesterol, LDL and HDL levels.

Much more research will need to be performed to substantiate and clarify this relationship of liposuction, fat removal and the ensuing positive metabolic effects. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that not only will you look and feel much better following liposuction but that it is also great for your health.

If you would like more information on liposuction or on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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