Liposuction and Health: Beyond Aesthetic

Liposuction and Health: Beyond Aesthetic

Most people think of liposuction as a purely cosmetic procedure–something that is done to improve your looks and give you more self-confidence.  Without doubt, liposuction can have an enormous positive impact on your self-esteem, particularly when it is combined with good diet and exercise habits and helps you shed that final, stubborn fat to reveal a more contoured body.  However, liposuction has also been shown to have added health benefits that go far beyond mere aesthetics.  Many patients are surprised to learn that liposuction may actually help their overall metabolism and can have positive effects on certain medical conditions such as lipedema and lymphedema when performed by a skilled surgeon.

For many years, liposuction was considered strictly an aesthetic procedure which had positive impacts on self-esteem, but did little else for the patient’s overall health.  Now, new studies are showing that this may not be the case.

Many metabolic studies are beginning to help us understand that adipose tissue, or fat, is not metabolically inert.  In fact, a number of studies show just the opposite:  fat is a complex, metabolically active part of our bodies that gives off or assists in the formation of hormones and enzymes that affect every aspect of health.  We have known for many years that carrying extra pounds puts strain on our heart; however, we are now learning that it may also change the very way our bodies process food, utilize energy and fight off disease.

Given this new information, it pays us to take a closer look at what removing fat cells can do for us in terms of improving our overall health.  While studies about the direct health benefits of liposuction are still relatively scarce, it is clear from parallel studies that reduction of fat tissue leads to an overall improvement in several important health markers.  By instantly removing fat cells, liposuction may be able to help us reach a healthier metabolic state quickly and begin reaping the health benefits of having fewer fat cells in an instant.

What we do know for certain is that liposuction has some immediate positive impacts on our overall health that relate to the removal of the fat tissue from various spots in our bodies.  A few immediate health benefits include:

  • Improved circulation.  By removing fat from locations throughout the body, it becomes much easier for our circulatory system to move blood and important nutrients to those spots.  Improved circulation will often manifest itself with clearer skin, more energy and better muscle tone.  Depending on the location of the liposuction, there may also be an improvement in the removal of toxins and other dangerous substances, which can strengthen the immune system and make us healthier overall.
  • Reduced varicose veins.  When liposuction reduces pressure placed by fat cells on the legs, varicose veins may be less of a problem.  This, in turn, reduces the need for surgery on these veins and can help stimulate better blood flow throughout the legs.
  • Lowered risk of disease.  The chance of suffering from many diseases associated with obesity, such as sleep apnea, hypertension, and joint problems, may be reduced thanks to liposuction.  Depending on the location of the liposuction procedure, removal of fat may also remove the stress placed on the body by these deposits, which in turn can benefit the rest of the organs, bones, and joints nearby.

Of particular interest to researchers has been the effects of liposuction on lipedema and lymphedema.  Lipedema is a fat disorder in which increased fat cells are stored in the buttocks and legs, leading to oversize hips and thighs in proportion to the rest of the body.  While unsightly, the cosmetic issues of this condition are not the biggest problem.  Instead, patients with lipedema may develop lymphedema, which can be a serious health issue.

Lymphedema is a fluid transport disorder that is caused by ineffective draining of lymph from tissues that results in swelling and inflammation in the limbs.  This can cause serious health issues if not treated properly.  It can also lead to secondary increases in fatty tissue in the limb, making treatment even more difficult.

While liposuction will not cure lipedema or lymphedema, since it does not address the underlying causes, it can provide relief by removing the excess fat cells.  In treated patients, this can allow for a better flow of lymph and better drainage.  When this is the case, the patient often experiences immediate relief from pain and discomfort and may be able to heal more quickly than with long-term drug or physical therapy.

For patients who want to experience the health benefits of liposuction, it is important to work with a qualified surgeon who understands the medical benefits of this procedure.  At The Aesthetic Center, our doctors care about your overall health as well as your self-esteem.  We want to find procedures that not only make you feel better about yourself but also boost your health and well-being in every possible way.  Give us a call today to discuss the possibilities for you!

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