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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Is Liposuction the Cure?

During my liquid meditation (aka: swimming laps) this morning I tried to recall the multiple ways my patients have tried to "Bargain with the Beast."

What came to my mind was a wealthy gentleman patient. This gentleman had rolls of SCAT and wasn't happy with it. No matter how much he exercised his tire and love handles did not go away.

Even back then, almost ten years ago, I was clear with him: The cause of his problem was NOT a deficiency of surgery or sit-ups! The root-cause was his lifestyle---a lifestyle full of fine dining and alcohol temptation related to his professional position.

I've been in clinical practice long enough to know that people are always looking for the "easy way out"---such as a magic pill or better yet, a magical surgery. People will try anything other than the most obvious cause of their problem: Their lifestyle. After all, we must remember that the new name of pre-diabetes is Limit-Age Syndrome---and that stands for "Lifestyle Induced Metabolic Inflexability and AGEing (advanced glycation endproducts) Syndrome. What are the key words? LIFESTYLE INDUCED!

Well, my patient wanted an easier way out. And so, he visited a plastic surgeon. The surgeon told him that all the sit-ups in the world would not get rid of his tire roll. And she was indeed correct. However, the surgeon didn't caution him (like I did) that without a radical change in his eating, drinking and exercise habits all his problems would return---perhaps in a worst way.

While thinking of him during my morning liquid meditation, I decided it might be a good idea to share with my readers a few more VAT factoids (aka: VATOIDS). Hopefully these will help you determine for yourself whether or not liposuction is the solution to all of life's obesity woes.

Here are a few liposuction VAToids:

  • Liposuction involves the laser or suction removal of fat that lies ABOVE the abdominal wall. In other words, liposuction does not remove VAT---it reduces only SCAT---subcutaneous adipose tissue. As you can see from the picture to the left, only the fat above the abdominal wall is being removed.
  • In rodents, the surgical removal of VAT lead to improved blood biomarkers and increased longevity. (Note: It was the removal of VAT that helped these rodents---liposuction does not remove VAT. Liposuction removes SCAT.)
  • A recent study demonstrated that liposuction, the surgical removal of SCAT, conferred absolutely no benefits with regard to Limit-Age Syndrome and its pathogenic biomarkers.
  • Another study demonstrated that after the liposuction of 50% of SCAT, three months later animals had MORE VAT, more fatty liver, higher triglycerides etc.
  • Together, these above two studies show that VAT is what is linked to negative health consequences and that SCAT has a protective role. That is, removing SCAT via liposuction may actually increase Limit Age Syndrome because it is removes a buffer or sink for the peripheral triglycerides to go.
Given the above information, I hope everyone realizes that our VAT induced symptoms will NOT go away with a simple pill or surgery.

The solution is clearly a change in our lifestyle...because our lifestyle is the "root-cause" of all the diseases, symptoms and syndromes associated with an over-abundant VAT.

As for my patient from almost ten years ago. I bumped into him at the store a few years after his liposuction. Unfortunately, he had clearly regained his love handles and rolls...and more.

So, even if you do choose to liposuction out your SCAT, you MUST reduce your VAT via making a permanent lifestyle after the surgery or else you may have paid to put yourself in a worse situation than not doing the liposuction at all.

Bottom-line: You can't bargain with the beast! If you reduce your SCAT via liposuction you have NOT bargained successfully with the beast.

Instead, you have removed your "protective SCAT buffer".

Without a radical change in your diet/exercise lifestyle, a lipo'd person has an increased likelihood that the VAT will reach its critical tipping point (CVATT)---at which moment the metabolic blood biomarkers go crazy.

Never think for a second you can bargain with the beast....because you can't.

Got the picture?

I love you all. Stay tuned...