Even though, not all Diabetics are obese, the disease itself has a link to weight-gain tendencies, so it can be predicted that a lot of patients seeking Liposuction (a procedure aimed at vacuuming out the fat cells) do in fact have diabetes. When it comes to having liposuction or any surgery done on a diabetic patient, obesity and associated complications are just a part of the equation. With raised blood sugars comes the risk of delayed healing and infections. However, it’s not all bad news if you’re a diabetic seeking liposuction. The first and foremost thing to be absolutely clear about, is your intention to undergo the liposuction itself. Keeping in mind that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and is not ideal for the morbid obese.
Diabetics who are obese should not confuse Liposuction to traditional weight loss or bariatric surgery for that matter. Losing fat through these means helps to lower the cholesterol, improves insulin resistance and controls blood pressure, liposuction is not meant to treat the underlying insulin resistance and is strictly just a cosmetic procedure. However, if you have well-controlled blood sugars and are looking to get rid of pockets of stubborn fat, you CAN have a safe liposuction!
Yes, any diabetic who has a well-controlled blood sugar level can undergo liposuction provided that the preoperative and postoperative prerequisites are fulfilled adequately. Also, they can expect liposuction results to be similar to any other patient.
The complications are just associated with people who have uncontrolled diabetes since they are at a risk of delayed healing. We will now look at the reason why delayed healing occurs in diabetics.
In people suffering from diabetes, any wound can lead to serious health risks and therefore must never be ignored. Diabetics tend to have a condition known as peripheral neuropathy in which the patient fails to notice any skin cuts or blisters due to the absence of pain. Often these minor cuts or blisters would complicate further since they are unnoticed. This complication is attributed to the inefficient blood supply to the skin due to narrowed blood vessel. As less oxygen reaches the wound area the tissues do not get the nutrients to heal.
An inadequate blood supply also means poor distribution of white blood cells to the area which fend off infections. In the absence of white blood cells the wound site can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria multiplying the risk for infections, sepsis or gangrene. Blood sugar levels can be affected with nausea and vomiting succeeding the administration of general anesthesia and immobility during recovery. Along with this, diabetics also have a delayed collagen formation. All these factors predispose uncontrolled diabetics to high risk.
In Pakistan, the diabetes prevalence surgery estimated a total 16.96% of the adult population has diabetes. This figure translates to 35.3 million adults who are diabetic. With such a staggering number of patients at a risk for weight gain subsequent to diabetes, and the growing popularity of the surgical procedure, it is the duty of a qualified plastic surgeon to inform the population whether such a procedure is safe for them or not.
Sometimes liposuction may be absolutely contraindicated in diabetic patients where the complications seem to supersede the benefits, but in most conditions of controlled diabetes physicians consider it safe to perform. Some physicians regard a well-functioning kidney as a safe sign for liposuction. Hence it is imperative for a plastic surgeon to work alongside a patient and his diabitologist to ensure safety. It is agreed that if you have a monitored blood sugar level your risk prior to liposuction is comparable to any other non diabetic patient.
Diabetes or no Diabetes, Liposuction should be well regarded as a cosmetic surgery only and is recommended for those individuals who have actively tried to reduce weight through exercise and diet. These are the patients who do not seek a shortcut and are willing to practice an active lifestyle to provide long-lasting health benefits. Thereafter they may choose to have liposuction to get rid of excessive pockets of stubborn fat that does not respond to the aforementioned measures.
In case you are a diabetic seeking liposuction, it is advised that you have a thorough work up with you diabitologist and plastic surgeon to ensure that your blood sugars are in the acceptable range. If you have any other questions feel free to consult our plastic surgeon Dr Arif Hussain before proceeding with the operation.
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