PCOS Articles - Is Liposuction an Option for PCOS Weight Problems??

09-16-2004, 02:57 AM
If you're quite overweight and haven't been able to lose weight, you may have considered liposuction as a last resort. Liposuction is the surgical removal of abdominal fat.

If you could just get rid of a lot of fat cells, perhaps you think you could get back to normal. However, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that liposuction may not be a good idea.

The study evaluated women with abdominal obesity and varying degrees of insulin resistance. Liposuction decreased the volume of subcutaneous abdominal adipose (fat) tissue by 28%-44%.

However, liposuction did not significantly affect the insulin sensitivity of muscle, liver, or fat tissue. Nor did it favorably alter coronary heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure and plasma glucose, insulin and blood fat concentrations.

This study showed that abdominal liposuction did not significantly improve obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities. PCOS is a fundamental metabolic disorder that cannot be cured by liposuction. Reducing adipose tissue mass by itself does not achieve the same metabolic benefits as weight loss does.

When we say "weight loss", we mean loss of fat while retaining or increasing muscle mass. Regular exercise and a healthy diet is the best approach to healthy weight loss. Keep in mind that muscle is heavier than fat. So your total weight may not go down much, but so long as you are losing fat and building muscle, you're on the right track for reducing insulin resistance, normalizing your hormones and reducing some of your PCOS symptoms. To know how much body fat you are carrying (or losing), you can get a "body fat percentage" test from your doctor or possibly at your local gym.

Source: Klein S, Fontana L, et al, Absence of an Effect of Liposuction on Insulin Action and Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease, N Engl J Med, June 17, 2004;350(25):2549-2557