Healthy Lifestyle Arena


Is Liposuction Recommended for Type 2 Diabetes?

August 11
11:28 2017

One of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes is being overweight. I should know, it happened to me. Other risk factors include genetics and dietary habits, all of which were against me.

I knew that my mother was a type 2 diabetic. Her sister, my aunt, died from complications of diabetes – she had kidney failure followed by other medical complications. Then my oldest brother, who was also overweight, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Did that stop me from eating and doing what I wanted? No, but it should have. I enjoyed my meat and potatoes, rice, bread, cheese, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, cake, candy and beer. I also didn’t pay that much attention to my weight. Then I heard those dreadful words from my doctor that I had type 2 diabetes.

I was told that it was the early stages and I could control it with diet. So, I did cut back on the sweets, but after a couple of years, I reverted back to my old habits and put on more weight.

Then I was told that I needed medication to help control the diabetes and high blood pressure and that I needed to lose weight. I did for a while, but old habits are hard to break and eventually I stopped taking my medication and went back to eating all the things I shouldn’t be eating. And I continued to put on more weight.

In early July 2016, I suddenly got so sick that I couldn’t stop violently vomiting for 4 hours. I was also so dizzy that I couldn’t even stand up. Not having health insurance due to the cost, the last thing I wanted to do was call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital but that’s what ended up happening.

I recall the paramedics telling me that both my blood pressure and blood sugar were at dangerously high levels. I spent the next few days in the hospital, getting stabilized. The dizziness was caused by vertigo, which I never had before, but was told that the vertigo was induced by the high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

At the time this happened, I weighed an embarrassing 309.8 pounds and was told that I needed to lose at least 100 pounds.

Once home and able to walk without a walker, I began to walk for exercise and went on a strict diet. I lost 80 pounds but had a very bad winter, health wise, and couldn’t exercise and none of the good diet foods tasted good, and I ended up putting on 50 pounds.

Now I’m back on a diet and exercising and have lost about half of the weight I put on over the winter. I still need to lose a lot of weight, most of which appears around my belly. Like so many people, I was curious about some of the weight loss methods like liposuction and if it would help to get rid of a bunch of my belly fat.

That brings up 3 questions that I hope to cover here:

1- Is liposuction covered by Medicare or most health insurance policies?

2- Is liposuction safe for type 2 diabetics?

3- Is liposuction recommended for type 2 diabetics?

The answer to the first question is generally NO. Liposuction is generally considered to be an elective form of cosmetic surgery and as such most policies will not cover it. However, if a doctor swears that liposuction is medically necessary, some insurance companies might cover it.

The answer to the second question is not as easily answered. A recent report stated:

“Researching whether or not liposuction is safe for diabetics can be confusing because there are conflicting recommendations. Sometimes diabetes is listed as an outright contraindication for the surgery, meaning that it’s considered too dangerous for patients with diabetes, but in practice most physicians consider liposuction safe for diabetics if certain conditions are met.”

The answer to the third question is just as confusing as the answer to the second question. Some doctors believe liposuction is safe and a quick way to lose some of one’s fat, but it doesn’t remove all of the fat and it doesn’t last if the person isn’t careful about diet exercising. Other doctors feel that liposuction is not safe for diabetics and therefore would not recommend it.

It really depends upon your doctor, your healthcare coverage and your personal finances. However, allow me to offer some advice from personal experience.

Any medical procedure, whether it be liposuction, gastric bypass or stomach stapling, are only short-term solutions for a condition that will exist for the rest of one’s life.

If you undergo any of these procedures but don’t change your diet or activities, then eventually you’ll be right back where you were.

The best thing to do is to change your diet and start exercising on a daily basis. This also needs to become a way of life from now on, like or not. For many type 2 diabetics, losing the excess weight and watching what you can will leave you diabetic free, but to stay that way requires keeping the weight off and to avoid eating the things a diabetic shouldn’t eat. Even if you become diabetic free, you still need to think of the changes of diet and exercise as a lifestyle, not a temporary punishment. This is something I have to constantly remind myself of.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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