Diabetes Forecast

Will Liposuction Affect My Insulin Absorption?

Can a person with diabetes who uses an insulin pump safely undergo liposuction surgery in the abdominal area? That's typically where the pump infusion set is inserted, so I wonder if the surgery would change the absorption of insulin. Sherry Brown, Colombus, Ohio

Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, responds: Once the area at which the liposuction was performed heals, you should be able to use it again for your insulin pump, but sometimes this can be tricky if there is a lot of scarring from the liposuction surgery. In that case, the scarring could continue to impair insulin absorption from the abdomen, and you would need to use a different site.

Liposuction can remove excess fat tissue. But people with diabetes should not confuse it in any way with bariatric surgery or traditional weight loss. Dropping pounds helps to improve insulin resistance, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Liposuction, however, does not change insulin resistance or result in these other health benefits.

Though the procedure is relatively safe, like all surgeries it does present risks for complications and even death. It is important that you have good blood glucose control before undergoing any procedure. It's essential that you discuss your options with your diabetes care team.



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