When undergoing a body sculpting procedure like liposuction, you might think the surgery itself would be the hardest part for the patient, but in reality, the true hard part comes afterward when trying to maintain results. Los Gatos, CA plastic surgeon Kirk A. Churukian, MD has found that some patients of a certain age find it even harder to maintain results as age-related decreases in the metabolic process can cause fat to accumulate in some areas. To counteract this, he offers appropriate patients hormone replacement therapy as an extra boost to help achieve the best possible results without the drawbacks that come with menopause and aging.
Dr. Churukian, who has been working with hormone replacement therapy for more than 15 years, says in addition to helping his patients improve muscle, bone and sexual function, hormone replacement therapy also helps improve metabolism in some patients who need it.
“What happens as we age is our metabolism slows our ability to build muscle because we lose testosterone. When you lose the ability to gain muscle, you will also lose the ability to burn fat as efficiently,” explains the surgeon. “What we’re trying to do is bring the metabolism back to sort of levels that they used to be when the hormone levels were a little higher, like around age 30, because we know there’s a drop off in hormone production as people approach age 60.”
So, how do you know if you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy? “It all starts with a baseline lab draw,” says Dr. Churukian. “For someone who is in the pre-menopause stage, you might not need to replace estrogen, so we’d look at the levels of thyroid hormone, testosterone and some vitamin levels, especially vitamin D, which as you know has become a lot more important in the last several months. As I tell my patients, being able to build muscle, and maintain bone health, which is really important for women, is really critical to being functional in your later years.”
When it comes to the added benefit to body sculpting results, Dr. Churukian warns that while hormone replacement therapy does work wonders for some, it’s not a magic wand. “If you are motivated, this can speed up the metabolism a little bit to help you get the most out of your exercise, but it doesn’t work for absolutely everyone. However, we’re seeing a really sort of nice overall response in our current patient population.”