lipid hub

Dyslipidaemia and Weight Loss

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What is Dyslipidaemia?

Dyslipidaemia is an abnormal level of lipids (e.g. triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids) in the blood. This is often caused by diet and lifestyle. You may not have heard of dyslipidaemia but you will have heard of ‘cholesterol’. When people refer to ‘high cholesterol’ they are talking about dyslipidaemia. As it is diet and lifestyle-related there is a higher prevalence in the obese population. 

There are other causes of dyslipidaemia but here at Healthier Weight, we address it within the obese population and the surgical options that are available to treat it.

Your Lipids and the Health Risks

Our blood contains three main types of lipid. These are high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides.

If you have dyslipidemia, it usually means your LDL levels or your triglycerides are too high but It can also mean your HDL levels are too low.

LDL cholesterol is regarded as the “bad” type of cholesterol. That’s because it can build up and form clumps or plaques in the arteries. When in the arteries of the heart this can cause a heart attack.

HDL is the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL from your blood.

Triglycerides come from the calories you eat but don’t ‘burn’ right away. These Triglycerides are stored in your fat cells and are released as energy when needed. If you consume more calories than you burn you can get a buildup of triglycerides. Find out your calorie consumption to lose or maintain your weight, with our Calorie Deficit Calculator.

High LDL and triglyceride levels put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Low levels of HDL cholesterol are linked to higher heart disease risks.

How is Dyslipidaemia Diagnosed?

People may be living with raised lipid levels but not be aware of it. It is similar to high blood pressure in that regard. Often it will only be flagged when people attend for a routine blood test. We focus on obesity as a cause on this page but others include smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and a diet that includes foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat.

Treatment of Dyslipidaemia With Weight Loss Surgery

There have been many studies into the effect of weight loss surgery on lipid levels. All forms of weight loss surgery are effective at bringing lipids into a healthy range, but gastric bypass is by far the most effective. This applies to both the mini gastric bypass and traditional roux-en-y gastric bypass.

One authoritative study (1) looked at lipid levels 12 months after weight loss surgery showed that bypass patients saw a mean reduction in total cholesterol (TC) of 19.9%. In patients who had gastric sleeve surgery, the reduction was 8.9%. These reductions helped 76% of bypass patients achieve normal TC levels. This reduction was 43.5% for sleeve patients and 25.6% for gastric band patients.

The study also confirmed that improvements in total cholesterol and LDL were achieved independently of weight loss among gastric bypass patients. These lipid improvements come before weight loss due to the metabolic changes caused by the procedure itself.

A second study (2) reviewed patients 5 years after their weight loss surgery. In this study, 60% of bypass patients entered remission for total cholesterol, 8-0% for LDL cholesterol, 80% for low HDL cholesterol and 74% for Triglycerides.

This shows that the benefits of bypass surgery for patients with dyslipidaemia come quickly and for most are sustained over the long term. The same study shows patients achieved average excess weight loss of 83%. For patients who underwent gastric sleeve surgery remission rates were more modest. Excess weight loss, however, was an impressive 70%.

Weight Loss Surgery Eligibility for Dyslipidaemia

We will undertake weight loss surgery for patients who are clinically obese, i.e. they have a body mass index above 30. Generally speaking, a higher BMI threshold of 35 applies to gastric bypass, and only then when the patient has a weight-related co-morbidity. If you are experiencing health problems today as a result of your weight, for example, Dyslipidaemia (or Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea, etc) you are likely to be eligible for the gastric sleeve of gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve, from a  BMI of 35.

Which Procedure is the best Dyslipidaemia?

This page has focused on the health benefits of gastric bypass. Certainly, for patients who are eligible, it is the most powerful in terms of treatment for Dyslipidaemia. The same can be said for most other weight-related health issues. The procedure that is best suited to you, however, will depend on a whole range of factors. There may be other health, diet and lifestyle issues to consider, as well as your own personal preference. For example, you may know someone who had gastric band surgery and you have seen them achieve excellent results. All of these considerations will be taken into account at your surgeon consultation. Please contact our team today to discuss your weight loss surgery options and a surgeon consultation.

  1. Spivak et called ‘Different Effects of Bariatric Surgical Procedures on Dyslipidaemia: a registry-based analysis’. This paper was published in 2017

  2. Quezada et al, ‘Long term results of Dyslipidaemia after Bariatric Surgery: A comparison between Gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy’ Sci forschen Open Hub for Scientific Research 
Picture of Rishi Singhal

Rishi Singhal

Rishi is an expert bariatric surgeon based in the West Midlands and also Medical Director at Healthier Weight

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