What is hemoglobin (+levels for plastic surgery)

Hemoglobin plays a major role in helping red blood cells obtain their expected disc-like shape which fosters their easy movement through blood vessels.

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What is hemoglobin (+levels for plastic surgery)
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Now you are planning to have plastic surgery, and your doctor requires you to have a certain level of hemoglobin to be a candidate. In this post, you will know a bit more about what is hemoglobin, standards, and symptoms of high and low numbers.

What is Hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin is a generally known word (and cause of many headaches) to those undergoing plastic and weight loss surgery.

It is a protein found in red blood cells. It gives blood its red color, and its job is to carry oxygen throughout your body, as noted by WebMD.

However, our health can be adversely affected when we have either low or high levels of this kind of protein.

Levels of Hemoglobin

There are two levels of hemoglobin, namely low and high.

A normal hemoglobin for men is 13.5g/dL while for women is 12g/dL/. On contrast, high hemoglobin level is reached >16g/dL in women and >18.0g/dL for men.

Hemoglobin plays a major role in helping red blood cells obtain their expected disc-like shape which fosters their easy movement through blood vessels.

Low Hemoglobin Levels (anemia)

Low hemoglobin are responsible for anemia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is present when it is below <12.0g/dL in women and <13.0g/dL in men.

The following are evident signs that you are suffering from anemia.

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Moreover, a hemoglobin level under 7g/dL is regarded as severe anemia.

Do you want to increase your levels before surgery or for overall health? Read this post: 8 healthy foods to naturally increase your Hemoglobin

High Hemoglobin Levels (Polycythemia)

Two mechanisms are responsible for hg levels, namely: increased red blood cell production and decreased plasma volume (the liquid part of the blood).

A woman is considered to have high hemoglobin level at >16g/dL Hb and >18g/dL for men.

At 18g/dL, the blood thickness gets to a level where circulation in small blood vessels is impaired, and thus, there is not enough oxygen transported to the tissues.

The medical term for this condition is polycythemia, wherein the blood thickness (viscosity) increases. A slight increase in the HB level initiates an increase in the blood thickness.

High Hemoglobin Levels may cause:

We need to know what is hemoglobin for our own sake.
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  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Ruddy complexion
  • Flushing
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Burning, prickling sensations,
  • extreme numbness or tingling


On the other hand, normal hg levels are beneficial for overall health.

Maintaining normal levels of hemoglobin helps prevent respiratory and heart disease. It also sustains body hormones, and it may prevent kidney disease.

Hemoglobin Levels and Plastic Surgery

A caring certified plastic (or weight loss) surgeon will not perform if you do not have a proper hemoglobin level, most likely at 12.0 or above.

Let’s take an example from a question posted on realself.com, a trusted source for people considering cosmetic treatment.

A prospective patient explained that she was having a breast reduction though her hemoglobin was low and asked: Should I have surgery if I’m anemic and my hemoglobin is at 8.0?

All doctors advised the woman to delay the surgery. The best-detailed answer came from Dr. Daniel Krochmal, a plastic surgeon located in Northbrook, Illinois (U.S).

Check the full posting here.

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