September 10, 2015
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ASPS: Researchers introduce 'relative liposuction volume threshold'

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According to a report in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the “safe” amount of fat to remove in patients undergoing liposuction depends on a patient’s BMI.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons defines 5,000 mL as “large-volume liposuction,” which may be associated with a higher risk of complications. However, but the guidelines recognize there is no scientific data to support an absolute cutoff point, according to the press release.

John Y.S. Kim, MD, and colleagues studied more than 4,500 patients undergoing liposuction from the ASPS Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons database.

“…obese patients may tolerate lipoaspirate volumes without an increased risk of complications,” the researchers wrote.

However, they also found that patients with lower BMIs experience a “more exponential increase in risk” with higher liposuction volumes.

The researchers introduced a ‘relative liposuction volume threshold’ that is based on BMI and provides a point where complications begin to increase. It does not, however, define an absolute limit on liposuction volumes.

“Our risk assessment tool can further aid shared decision-making between the surgeon and patient by linking BMI and liposuction volumes,” Kim told the ASPS.