Influence of Large-Volume Liposuction on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health: A Systematic Review

Alexander M. Sailon, J. Roscoe Wasserburg, Rochelle R. Kling, Christina M. Pasick, Peter J. Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background Evidence suggesting that adipose tissue is a metabolically active tissue has generated debate on the effects of large-volume liposuction (LVL) on metabolic and cardiovascular health. Given the inconsistency in the literature, the authors performed a systematic review to identify available evidence in order to elucidate the potential impact of LVL on metabolic markers and cardiovascular risk factors. Methods A PubMed search using relevant keywords was conducted. Articles were screened using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Large-volume liposuction was defined as greater than 3.5 L of lipoaspirate. All studies included evaluation of patients' preoperative and postoperative cardiovascular risk factors, inflammatory cytokines, and/or insulin resistance/sensitivity. Relevant studies were evaluated and assigned a level of evidence. Results A total of 12 studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed, of which 1 was a continuation of a previous study. All reports were prospective studies, 2 were randomized control trials, and 3 included a control group. A total of 364 patients were pooled for analysis. The mean volume of lipoaspirate was 7440 ± 1934.9 mL. The mean body mass index at baseline and postliposuction was 30.7 and 28.4, respectively. Seven studies reported a trend toward decrease in total cholesterol levels with an overall mean reduction of 0.21 ± 0.05 mmol/L from 4.6 ± 0.79 mmol/L to 4.4 ± 0.74 mmol/L. After LVL, leptin was reported to significantly decrease in 4 studies, and TNF-α was reported to significantly decrease in 2. Adiponectin was reported to significantly increase in 2 studies. IL-6 decreased significantly in 2 studies. Two studies included participants with type II diabetes mellitus, whereas 10 studies evaluated insulin sensitivity. Of these, 6 studies reported improvement in insulin sensitivity. Six studies represented level IV and 6 represented level II evidence. Conclusions Liposuction is among the most common aesthetic procedures performed with advances that make it possible to remove considerable amount of adipose tissue within a short period. Current data, although conflicting, appear to support the notion that LVL can affect cardiovascular risk factors, metabolic balance, and insulin resistance in positive ways. Future research with prospective studies is needed to clarify the role of LVL in improving overall health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • BMI
  • adipose tissue
  • aesthetic surgery
  • body contouring
  • cardiovascular risk factors
  • inflammatory cytokines
  • insulin resistance
  • large volume liposuction
  • liposuction
  • metabolic factors
  • suction-assisted lipectomy


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