Liposuction is the most popular cosmetic procedure in Australia, and while technically not difficult, it requires very thoughtful planning and an artistic eye for best results. Large-volume liposuction is more complicated than regular liposuction, since removing large volumes of fat all at once affects the body in other ways.
When a properly-trained surgeon performs large-volume liposuction under ideal conditions, experience tells us that it is a safe and effective procedure for removing excess fat with very low risk of complications.
But can large-volume liposuction improve my health?
The short answer is no, not exactly. There are a few key indicators of our metabolic health, for example cholesterol levels and diabetes risk, which have been measured in at least two studies in combination with large-volume liposuction.
So far, it is not believed that liposuction has any other health benefits besides improved self-image. (Although, improved self-image is certainly not a given! Read Will I be happy with my liposuction results?) Liposuction can also provide some relief from muscular aches and strains, for example when liposuction is used as a breast-reduction technique (though this is not typically large-volume liposuction).
What is large-volume liposuction?
Large-volume liposuction is a surgical procedure whereby large amounts of fat are removed (four to five litres) in one session. Regular liposuction involves removal of smaller fat deposits, or includes several sessions over a long period of time, at your surgeon’s discretion.
Large-volume liposuction surgery is not suitable for everyone, and comes with risks. Removing that much tissue from the body at once can result in potentially dangerous fluid disturbances and low blood pressure. Large-volume liposuction is not a weight-loss method, but like all liposuction, it is a contouring treatment. You need to be at a sustainable weight with healthy habits, or you can end up putting on weight in other areas of your body.
Research into the health benefits of large-volume liposuction (or lack thereof)
- In one 1995 study, the major finding was that large-volume liposuction caused significantly increased ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol readings and apolipoprotein (a fat-carrier protein), but there were no significant changes in sex hormones or glucose levels 9-12 months after liposuction.
- In a 2008 study, large-volume liposuction did not change readings for insulin resistance, diabetes, triglycerides and cholesterol – including good cholesterol – after 10 weeks, and nor had these readings changed at 208 weeks (four years later).
What does this mean?
Large-volume liposuction doesn’t change your risk profile for cardiovascular and metabolic health as far as we know, and more research needs to be conducted. Having healthy diet and lifestyle habits is the key to reducing your risk profile in these areas, not liposuction.
Liposuction – including large-volume liposuction – is a tool to create lasting changes to your shape.
Tell us how you would like to look, and we’ll see what we can do!