NICE has been notified about this procedure and it is part of its work programme. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure and NICE will issue an interventional procedures consultation document about its safety and efficacy for 4 weeks’ public consultation. IPAC will then review the consultation document in the light of comments received and produce a final interventional procedures document, which will be considered by NICE before guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Status In progress
Process IP
ID number 1843
Description The aim of liposuction for lipoedema is to reduce limb bulk, reduce pain, and to improve mobility and functioning. Liposuction for chronic lipoedema can be done under general or local anaesthesia. Several small incisions are made in the limb. Modern liposuction usually involves infiltrating the limb with large volumes of fluid (tumescence) to allow the cannula to glide through the tissue with minimal damage to blood vessels and lymphatics. Tumescent liposuction needs an infiltration pump to deliver the tumescent fluid. Cannulas, connected to a vacuum pump, are then inserted into the incisions and oedematous adipose tissue is removed by vacuum aspiration. Using vibrating cannulas (power-assisted liposuction) or water-jet-assisted liposuction can help remove fat more easily. Water-jet-assisted liposuction needs less initial infiltration because fluid is simultaneously infiltrated and aspirated during liposuction. Liposuction is done around and all the way along the limb. In tumescent liposuction, both fat and tumescent fluid are suctioned out together. The procedure can take 1 to 4 hours depending on the size of the treatment area. Immediately after liposuction, a compression bandage is applied to the limb to control any bleeding and to prevent postoperative oedema. Antibiotics are typically prescribed as prophylaxis after the operation. When the wounds are healed after the procedure, a custom-made compression garment is worn. This garment is typically revised and refitted multiple times during the first year until the oedema volume has been reduced as much as possible.

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Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
05 October 2021 - 02 November 2021 Interventional procedure consultation

For further information on how we develop guidance, please see our page about NICE interventional procedures guidance