The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Liposuction for chronic lymphoedema in August 2017. NICE is currently updating this guidance. The new guidance will be published shortly. Until then the NHS should continue to follow the recommendations outlined in the current version of the guidance. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure review 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 409
Description Chronic lymphoedema is the swelling and build-up of body fluid and fat because of problems with the lymphatic system. It most commonly affects the arms and legs. Liposuction is usually used for those people for whom other conservative measures have not improved symptoms. This procedure is typically done under general anaesthesia but can be done under local anaesthesia. This procedure uses suction to remove fluid and fat tissue through punctures in the skin. Afterwards, a compression garment must be worn for life and only removed for short periods. The aim of the procedure is to reduce swelling and improve function.

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Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
18 November 2021 - 16 December 2021 Interventional procedure consultation

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