1.1 Evidence on the safety of liposuction for chronic lipoedema is inadequate but raises concerns of major adverse events such as fluid imbalance, fat embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and toxicity from local anaesthetic agents. Evidence on the efficacy is also inadequate, based mainly on retrospective studies with methodological limitations. Therefore, this procedure should only be used in the context of research. Find out what only in research means on the NICE interventional procedures guidance page.
1.2 Further research should report:
patient selection, including age, effects of hormonal changes (which should include effects seen during puberty and menopause) and the severity and site of disease
details of the number and duration of procedures, the liposuction technique used (including the type of anaesthesia and fluid balance during the procedure), and any procedure-related complications
long-term outcomes, including weight and body mass index changes
patient-reported outcomes, including quality of life.
1.3 Patient selection should be done by a multidisciplinary team, including clinicians with expertise in managing lipoedema.
1.4 The procedure should only be done in specialist centres by surgeons experienced in this procedure.