What is Large Volume Liposuction?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

Large volume liposuction is a type of liposuction designed to remove large amounts of fatty tissue from the body. Traditional liposuction techniques usually involve removing smaller amounts of fatty tissue, but large volume liposuction can allow cosmetic surgeons to remove 1.3 gallons (5 liters) or more of fatty tissue from the body. Candidates for large volume liposuction should generally be in an overall good state of health. The best candidates for this procedure are no more than 50 pounds (22.7 kg) overweight, though the procedure is sometimes performed on patients who are as many as 150 pounds (68.03 kg) overweight.

Surgeons who perform large volume liposuction must typically be thoroughly trained in smaller volume, more traditional procedures. This procedure normally involves removing a lot of fluids from the body, and can increase the patient's risks of dehydration. Hypothermia can also afflict patients on the operating table. This procedure requires much of the body's surface area to remain both exposed and moist. Surgeons typically monitor patient body temperatures carefully and take steps to keep patient body temperatures normal throughout the procedure, since hypothermia can make other surgical complications more likely and more severe.

The large volume liposuction procedure is generally quite similar to traditional liposuction. Chemical solutions are usually injected into the treatment area, in order to dissolve fatty tissue deposits prior to removal. Removal is usually performed with small, hollow surgical tools known as cannulae. The cannulae are normally inserted into the treatment area through small incisions in the skin. Vacuum devices are generally used to suction the dissolved fatty tissue out of the body.

The procedure can be a long one, lasting anywhere from three to eight hours, depending on the amount of fatty tissue to be removed and the size of the area or areas to be treated. Many surgeons prefer to perform multiple procedures on patients who want to remove very large amounts of fatty tissue, or who want to remove fatty tissue from multiple areas of the body. Performing multiple procedures can eventually produce the same results. It generally takes longer, but most surgeons consider it a safer way to proceed.

Good candidates for large volume liposuction include people who have good diet and exercise habits, or who are serious about permanently adopting these habits. They should ideally have no major health problems. If they do, they may still qualify for the surgery if these conditions are well-managed. Patients should generally be no more than 50 pounds (22.7 kg) overweight. Some surgeons will perform liposuction on patients who are up to 150 pounds (68.03 kg) overweight, although this is not considered common practice. Individuals who are 100 pounds (45.4 kg) overweight are generally considered to be at the highest risk for obesity-related health problems, and may need bariatric surgery in order to lose weight.

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Discussion Comments


If a person is petite, then an amount less than 5 liters would be a relatively large volume on them.

Liposuction is an imprecise, unsound procedure that may result in disability, disfiguration, disease-processes, and death.

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