Co-author Of New England Journal Of Medicine Study Discusses Implications Of Findings: Lipoplasty In Obese Women With Coronary And Insulin Action Complications Does Not Improve Health Status

NEW YORK, NY (April 29, 2005) – Surgical procedures to reduce fat do not have the health benefits of diet and exercise, finds a study that will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), considered the major international forum for education and research in cosmetic surgery, April 29 - May 4, in New Orleans, LA.

The data will be presented by V. Leroy Young, MD, co-author of the study and ASAPS member. The study, published in Volume 350:2549-2557 ofThe New England Journal of Medicine, looked at whether large-volume abdominal lipoplasty has a positive effect on the complications of obesity, including diabetes. The study included 15 obese women, seven of whom had type-2 diabetes. All 15 patients participating in the study underwent large-volume suction-assisted Lipoplasty (liposuction) (SAL); all procedures were performed by the same surgeon. Patients lost about 12 percent of their body weight through surgical fat removal. Their weight reduction was equivalent to weight loss resulting from optimal diet, exercise and drug treatments.

However, while both groups of women saw significant decreases in body weight, body mass index, fat mass, percentage of body fat, and abdominal adipose tissue volume, patients undergoing lipoplasty did not experience the health benefits associated with weight loss through traditional diet and exercise. These benefits include reduced risk of heart disease and increased body metabolism. Although sample size was small, the study does suggest that fat loss through large volume SAL did not improve the complications associated with obesity.

“Reducing the volume of fat alone probably does not offer the metabolic benefits seen with weight loss by other means,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Young. “However, large-volume Lipoplasty can produce cosmetic and functional improvements that may lead to a healthier lifestyle and can be performed safely on obese patients.”

Patient safety is the most important consideration in any surgical procedure. ASAPS recommends that lipoplasty be performed by an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified physician and only in an accredited surgical facility. “Large volume lipoplasty, in particular, requires extensive experience in lipoplasty procedures,” says ASAPS President Peter B. Fodor, MD. “The surgeon and assisting medical personnel must have broad knowledge and experience in anesthesia and fluid management. Postoperative monitoring of the patients must be vigilant. Patients must be thoroughly informed of the possibility of increased risk associated with large volume fat removal.”

According to ASAPS 2004 statistics, lipoplasty was the most commonly performed surgical procedure last year. Americans had over 478,000 lipoplasty procedures in 2004, up 24 percent from 2003.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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