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The Importance of Preoperative Hemoglobin Evaluation in Large Volume Liposuction: Lessons Learned From Our 15-Year Experience

Choudry, Umar H. MD*; Hyza, Petr MD; Lane, Jason MD; Petty, Paul MD§

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31815bf341
Aesthetic Surgery

Liposuction of >5 L of total aspirate at one setting is defined as large volume liposuction (LVL). A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients who underwent LVL from January 1990 to June 2005. Sixty-two patients underwent LVL. The mean volume of total aspirate was 8 L (5.0–11.7 L). There were a total of 6 patients who had complications. These included symptomatic postoperative anemia requiring blood transfusions on postoperative day 1 (n = 5), and an expanding hematoma requiring operative evacuation without transfusion (n = 1). Two of the patients who had blood transfusions had a history of gastric bypass and all of the patients were preoperatively anemic (<11.5 mg/dL). The mean follow up was 38 months. LVL is safe when performed in healthy patients under strict guidelines. Hemoglobin levels of all potential LVL patients should be checked preoperatively, and surgery should be withheld for levels <12 g/dL.

From the *Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; †Clinic of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, St. Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic; ‡Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and §Division of Plastic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Received August 1, 2007 and accepted for publication, after revision, September 22, 2007.

Presented as a poster at the American Society for Plastic Surgery Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, October 2006.

Reprints: Umar Choudry, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, 420 Delaware Street, SE, MMC 195, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.