What is the Success Rate of Managing Diabetes with Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction for Diabetes

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Liposuction is not a method of weight loss. It is designed to target stubborn pockets of unwanted fat. While it may decrease your overall body fat percentage, it should not be relied upon to do so. As a result, it will not have a big impact on diabetes. 

Aside from a healthy lifestyle and exercise regimen, bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding and gastric bypass, are better suited to positively impact diabetes.

Liposuction is not a proven treatment for diabetis

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This issue has already been looked at and despite some early hype, the most definitive articel published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 concluded that "Abdominal liposuction does not significantly improve obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities.". This was repeated by doctors at Washington University in 2008 with similar conclusions.

Despite it being intuitive that it should work, it apparently does not have a similar effect as dietary weight loss.

Liposuction and beneficial effects on diabetes

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Studies indeed show that a large volume liposuction can result in significantly lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and reduce insulin requirements. However, this needs to be part of an overall program for weight loss and compliant diabetes management and not just a quick fix.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction Can Lower Blood Sugar in Diabetics

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is a great question, and many studies have been performed to answer it.  The conclusion of all of these studies has been the same: lower body weight translates into lower blood sugars.  However, the improvement in blood sugar is only sustained as long as weight loss is maintained.

A recent publication showed an 18% reduction in the blood sugar of type 2 diabetics following large volume liposuction.  Results from other studies have shown variable results.

However diet and exercise are still the gold standard for diabetes management!  If you have diabetes and are considering liposuction you should consult with your primary care provider or endocrinologist prior to surgery.


Alexander Gross, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.