Background: Oftentimes, obese dialysis patients develop a viable dialysis access but the access is too deep for cannulation and needs a superficialization procedure. Methods: We present our 14-patient cohort in whom we performed liposuction to superficialize viable but deep vascular accesses. Out of 14 patients, 12 had arteriovenous fistulas and 2 arteriovenous grafts. The primary end points were the ability to superficialize a completely unusable access and to remove the hemodialysis catheter (3patients), or to significantly extend the useful length of a deep access in which only a very short segment was used and to continue to use the access post-surgery without the need to place a dialysis catheter (11 patients). Results: The study goal was met in 13 out of 14 patients. In two of three patients, the catheters were removed and their access usable length was 14 and 13 cm, respectively. The accesses could be used immediately after liposuction in all patients in which this applied—11 patients. The usable access length increased from a mean of 5 to 12.7 cm. The access mean depth decreased from 10.8 mm pre-surgery to 7 mm post-surgery and 5.3 mm 4 weeks after surgery. The mean volume of fat removed was 43.8 cc. We had only one surgical complication: bleeding that was readily controlled with manual pressure. All patients were discharged to home the same day. Postoperative pain was mild. Conclusion: Liposuction is effective, safe, and seems to be the least invasive technique of superficialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Access
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Liposuction
  • arteriovenous fistula
  • arteriovenous graft
  • deep vascular access
  • obesity
  • superficialization procedure
  • vascular access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Nephrology


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