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South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners


Approved by the Board: February 4-6, 2002 meeting

Service Area: Medical

Subject: Liposuction procedures, Parameters for Office-based


In accordance with Section 1-23-40 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended, notice is hereby given that the State Board of Medical Examiners of South Carolina has adopted the following statement as guidance for physicians in the practice of medicine under the South Carolina Medical Practice Act and the Principles of Medical Ethics as adopted by the Board. For purposes of discipline and licensure in matters before the Board, practice in compliance with this statement will not be considered a violation of the Medical Practice Act (§40-47-5, et seq.).


The following parameters are the result of a cooperative effort by groups involved in the use of lidocaine in performing liposuction procedures in office-based settings. The groups involved included the State Board of Medical Examiners, State Dermatology Society, State Anesthesiologists Society, State Plastic Surgery Society, and the South Carolina Medical Association. These parameters were accepted by consensus of the participants in the interest of assuring patient safety in office-based settings.

  1. Maximum supernatant fat aspirant per case in the Level 1 office-based surgery facilities is 3000cc. of lidocaine.

  1. Maximum supernatant fat aspirant per case in the Level 2 office-based surgery facilities is 4000cc. of lidocaine.

  1. Maximum lidocaine dosage per case, regardless of facility level, is 55mg per kg at 0.1% lidocaine or less.

Although a physician who conducts himself in accordance with this policy will avoid disciplinary action by the Board of Medical Examiners, a physician may still face civil liability under some circumstances and should, therefore, consult private counsel where doubt exists as to what actions are appropriate.

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