Obesity is one of the most common disorders in clinical practice. The prevalance of obesity has increased by more than 60% since 1990. Adipose tissue acts as an endocrine organ secreting many factors into the blood, known as adipokines, including leptin, adipsin, acytation-stimulating protein, adiponectin, etc. This article examines the hypothesis that obesity may be evaluated as an endocrine tumor, regarding its genetic basis, hyperplasia and hypertrophy of adipocytes, neovascularisation within the adipose tissue associated with growth, and beneficisal metabolic effects of surgical removal of excess adipose tissue by liposuction. Assuming obesity as an endocrine tumor may bring out new treatment modalities. Liposuction as "cytoreductive surgery", antiangiogenic teraphy or antineoplastic drugs may be important components of obesity treatment in future. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.