Ballpark Estimate: $2,000 to $9,000 for treatment of one area
Have you tried diet and exercise yet still can’t seem to achieve the body shape you desire? If so, then you may be a good candidate for liposuction. This is a surgical procedure that removes fat from beneath your skin using a vacuum-like process and ultimately leaves you with smoother, leaner lines. Better yet, often these changes will usually allow you to go down a few dress sizes.
A Controversial Concept
Liposuction has received a lot of negative attention in the press but experts say that the newest techniques, when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon trained in this method, are much safer and make this a more feasible option for a wider range of candidates. Just keep in mind that liposuction is not meant to be used instead of diet and exercise but rather as a supplement to target those more stubborn areas that you can’t reshape on your own. To be an appropriate match for this technique, you should be close to your ideal body weight and also to possess good skin elasticity. These factors will help ensure the best results.
The most popular, and also the safest, type of liposuction used today is called tumescent liposuction. This approach calls for injecting a large amount of diluted anesthetic right into the fatty area to be sculpted. This technique offers a number of benefits. First, it makes the fat swell so it is easier to remove. It also numbs the area so the patient won’t need general anesthesia. In addition, it shrinks the capillaries so surgical blood loss is greatly reduced. Finally, the recovery time is much quicker than it was with earlier forms of liposuction. Many patients can resume activities within a few days of the procedure.
Where It’s Done
You can undergo liposuction treatments in a variety of settings. Some patients prefer to be treated in an office setting that is accredited for day surgery. Or, you can also opt for have this done in an outpatient surgery center or in the hospital as an inpatient or outpatient, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.
Factors Affecting Price
The price of liposuction depends on a number of factors and really differs from patient to patient. How much fat needs to be removed, how many body areas need to be treated and the type of setting in which the work will be performed all make a difference in the price you will be charged. Further, it takes longer to perform liposuction in men since their fat is tougher and more difficult to remove, so you can expect the price to be higher for them than for females. In addition, the rate charged can vary a great deal depending on the doctor’s expertise and on the area of the country in which he or she works, since there are regional cost differences.
What It Costs
Keeping in mind the wide range of variables that exist, here are some ballpark figures available that can give you an idea of what to expect.
At the low end, the price starts at about $2,500 to perform liposuction on a small area and it can go on up to $10,000 or even more, depending on the size of what will be done and what is involved.
It is important to clarify with your doctor what is counted as one area, as this can vary from place to place and can greatly affect what you pay. (For instance, the upper abdomen and the lower abdomen may be considered as two areas, so you will have to count that into the total price. The same may be true for the inner and outer thigh.) However, adding in additional areas at once is often charged at a lower rate, since you only need to pay one facility fee. Experts also caution that despite the cost benefits of doing several areas at once, the risks also go up, making it wiser to limit your surgery to a smaller scale and have additional procedures completed at a later date, even if this ultimately costs more.
A Sampling of Specific Costs
One plastic surgeon offers the following cost breakdown by body section to give an idea of what you might spend to achieve the results you desire:
- Abdomen, upper and lower – $3,000 to $9,000
- Breasts – $3,600 to $9,000
- Abdomen, lower – $2,000 to $6,000
- Flanks, male – $2,000 to $6,000
- Arms – $2,000 to $5,000
- Anterior Thighs and Knees – $2,000 to $6,000
- Buttocks – $2,000 to $5,500
- Back – $2,000 to $4,000
- Inner Thighs and Knees – $2,000 to $5,500
- Cheeks, Chin, Neck, Jowls – $2,000 to $5,500
- Hips (Waist) – $2,000 to $6,000
- Buttocks – $2,000 to $5,500
- Outer Thighs – $2,000 to $5,000
Where to Begin
If you want to find out more about liposuction and see if this is a practical approach for you, the best place to begin is by finding an experienced plastic surgeon that excels in this technique. Ask for recommendations from family members, friends and colleagues. You can also look to the American Society of Plastic Surgery for a list of board certified members practicing in your area. Once you find someone you are considering, plan to meet with him or her and talk about your goals for surgery and find out what is realistic to expect from the procedure.
Understanding the Risks
Before you schedule your liposuction surgery, you should know about the safety risks that do exist. When the procedure is done appropriately and the amount of fat to be removed is done in moderation, generally the health risks are small. However, when an excessive amount of fat is removed, or when multiple surgical procedures are done in one day, this can increase your risk of suffering from serious complications. The experts advise making sure any plastic surgery like liposuction is performed in moderation. In addition, if you select a surgeon who isn’t well trained and experienced in the technique, you could end up with dimpled or bumpy skin after it is done that is worse than what you started with.