Liposuction, sometimes referred to as "lipo" by patients, slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving your body contours and proportion.
Liposuction can be performed alone or along with other plastic surgery procedures, such as a facelift, breast reduction or a tummy tuck.
Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
It is also not an effective treatment for cellulite—the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips and buttocks—or loose saggy skin.
The average cost of liposuction is $3,374, according to 2017 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Liposuction cost can vary widely. The average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.
A surgeon's fee will be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic office location.
Most health insurance does not cover liposuction or its complications, but many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for liposuction, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Liposuction is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
In general, good candidates for a liposuction include:
If you are bothered by excess fat deposits located anywhere on your body that don't respond to diet or exercise, liposuction may be right for you.
How should I prepare for liposuction?
In preparing for liposuction surgery, you may be asked to:
Liposuction should be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
The liposuction procedure includes the following steps:
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include local anesthesia, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuous incisions.
First, diluted local anesthesia is infused to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow tube, or cannula, is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula.
Problem areas that can be addressed with liposuction
Your improved body contour will be apparent once the swelling and fluid retention commonly experienced following liposuction subside. Get more information about.
During your liposuction consultation be prepared to discuss:
Your liposuction surgeon will also:
The consultation is the time to ask your plastic surgeon questions. To help, we have prepared a checklist of questions to ask your liposuction surgeon that you can take with you to your consultation.
It's very important to understand all aspects of your liposuction procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of liposuction are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Liposuction risks include:
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Secondary procedures may sometimes be recommended to reduce excess skin. Special considerations are needed when large amounts—usually more than five liters of fat—are suctioned.
During your liposuction recovery, a compression garment or elastic bandages may cover treatment areas once your procedure is completed. These help to control swelling and compress the skin to your new body contours.
In addition, small temporary drains may be placed in existing incisions beneath the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
It may take several months for the swelling to fully dissipate. As it does, your new contours and enhanced self-image should continue to develop.
Use this checklist as a guide during your liposuction consultation: