Procedures

Liposuction Cost and Recovery

Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery that aims to contour the body by removing deposits of fat that are hard to get rid of. It is done by inserting a cannula — a sharp steel instrument — through small incisions in the skin, and sucking out the excess fat by means of an attached suction pump. The most common areas targeted are the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and upper arms, but virtually any area can be treated, including the face.

The best candidates for liposuction are those with a stable body weight, not excessively overweight or obese, and with fairly firm skin. It is also important that patients are in good general health, and in particular those with diabetes, coronary artery disease or other blood flow problems, or a weakened immune system should not undergo the procedure. People with a lot of cellulite may not be good candidates, and older patients who have less elastic skin may not see such great benefits.

What is the Liposuction Cost?

The liposuction cost will be made up of the surgical fees for performing the process in the specific areas, plus the non-surgical costs. These will include the cost of the operating room, the nursing fees, pre-operative lab tests, and post-operative supplies. Not all procedures involve anesthesia, but if anesthesia is used, the fee for the anesthesiologist must be added in.

Obviously, there are many variables that will affect the total cost of the procedure. Apart from the body area being treated, the size and weight of the patient is a factor, and if the patient has gained a lot of weight and then lost it, this will make things more complicated and affect the cost. The experience and reputation of the surgeon will also be a factor.

Is a Tummy Tuck Better?

An alternative method for contouring the stomach and abdomen is the abdominoplasty, commonly known as the tummy tuck. Sometimes liposuction is less successful for this area of the body, because if the skin has been stretched because of pregnancy or excess fat, it loses its elasticity, it will hang loose rather than retracting. A tummy tuck doesn’t just remove the fat, but also gets rid of the excess skin and tightens up the muscles. However, it’s a bigger operation and recovery takes longer.

Types of Liposuction Alternative

A tummy tuck is one popular liposuction alternative, and the two can sometimes be combined. Other types of liposuction alternative can include non-surgical fat-dissolving techniques. One example is mesotherapy, in which chemicals are injected into the fat layer, to disrupt the fat cells and stimulate their absorption. Other examples include Endermologie, a method of stimulating the skin by mechanical means, to reactivate dormant cellular activity. These techniques are not considered to be as effective as liposuction.

Another Alternative — Laser Liposuction

One very popular and effective alternative is laser liposuction. In this technique, lasers are used to break up the fat before it is removed from the body, so that the actual procedure is reportedly easier and less painful. There are two kinds — external, in which a laser pen is used on the outside of the body before the surgery starts, and internal, in which the laser is actually attached to the suction device that is inserted into the body.

Laser liposuction may reduce the bruising from traditional liposuction, and lead to a faster recovery. However, it does carry more risk of burns and infection. There is also the possibility of damage to the skin, and to the surrounding tissue.

Are There Any Liposuction Side Effects?

Most people experience some temporary liposuction side effects, which usually dissipate within a few weeks. One of the most common is swelling in the treated areas, plus a lumpy appearance which disappears before long. Liposuction of the thighs may result in a temporary inflammation of the veins.

The other common side-effect is bruising of the treated areas, which will be tender to the touch for about a month. The bruising should soon fade, but if it is still discolored after a few weeks, medical advice should be sought to check for internal bleeding. There may also be numbness of the treated areas, because of superficial nerve damage.

What is the Liposuction Recovery Process Like?

Liposuction recovery is generally fairly rapid, especially if it has been an outpatient procedure. The majority of people can return to work after a few days, and within a couple of weeks will be able to resume all their normal activities. However, every patient’s outcome is different, depending on the amount of surgery that has been carried out, and other factors such as their general fitness.

The important thing to understand about liposuction is that it is not a weight-loss procedure or a treatment for obesity, and it does not deal with cellulite or stretch marks. It is intended to remove stubborn deposits of fat in specific areas of the body, often where diet and exercise have not been successful, and can dramatically alter the shape of the body. However, if the patient persists in an unhealthy lifestyle following the procedure, there is a risk that the remaining fat cells can grow bigger, so a healthy lifestyle brings the best chance of permanent success.