There are so many things to consider if you’re thinking about having liposuction…
Laser lipo vs tumescent lipo? Multiple small procedures or one big procedure? Which surgeon should you choose? And, of course, how much does it cost?
Keep Reading to get the skinny on the cost of liposuction surgery!
Ask the Right Questions
Asking the right questions is the most important thing you can do during your consultation. Here is a basic list that you should always ask if you’re considering liposuction:
- How much does the surgery cost?
- Does that price include everything (facility fees, post op visits, special garments, etc)?
- Does that price include general or local anesthesia?
- Are there any payment plans available?
The fee for your surgeon’s time and expertise can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on how many areas of your body your are planning on doing. Because each body area is it’s own mini-surgery, doing multiple areas can add quite a bit of cost because of the additional time involved. The most common areas for liposuction include: 1) abdomen, 2) love handles, 3) back, 4) outer thighs, 5) inner thighs, 6) arms, 7) neck. Each area usually carries its own individual fee, so if you are planning on doing all of them, you should expect your price to fall at the higher end of the price range. The average liposuction case involves 2-3 areas, so the average surgeon fee is about $4000 – $6000. This fee may be even higher with surgeons who have a great deal of experience with liposuction.
High quality compression garments are just as important as the surgery itself, so plan on purchasing 2-3 top-of-the-line garments. You’ll need an initial set of two interchangeable garments for the first 6 weeks after surgery so that you can always have one on while the other is in the washing machine. Most surgeons will want you to wear your garment continuously for 4-6 weeks, so you’ll be happy you purchased a second one. After about 6 weeks, you may be able to squeeze into a smaller size, which is why you may want to purchase a third garment. The third garment isn’t absolutely necessary, but if you can fit into a slightly smaller one after some of the swelling goes down, you will notice that the rest of the swelling will go away a little faster with the extra compression of the smaller size. Plan on spending about $200-$250 per garment.
Most of the time, fees for special equipment will be included in the Surgeon’s Fee category since he or she is usually the one supplying the equipment. Sometimes it’s the surgery center that supplies the equipment though, and they may charge an additional fee that your surgeon has no control over, so just make sure you check beforehand. Special equipment would include things like: 1) a laser liposuction console, 2) an ultrasound liposuction console, 3) any other special liposuction consoles, 4) compression garments supplied by the surgery center.
Choosing the type of anesthesia you want for your procedure is one of the most important factors in the overall cost of the surgery. General anesthesia (being completely asleep) is by far the most comfortable way to have liposuction surgery, especially if you are doing multiple areas or if you would just prefer not to be aware of what is going on during the surgery, but it is also the most expensive way to have liposuction. General anesthesia requires an anesthesiologist to put you to sleep safely, and to monitor you while you’re sleeping, so this fee can be significant ($1000 – $2500). Local anesthesia does not involve an anesthesiologist, so having the procedure “under local” is one way to save cost, but you have to be prepared to be awake during the numbing process and during the procedure, which can last quite a long time if you’re having multiple areas done. Most surgeons will only recommend local anesthesia for single areas, or for patients who need very little fat removed.
Facility fees pay for your use of the operating room, the operating staff (nurses, assistants, etc), and all the medical equipment and supplies that will be used for your surgery. These fees are almost always based on time, so they go up with the length of your procedure. Expect to pay something in the range of $1000 – $3000 depending on how many areas you’re having done and how long your surgeon estimates that your surgery will last.
Most reputable plastic surgeons offer at least one financing plan through organizations like Care Credit. If you have a reasonable credit score, chances are that you’ll qualify for a great financing plan, some of which even offer a 6-12 month period of 0% interest!
Total Cost of Liposuction
The average total cost of liposuction ranges from $8000 – $10,000 depending on all the factors above, your surgeon’s geographic location, and your surgeon’s level of experience.
If you come across prices that seem too good to be true, be suspicious! Make sure that surgeons offering low prices are fully trained plastic surgeons (many are not). Make sure that the price being advertised includes all of the fees listed above, and that it does not have too many restrictions on how many areas will be liposuctioned, or on the amount of fat that will be removed (this is a very common restriction with inexpensive or “promotional” procedures).
Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country, but it is real surgery and should be taken very seriously. The worst mistake you can make is to bargain shop for the cheapest price. First and foremost, you want to be safe, and after that, you want to love your result!Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon New York
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto