Summary of Lipo Costs
Liposuction is the process of having unwanted fat removed from the body to improve body shape. Procedures can range from a simple, 30-minute visit to major surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital. As with any major decision, there are several variables to consider: risks, recovery and cost.
- Price Range: The price of liposuction can range from $1,500-$10,000, depending on the surgeon’s experience and the amount of fat removed.
- Average Cost: On average, expect to pay close to $3,000 for the procedure, not including additional fees for things like anesthesia.
- Cheapest Price: Depending on the surgeon and location, liposuction can be as little as $1,500 with manageable payment options, making the procedure more affordable then ever.
Various Costs of Lipoplasty
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that in 2013 the average cost of liposuction was $2,866, not including anesthesia, operation room and other related expenses. The exact cost for both male and female patients varies widely, depending on the surgeon’s experience, technique, surgical location and amount of liposuction being performed. In addition to the cost of the procedure, patients should expect to be billed for anesthesia, surgeon’s fees, tests, prescriptions, post-surgery materials and the facility where the procedure will be performed.
Liposuction Costs by Body Area
A breakdown of liposuction cost to specific areas of the body includes:
- Whole body or large volume liposuction: Average $10,000 or more
- Upper and lower abdomen: $3,000-$7,500
- Arms: $1,500-$5,000
- Thighs: $2,000-$5,000
- Hips: $1,600-$5,000
- Chin/neck: $2,000-$4,500
- Buttocks: $1,500-$4,500
- Male breasts: $3,000-$5,000
Research can narrow down an appropriate option for where to have liposuction performed. Different locations charge varying amounts for the same procedure. For example, liposuction on the buttocks is $1500 in Utah, whereas the same procedure can cost $4,500 in New York. Caution should be practiced when choosing a surgeon; cheaper sometimes means less quality.
Is Liposuction Covered by Insurance?
Most health care insurance does not cover liposuction or any complications from surgery when done for cosmetic reasons. Some exceptions to the rule do exist, however. In the event that the liposuction is recommended from a medical standpoint, then the liposuction may be approved by insurance. For example, if a patient wants to have a fatty tumor removed, a quote can be obtained from the surgeon and submitted to health insurance for approval. Another option is to combine the liposuction with another procedure being covered by insurance. A sizable portion of the cost of liposuction is the facility and anesthesia fees. The health insurance may cover these fees, leaving a more manageable amount to pay out-of-pocket.
Paying for Liposuction
Liposuction can be a costly route to take, and since health insurance usually does not cover the procedure, patients need to consider other payment options. Nearly all cosmetic surgeons now accept cash, checks and credit cards for payment. Not everyone is in the position to pay upfront, however. Thus, financing liposuction has become an option that has allowed people to move forward with surgery and make payments over a specified number of months.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction, or lipoplasty, is a medical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat deposits from under the skin by aspirating it through a thin tube called a cannula. Liposuction promotes a slimmer, more proportioned physical shape and enhances personal body image. Depending on the area targeted, local or general anesthesia will be administered to the patient for a comfortable procedure.
Risks of Liposuction
As with any surgical procedure, liposuction poses certain risks, depending on type of anesthesia, technique and amount of fat removed. The overall health of the patient also impacts the outcome of the procedure. Thus, people considering liposuction should aim to be in optimal health for the safest process. Risks should be considered prior to committing to liposuction so an informed decision can be made about whether or not the surgery will prove beneficial. Potential complications include:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Embolism caused by fat getting trapped in blood vessels and traveling to the lungs or brain
- Visceral perforations resulting from the probe accidentally puncturing internal organs
- A collection of serum in areas affected by tissue removal
- Changes in sensation at site of liposuction, including increased sensitivity or loss of feeling
- Edema or persistent swelling
- Skin necrosis or skin death
- Burns caused by a hot ultrasound probe
- Fluid imbalance resulting from removal and introduction of fluid into the liposuction site
- Anesthesia-induced toxicity related to very high doses of a local anesthetic
- Death due to extreme surgical-related complications, such as infection, internal damage and embolism
Recovering from a Liposuction Procedure
Following liposuction, the surgeon will instruct the patient on post-surgery treatment. The surgery site and any temporary drains will need to be cared for and monitored for signs of infection, and medication may be prescribed as an additional protective measure. Patients should expect to wear compression bandages or wraps to aid the body in acquiring its new shape.
Swelling may persist from weeks to months after liposuction. As swelling reduces, the body’s new contours will become more and more evident. Though recovery time varies from person to person depending on the amount of liposuction performed, normal activity can be resumed after a few days and up to six weeks. Common sense should guide a return to physical exercise, and patients are advised not to do more than their body can comfortably handle. Immobility, however, can put patients at risk for blood clots, so walking is recommended as early as the same day as surgery. Prolonged sitting should be avoided for several weeks following the procedure.