Last Update on: 5/8/2008
Liposuction, or body contouring, has become one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery to eliminate fat from the body. Maybe you have even considered having this procedure done yourself. In this article we will cover several topics and questions regarding liposuction including: liposuction cost, different liposuction techniques that are available, side effects and risks of Liposuction, and more. Just so you know, You-On-A-Diet is not pro liposuction, however; this article is kept objective so you can decide what's best for you.
Liposuction Quick Reference Guide / FAQ
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure used to remove fatty tissue from specific areas of the body. These areas include: Thighs, Abdomens, buttocks, neck, backs of arms, and elsewhere. Liposuction has existed since the early 1900's, however safe and successful procedures were not reported until the 1970's. During liposuction, fat cells are typically removed by a cannula (hollow tube) and aspirator (a suction device). Liposuction should not be considered as an easier alternative to diet and exercise. Although liposuction in the 21st century is considered very safe, it can carry considerable risks for some. Read on for more details.
Wondering if you are eligible for liposuction? Aside from good mental and physical health, one of the most important parts of the process is setting realistic expectations. Ideally, you want to be within 20 - 25 lbs of your desired weight and have fat deposits that are not responding to diet and exercise. Most doctors use the following guidelines for accepting new patients for liposuction.
- Patients should be at least 18 years old.
- Must not be allergic to lidocaine (local anesthesia).
- Those taking blood thinning medications (such as aspirin) should discontinue use before and after procedure.
- Liposuction can not be performed on lactating or pregnant women.
- Patients with serious health issues (including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart / lung disease) should not undergo this procedure.
There are several techniques used by various cosmetic surgeons in the World. The 4 most popular techniques are tumescent liposuction, ultrasound liposuction, LipoSelection®, and power assisted liposuction.
Tumescent Liposuction involves injecting fluid to the areas that will be treated. The saline fluid is used to help separate muscle and fat thus making it easier to suction and remove the fat cells. It takes time for the fluid to perform its intended duty, thus making the procedure a bit longer than the other methods.
Ultrasound Liposuction uses ultrasonic pulses to break up and liquefy fat cells for easier removal. Once liquefied, fat is suctioned using normal liposuction techniques.
Power Assisted Liposuction is a technique where the tip of the suction tube vibrates at very rapid speeds. The vibrations help loosen the fat cells and allows for easier suction. This method also causes fewer traumas to the body which may result in less bruising and faster recovery.
LipoSelection® is regarded as the "new liposuction". LipoSelection was created by Vaser and is essentially ultrasonic liposuction. The ultrasonic waves break up and liquefy fat cells. This method leaves surrounding nerves, tissue, and blood vessels mostly intact which reduces bruising and trauma. Another method that is worth mentioning is Laser Liposuction.
Laser Liposuction - Laser liposuction, also known as SmartLipo, is emerging as the more popular option for liposuction in America. There are many benefits laser liposuction has over traditional liposuction including faster recovery times, less trauma, almost no scarring, and no stitches needed to name a few.
Aside from the above, laser liposuction also requires less surgeries to remove loose skin. During the laser procedure the skin is automatically tightened by collagen production where the lasers are used.
The old liposuction technique is performed with a cannula (hollow tubing) and since the human hand is not precise, the manual back-and-forth movements cause a lot of bleeding, swelling, and destruction of tissue.
Complications from liposuction such as infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and fluid loss are considered rare but should be taken into account when considering the procedure. The consultation with your doctor should help with understanding if you are at risk for some of the complications listed above. More common post liposuction side effects are swelling, scars, and bruising.
Liposuction Swelling - With any invasive cosmetic surgery, it is almost inevitable that swelling will occur. Evaluating this condition is extremely important. Increased swelling after the procedure could be a sign of a more serious problem. Open communication with your doctor is key to ensure that swelling is monitored.
Liposuction Bruises -Bruising can be expected after the procedure. The amount bruising associated with liposuction usually depends on the technique used by the cosmetic surgeon. The bruises associated with liposuction should begin to clear up within a month or so but can take up to 6 months to completely go away. Post liposuction side effects can be minimized if proper care is taken before the procedure.
There are homeopathic remedies available such as Arnica Montana that is good with reducing the amount and severity of post- liposuction bruises and scars. Arnica Montana can be found at most whole food stores.
The prices listed below are averages of different liposuction procedures. Cost can be affected by the amount of treatment needed, size of the patient, and what specific area of the body is targeted.
- Upper and Lower Abdomen: $3,000 - $7,500
- Arms: $1,500 - $5,000
- Back: $1,500 - $4,000
- Breasts: $3,000 - $7,500
- Buttocks: $1,500 - $4,500
- Chin, Cheeks, Jowls, Neck: $2,000 - $4,500
- Flanks: $2,000 - $5,000
- Anterior Thighs and Knees: $2,000 - $5,000
- Inner Thighs and Knees: $2,000 - $5,000
- Hips/Waist: $1,600 - $5,000
- Outer Thighs: $1,600 - $5,000
Going with the cheapest liposuction is not necessarily the best idea. In fact, cost should not be the only factor considered when making a decision to undergo liposuction. Liposuction should be treated as a major medical procedure. If you come across cheap liposuction, be weary of outrageous finance charges.
For many, liposuction is considered to be a long term investment. Locating financing options online is not very difficult. In fact, there are literally dozens of companies willing to finance elective surgeries. Simply type 'Liposuction Financing' in Google and you will be provided with several results. By doing your homework, you can avoid getting stuck with a bad deal containing high interest rates. Be wary of companies offering 'guaranteed financing' as they are usually the ones that have unreasonable interest rates. Capital One® Healthcare Finance and CareCredit® are some of the more trusted companies that offer financing for elective surgeries.
The recovery time after liposuction can vary from days to months. The time factor is affected by the technique used and the cosmetic surgeon. Doctors will typically ask their patients to wear compression garments for the first few days after the procedure to speed up recovery time. It may take months after the procedure to see the actual effects of the procedure. Maintaining your new figure requires proper diet and exercise. Putting the weight back on and having liposuction performed again (or multiple times) can be dangerous.
Liposuction, if used with proper intentions, can provide significant health and aesthetic benefits. We still feel liposuction should be considered as the last option (after exercise and dieting. Although the pictures and video above contain women, we felt it necessary to point out the fact that liposuction for men is also extremely popular. In fact, every year, more and more men are undergoing this procedure to reveal their 6 pack abs and remove excess fat around the chest area. For more information about liposuction, please use one of the links below.
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