Thousands of people around the world undergo cosmetic surgery in the form of liposuction every year. Whether it is to remove sagging skin from their stomach or remove a double chin, these types of procedures often change people’s lives, giving them more confidence and enabling them to feel better about themselves. While liposuction can be a fairly simple procedure in some cases, it is still a surgery that carries risks, costs and serious considerations. This article will give those potentially interested in liposuction some valuable insight.
What is liposuction?
The surgical procedure involves a trained plastic surgeon using a medical tool called a canula to break up fat deposits in certain areas of the body, such as the abdomen or buttocks. It is then sucked out with a suction device called an aspirator. This is done just underneath the skin and sometimes deeper. A surgeon will not only suck fat out but sculpt and massage the areas where fat has been removed to produce a symmetrical and smooth finished product.
The liposuction procedure
Patients who are about to undergo liposuction surgery are placed under a general anesthetic just as they would be for a more in depth surgical procedure. However local anesthetic has recently become more popular with the introduction of laser liposuction or SmartLipo as it is less traumatic to the body and less painful. Laser liposuction involves the use of a laser attached to the canula and is ideal for treating localized fat deposits and skin laxity on various areas of the body. The laser breaks down the fat so it can be absorbed by the body naturally or it can also be removed with the use of an aspirator.
Once the patient is anesthetized a surgeon will make incisions in one or more areas that are to be worked on. In most cases, this incision is very small and only slightly larger than the cannula. In UV assisted liposuction, incisions may be a bit longer. The practitioner will then insert the cannula under the skin and begin sucking fat out using the aspirator. During the procedure the surgeon will sculpt and shape fat that is to remain in the body so that the overall appearance looks natural.
Depending on how many areas the patient is having surgery performed on and what technique is used, this procedure can last for a couple of hours if SmartLipo is used and up to 5 or 6 hours for the more conventional liposuction. Reputable doctors are usually very conservative in the amount of procedures or length of procedures that they recommend to a particular patient. For example if someone wants legs, arms, face, back and abdomen done, the doctor may split it up into two separate surgeries rather than doing it all at once.
How much does liposuction cost?
Just like with any other surgical procedure, there are a variety of factors that can affect the cost. If a patient plans to have one single area of the body worked on, the cost will be significantly less than if multiple areas are to be worked on. In general, even having lipo done on one area of the body can cost thousands of dollars. Medical insurance almost never pays for these types of procedures as they are considered not medically necessary.
The factors that effect cost include geographic location of the clinic; costs can vary significantly depending on your state. Some surgeons may consider the time spent in surgery as the overriding factor in determining the price, while with others it may be the amount of fat removed and the number of operations. Whether local or general anesthesia is used is also an important factor as general anesthesia will usually mean an overnight stay. Each clinics fees will vary and they calculate their prices differently
Some important considerations
Liposuction is a surgical procedure and has risks associated with it such as a bad reaction to anesthetic or surgical complications. When consumers are considering an elective surgery such as this, cost should not be their main focus. A doctor or other person who is not well trained or who has not performed the procedure before can easily make life threatening mistakes or severely disfigure a patient if they don’t know what they are doing. It is not worth losing your life or having long term physical damage so choose your surgeon wisely. What’s more is that the cost can be far more if a person has to have a good doctor repair the damage that a novice surgeon has caused.