Is your body not in the shape you want it to be? Do you have irritating pockets of fat around your chin, arms, back, knees or abdomen that you would love to get rid of? Are you looking for some detailed information about the cost of liposuction? You’ve come to the right place! Our comprehensive guide to liposuction prices will help you get the best value for your money.
Liposuction is a multi-million dollar global business! Americans spent nearly $10.7 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2010. Of that amount nearly $6.6 billion was spent on surgical procedures. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, was the second most popular plastic surgery procedure, with nearly 290,000 procedures done in 2010.The average surgical fee in the U.S. for suction-assisted liposuction was $2,914 and for ultrasound-assisted, $3,122. Keep in mind that these liposuction prices reflect only the surgeon’s fees; they do not include facility or anesthesia costs. They also exclude the cost for any tests you may need, prescription drugs, surgical compression garments and other miscellaneous expenses.
What kinds of factors affect liposuction prices?
Here are some other things to know that will affect liposuction prices:
- The amount of fat to be removed will affect your liposuction cost.
- The size of the patient is also a factor in liposuction prices because a larger person will require more time and effort from the surgeon.
- Male liposuction prices can be higher than for females because male fat is more fibrous, making it more difficult to remove. Difficulty adds to the length of the procedure which directly relates to increase liposuction cost.
- If you choose to have liposuction done on more than one area of your body in one session, you can expect to pay more but the liposuction cost will probably be a bit lower than if you had them done in separate independent sessions. This is mainly because you will pay for only one anesthesia session and one facility fee.
- If you previously had liposuction done, re-treatment of the same area may be more expensive because scar tissue may have formed making the procedure more difficult the second time. The difficulty of scar tissue adds to the liposuction cost.
- Geography will affect liposuction cost. Liposuction prices will justifiably be more expensive in geographic areas where rent and labor costs are higher, e.g. big cities. You may also be able to save some of the liposuction cost by traveling to a foreign country to have your procedure done.
- The experience of your surgeon will affect liposuction prices. An expert surgeon with a stellar reputation and thousands of procedures under his/her belt will be in greater demand and will usually charge more than an inexperienced surgeon. You will undoubtedly pay higher liposuction prices for a high-caliber doctor.
You may find discounts or offers for free services from surgeons who are not so busy. Always carefully consider the reasons behind cheap liposuction prices. Spending a little more for a seasoned surgeon who can recognize and avoid complications may be worth the expense. Bargain shopping may sound like a great idea but you may not want to focus on cheap liposuction prices while gambling with your health.
Types of liposuction
Today there are so many different types of liposuction treatment available that it can be mind-boggling. The traditional methods require small surgical incisions through which the fat is suctioned with a cannula (a small stainless steel tube), known today as tumescent liposuction. There are also laser and ultrasound-assisted liposuction treatments. And you may discover some non-surgical options that work with either chemical injection or thermal heat. Before you make your decision, learn all that you can, talk to several doctors and consider all of the options, not just the liposuction cost.
Liposuction Prices by Area of the Body
Let’s explore liposuction costs beginning at the top of the body and working our way down! These prices reflect the cost for the standard type of lipo procedure – suction-assisted tumescent liposuction – but only the surgical liposuction costs. You can typically expect to add an additional $1,500 to $4,000 for the facility fees, anesthesia and miscellaneous tests and supplies.
If you are considering other types of liposuction, we will discuss those options and their prices in the second half of our guide.
Face, chin and neck – Maybe you have annoying pockets of fat around the jowls, under your eyes, under your chin or around your neck. These can make you look old and tired. Face, chin and neck liposuction can help to sculpt your face and make you feel better with a more youthful appearance. The average facial liposuction cost is between $2,000 and $6,000, depending on the amount of fat to be removed. Laser liposuction can be more expensive.
Arms – One of the unappealing effects of aging is that we often develop loose, hanging “bat wings”, or flaps of skin, on the back side of our upper arms. No matter how much exercising or dieting we do, it just won’t go away. This flab makes us very self-conscious when dressing for summertime when everyone is wearing cute sleeveless apparel. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, arm liposuction prices can run between $1,500 and $5,000.
Breasts – Men and women alike have an interest in removing excess breast fat to improve their physiques. If the breasts are not too large, breast reduction through liposuction can be a less invasive way that causes less trauma to the breast region with less scarring. You can expect the average breast liposuction prices to run between $3,000 and $8,000.
Back – Some of us are troubled with pockets of fat that collect on our backs below our shoulder blades and above our waists. We sometimes call this “bra fat”. There is really no way to effectively exercise this area to get rid of this fat but liposuction can get rid of the fat accumulation and improve the contours of the back. If you’re considering this procedure, you can expect the liposuction cost to run between $1,000 and $4,500.
Abdomen and Stomach – This area is the one most of us picture when we think of liposuction. In fact, these fatty layers that cover our upper, middle or lower abdominal areas are the most commonly requested areas for lipo among both men and women. Depending on body size and the amount of fat to be removed, liposuction cost for this body region will range between $3,000 and $8,000.
Flank or Side – This is the area that runs along the side of your body between your arms and your waist and includes stubborn problems like “love handles” or “muffin tops”. In men, this liposuction procedure addresses the area just above the belt line. In women it addresses the area below the bra line. Liposuction prices to treat this area range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Waist and Hips – Yes, this area is of particular interest to the ladies because our hips and waists are the main parts of our bodies where we gain weight. Men do not usually retain fat deposits in this area. You will find liposuction cost for the waist and hip area to be between $1,800 and $6,000.
Buttocks – Unless you are Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez, you may not be fond of the shape of your buttocks or the pockets of fat and cellulite you may find there. In this case, liposuction is used more to contour the buttocks than to reduce the size. If this region of your body is problematic for you, you will find liposuction prices in the range of $1,500 to $5,000.
Thighs – Are you troubled by “thunder thighs” or “ham thighs”? If these areas of your body disappoint you, you may be a great candidate for thigh liposuction. There can, however, be excessive swelling in this area along with increased recovery time, so doctors recommend performing this type of liposuction in stages spread over a few months. Expect thigh liposuction costs to run from $3,000 to $9,000.
Knees – Millions of people never wear shorts in hot weather or short skirts because they are embarrassed by pockets of fat around their knees. This is also one area that is virtually impossible to improve with diet and exercise. Sculpt your legs and end the embarrassment by having knee liposuction which should be in the price range of $2,000 to $5,000.
Liposuction Prices for Alternative Procedures
The two main techniques for non surgical liposuction are chemical injection and thermal heat. These options are not cheap and they are most successful when dealing with small areas of fat. You also may need multiple treatment sessions before you are satisfied with the results.
- Ultrasonic liposuction (Vaser) – Ultrasonic liposuction prices are a bit higher than traditional liposuction. The average Vaser® liposuction cost is usually between $2,500 and $3,500 (for only one treatment area.) The procedure takes longer than traditional liposuction and the ultrasound equipment can be very expensive.
- Laser liposuction (e.g. Zerona, Smart Lipo, etc.) – This device is a more recent option for non invasive liposuction and targets small trouble spots. A low-level (or “cool”) energy is produced by the laser and creates a biological reaction in the fat cells, causing them to empty and shrink. The excess fat is then expelled naturally from the body without any negative side effects. There is a series of 6 painless, non-surgical treatments over a 2 week period. This laser liposuction cost is roughly $2,500 to $3,000.
- Mesotherapy – Mesotherapy is also called “injection lipolysis” and is one a popular non surgical liposuction technique. It includes methods called Lipodissolve, Flab-Jab, LipoZap and others. The fat inside the cells is “melted” with chemicals that are injected. The fat is then expelled from the body naturally. Each treatment for this method of liposuction costs between $400 and $700. You may need several treatments before you see the results you are seeking. The U.S. FDA has not approved the use of mesotherapy.
- Thermage – Thermage is a non surgical liposuction that entails a heated laser that melts fat below the skin, tightens your skin and stimulates the growth of collagen. Thermage liposuction prices are between $2,500 and $9,000 for one treatment.
- UltraShape and LipoSonix – These non surgical liposuction methods have not been approved for use in the U.S. but are available in other countries such as Canada and Mexico. High frequency ultrasound waves are transmitted through the skin to destroy the underlying fat cells. The fat is removed naturally by the body. You can expect this method of liposuction costs to range from $3,000 to $7,000 and you will probably need about three treatments before you see results.
- Endermologie – This treatment is primarily used for the reduction of cellulite. The skin is kneaded with a machine in order to reduce fat and stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin. Some patients report pain and are unhappy with the results; others are pleased with the results after 10 to 20 treatments. The cost for a treatment package averages $1,600.
- Velasmooth and Accent XL – Radiofrequency energy is used to dissolve fat cells. The fat is absorbed by the body and expelled from the body via urination. These methods are useful for tightening skin and reducing fat or cellulite. The devices have been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. This method of liposuction costs between $2,000 and $6,000 and you may need several treatments to see results.
- Zeltiq CoolSculpting (also called Cryolipolysis) – This body contouring treatment is particularly useful for small areas of fat such as love handles. A gel patch is placed to freeze the fat cells and make them self-destruct. The body reabsorbs them. Patients say the treatment feels like a slight sunburn. Side effects may include temporary bruising, tingling, and tenderness. Each treatment costs around $1,500.
Obviously, no matter which procedure you choose, the liposuction prices will increase if you suffer from pre-existing health conditions (hypertension, diabetes etc.). An uncomplicated procedure will produce a lower liposuction cost.
Liposuction cost is not covered by health insurance because it is being done to enhance your appearance rather than to remedy a medical condition. You will have to consider how to pay for the surgery and many plastic surgeons offer financing options.
Talk to at least three board-certified specialists who have a proven reputation for success with the type of surgery that you are considering. Liposuction is a serious surgical procedure and should be treated seriously. Your research efforts before surgery will go far toward keeping your liposuction cost under control.