Since entering the marketplace in the 1980s, liposuction has quickly become one of the most regularly performed cosmetic surgeries in the United States. Because it is a minimally invasive procedure leading to dramatic and long lasting results, liposuction is a popular solution for those hoping to improve the contours, size, and shape of their bodies.
Male Plastic Surgery/Liposuction by Dr. Mentz
Put simply, liposuction is a surgical technique that physically removes pockets of unwanted fat from a patient’s body. Although the common perception is that liposuction is a surgery usually received by women, the number of males who receive liposuction operations is steadily on the rise. For example, statistics reveal that somewhere around 24,000 men received liposuction during 2010, a seven percent increase from 2009.
For many men, liposuction has proven effective in helping them get rid of difficult to treat fat deposits and achieving the type of bodies they desire.
Good Candidates For Male Liposuction
The best candidates for male liposuction are men who are generally healthy, and who want to improve their figure by removing stubborn pockets of body fat. In many cases, men experience unattractive, unwanted fat accumulations even after working out and eating a healthy diet. Often, this can be the result of genetic factors or a preexisting medical condition such as gynecomastia, which is a condition leading to the development of excessive breast tissue. Whatever the reason for developing these difficult to treat fat accumulations, such features can be embarrassing and can lead to feelings of unhappiness and personal dissatisfaction.
In many cases, the best form of treatment is liposuction. If you experience unwanted fat deposits in the following regions of your body, you may make a strong candidate for this type of procedure:
- Love handles, or flanks
- Chest, especially resulting from gynecomastia
- Underside of the chin
The key to becoming a good candidate for this type of treatment is to become as informed as possible regarding the expected outcomes of liposuction. If these expectations meet your individual health and body image goals, and your cosmetic surgeon feels it is likely to produce meaningful results, liposuction may be a good option for you.
Keep in mind that liposuction surgery is not intended to become a substitute for healthy weight loss programs, and is not used to treat severe obesity. Liposuction is most effective in eliminating localized pockets of fat only.
How it Works
An effective liposuction surgery begins with an effective preoperative examination. During this initial consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will help you identify the target areas to be treated, and will determine which specific liposuction technique will be most beneficial.
On the day of your actual treatment, you will receive either a local anesthesia or a general anesthesia, depending on the type and comprehensiveness of your liposuction operation. From there, your cosmetic surgeon will carefully make a series of incisions into the target areas of your body. Whenever possible, these incisions will be strategically placed in inconspicuous areas to reduce the appearance of postoperative scarring. The surgeon will then insert small tubes called cannulas into the incision. These cannulas are used to break apart fatty tissues, which are then suctioned out through the use of high powered and specialized vacuums. Once the desired shape, proportion, and appearance have been achieved, the cannulas are removed and all incisions are sutured shut.
Male Liposuction Techniques
Any liposuction surgery is defined by its focus on removing subcutaneous fat deposits to provide better, shapelier, and smoother body contours. In working to achieve this goal, however, there are a number of specific techniques a cosmetic surgeon may use. Your cosmetic surgeon will determine the specific technique to be used in performing your liposuction operation. The following list provides an overview of the main liposuction techniques:
- Tumescent Liposuction: Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly performed type of liposuction. Surgeons inject a specially formulated combination of saline and local anesthesia to simultaneously provide numbness to the treated area and temporarily stiffen up the injected tissue. The firm tissue reduces intraoperative bleeding and provides for especially successful postoperative recovery. Tumescent liposuction has proven to be a highly efficient and safe technique, likely to yield high success rates.
- Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (UAL): Ultrasound assisted liposuction uses sound waves to penetrate and break apart subcutaneous deposits of body fat, making them easier to suction out of the body. With this technique, surgeons can use particularly small cannulas, and can therefore help reduce the appearance of postoperative scarring.
- Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL): This technique uses special devices, powered by either an electric motor or compressed air, to physically dislodge and break apart fatty tissues before suctioning them out through the cannula.
- Water Assisted Liposuction (WAL): Water assisted liposuction, also called water jet assisted liposuction, uses a slightly pressurized stream of water to dislodge and loosen pockets of fat, making them easier to remove from the body. This technique is generally considered to be especially noninvasive and gentle, and usually leads to a minimal amount of postoperative swelling and bruising.
- Laser Liposuction: Following the general trend of attempting to make fat easier to extract, laser liposuction uses specific wavelengths of light to heat up and liquefy subcutaneous fat deposits. Using this technique, cosmetic surgeons insert special cannulas housing small lasers beneath the skin. The light from the laser heats and “melts” the pocket of fat, which is then easily suctioned out of the body.
Although the general procedures are the same for both male and female liposuction surgeries, there are some important differences to consider. Most importantly, males tend to have thicker skin and more hair than women. This means the blood supply to various regions of the body is greater in men. The end result of this, then, is an increased risk of excessive intraoperative bleeding, but a higher likelihood of quick and successful postoperative healing.
For men, the expected recovery period lasts for one to three weeks, depending on the intensity of the operation. Throughout this time, expect soreness, redness, swelling, or bruising at incision sites, as well as fluid buildup and drainage. You will most likely be given elastic bandages or compression garments to wear throughout your recovery period to help reduce swelling, and you should be able to return to normal activity in one to two weeks.
If your operation requires only local anesthesia, you will likely be allowed to return home within two hours of the operation. But if your surgery is more intensive and requires general anesthesia, there’s a good chance you will have to stay overnight in a hospital for further monitoring. Be sure to talk with your cosmetic surgeon about what type of anesthesia you will be receiving and how long you’ll be required to stay in either a recovery room or a hospital.
What Are The Results Of Male Liposuction?
Although the full aesthetic outcome of your operation will initially be obscured by postoperative swelling and bruising, you can expect a dramatic change in the shape, size, and contour of your body. Because problematic fat deposits are physically removed during liposuction, the results of the operation should be fairly long lasting, provided that you maintain a fairly stable body weight and a healthy overall lifestyle. As mentioned earlier, liposuction is not intended to become a major weight loss program, and any positive results can easily be ruined through extreme fluctuations in body weight.
When it comes to male liposuction, patient satisfaction is generally high, with liposuction directed at the breasts and performed as a treatment for gynecomastia receiving the highest satisfaction ratings. Despite this overall trend, however, many men experience some degree of dissatisfaction with the final outcomes of their operation. Studies have found that men are usually less pleased with the results of cosmetic surgery than women. Because a great deal of patient dissatisfaction arises when a cosmetic surgery fails to produce unrealistic results or meet impractical expectations, it’s important to be fully aware of the realistically expected outcomes of liposuction.
Male Liposuction Before and After Photos
What Are The Risks Liposuction?
Although liposuction is intended to remove deposits of fat from your body, if too much fat is removed or the operation is performed improperly, it can lead to any number of undesirable aesthetic side effects including:
- Uneven contours
- Loose or rippling skin
- Irregular pigmentation and skin discoloration
- Unfavorable scarring
- Burns or scars if liposuction is performed with the help of ultrasound or laser devices
The other major risks associated with liposuction all arise as potential complications of the actual incisions made and anesthesia administered. Local anesthesia is much less risky than general anesthesia, although most anesthesia-related complications can be avoided if the patient is healthy and the surgeon is careful in administering the anesthetic.
In particular, men are especially prone to excessive and dangerous intraoperative bleeding. Other surgery-related risks include:
- Skin or nerve damage
- Infection at incision sites
- Blood clots
- Damage to underlying nerves, blood vessels, muscles, or organs
- Infection at anesthesia injection sites
- Toxicity from improperly diluted anesthesia
- Cardiac or respiratory arrest leading to death as a result of poor reactions to general anesthesia
Male Liposuction Costs
The average cost of male liposuction is about $3,500, although it depends on a lot factors. The main factors to consider include:
- Non-surgical fees: These costs cover things like facility fees, nursing staff fees, preoperative laboratory test fees (if necessary), and postoperative recovery garments and medication. Each of these items are themselves highly variable, depending on your unique body type, needs, and health condition. In general, the more labor and time-intensive the operation, the more expensive each of these items will become.
- Surgical fees: Surgical fees are the costs associated with the actual liposuction procedure. These depend largely on the experience, training, certification level, and fee schedule of your particular cosmetic surgeon. As a general rule, the more experienced and better trained a surgeon is, the more expensive it will be to receive treatment from him or her.
- Anesthesiologist fees: The amount of anesthesiologist fees your procedure incurs depends on the type of anesthesia required. General anesthesia will be more expensive than local anesthesia, and may also require an overnight stay in a hospital, thereby increasing the facility fees of the operation as well. In calculating liposuction costs, anesthesiologist fees must be considered.
Along with the experience and training of your surgeon, the specific regions of your body being operated on also influence the surgeon’s fees. Usually, the arms, buttocks, waist, and thighs are the more affordable body regions to perform liposuction on, while the breasts and abdomen typically represent the most expensive regions on which to perform liposuction
To give you an idea of what to expect in terms of final cost, the following is a list of some of the most commonly performed male liposuction operations and the average price range of each:
- Love handles, or flanks: $2000-$5000
- Abdomen: $3000-$7500
- Chest, especially as treatment for gynecomastia: $3000-$5000
- Neck: $2000-$4500
- Underside of the chin: $2000-$4500
- Thighs: $1600-$5000
- Buttocks: $1500-$4500
- Arms: $1500-$5000
Because liposuction is often considered an elective procedure, most healthcare insurance plans do not cover these operations. In this case, you may consider working out some sort of monthly payment plan with your cosmetic surgeon. Financing may also available through either the surgeon’s in-house financing company or through a separate, third party healthcare financing company. If you are receiving liposuction as treatment for gynecomastia, check with your insurance provider to see whether or not your operation will be covered.
Choosing A Cosmetic Surgeon
When deciding on a cosmetic surgeon, always keep your health and safety as your highest priority. Look for a surgeon who has the training, skill, and experience required to perform a successful and safe operation. While cost is certainly an important consideration, remember that working with an unskilled or unqualified surgeon—even if his or her fees are more affordable than others—can quickly become more expensive than even the most costly cosmetic operation if an improperly performed liposuction leads to infection, health complications, or introduces the need for corrective operations.
To help gauge the competence of any cosmetic surgeon, it’s usually a good idea to research the surgeon’s educational and training background. In particular, a certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery indicates a high level of ongoing and up-to-date training and professionalism. Above all else, be sure your surgeon is sensitive to your unique needs, and that he or she demonstrates a willingness to keep your best interests and safety at heart throughout all aspects of the treatment.
Anesthesiologist fees: The amount of anesthesiologist fees your procedure incurs depends on the type of anesthesia required. General anesthesia will be more expensive than local anesthesia, and may also require an overnight stay in a hospital, thereby increasing the facility fees of the operation as well. In calculating liposuction costs, anesthesiologist fees must be considered.