Liposuction on the cheap?

I am a 26 year old guy who is in pretty good physical condition but have had minor love handles ever since I hit puberty. No matter what I do I can't seem to lose them, and I work out pretty regularly. I don't have a lot of money but I also don't have a lot of fat I need liposuctioned away. Does the amount of fat I need removed affect the final cost? And are there any ways to get liposuction on the cheap? I know some people go down to Costa Rica for procedures to save money but that's not a practical option for me. Is it possible there are different kinds of liposuction techniques or procedures that might be a little cheaper than the average prices I'm finding online?

thomax

M, 27, Kentucky

Plastic surgeons don't charge per ounce of fat removed. Charges are based on the number of areas which need treatment, and on the specific plastic surgeon's reputation and level of expertise.

Three things to be aware of with liposuction pricing:

  1. Most plastic surgeons will actually give you a discount on multiple areas. So if you're concerned about the cost of liposuction in just one area, the combined pricing for multiple areas may be more cost effective.
  2. Like many other plastic surgeons, we offer financing to help make liposuction more affordable.
  3. If costs are still a concern, you may be interested in CoolSculpting. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive fat removal and body-contouring procedure which may cost you less than liposuction.

What part of the country (or the world) you are in will also affect price. I would advise caution when responding to offers from countries where medical standards may differ.

In the USA we think of liposuction as a very safe procedure which leaves almost invisible scarring. Remember though, that the minimal risks associated with the procedure in this country are the result of up-to-date liposuction techniques and first-rate medical facilities. Older, out-of-date techniques and lower-quality medical care may yield less-aesthetic results and represent higher risks.

If you’re interested in liposuction or CoolSculpting, I suggest meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether you’re a good candidate for either procedure.

From your question it sounds like you may be a good candidate for liposuction. It's very common to have unwanted fat deposits on the flanks, lower abdomen or outer thighs which don't respond well to diet and exercise. In these cases liposuction treatment or other body contouring procedures like CoolSculpting may be the best option.

In most cases we can complete the liposuction procedure for $5,000 to $6,000 but it's impossible to give you a specific estimate without an in-office consultation.

Generally speaking, it doesn't matter how much fat you need to remove. What does matter is the number of areas which need to be treated. Other cost considerations are the time requirements of your procedure and whether your procedure will require general anesthesia (which would require an anesthesiologist).

Regarding your question about cheaper liposuction options:

The most important thing you can do to ensure the quality of any cosmetic procedure is to choose your doctor carefully. There are many non-surgeons who perform liposuction -- and in some countries liposuction is performed by technicians with no formal medical training at all. Please note that liposuction is an invasive procedure and should only be conducted by an experienced plastic surgeon.

When you travel abroad for discount liposuction, you’re taking risks with different standards of medical training and care. Those risks can easily translate into thousands of dollars of touch-up work, unwanted scars and potentially far more serious outcomes.

My advice is to consider quality and safety as your top two priorities. Consult only with board-certified plastic surgeons. We have a long history of successful liposuction procedures and thousands of satisfied patients. We also offer financing options which allow you to defer costs and will be happy to explain those options to you during a free consultation.

Before getting on a plane and flying to Central America for any surgical procedure, I encourage you to Google some photos of "liposuction gone wrong" and other cosmetic surgery disasters. Then ask yourself whether or not the risks are worth it. The US has high standards of medical care and state-of-the-art medical centers. When you travel abroad for plastic surgery you’re rolling the dice and hoping for the best.

In the event your offshore plastic surgery goes wrong it's highly unlikely your insurance company will cover the costs to correct the issue. You should weigh these risks carefully before being tempted by a lower price-tag.

The technical and aesthetic ability of your plastic surgeon is extremely important to consider. I advise you do your homework carefully and seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon with excellent reviews and satisfied patients. It's also a good idea to browse before-and-after photos of their previous work.

You should also ask your surgeon whether general anesthesia will be required and if you’ll need stitches afterwards. The answer to both those questions should generally be "no", but some medical centers use outdated techniques which can needlessly add to the costs and recovery time.

If you think you may be a good candidate for liposuction, I encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss which options are the best for you. Depending on how close you are to your ideal weight, you may also be a good candidate for CoolSculpting or another non-invasive body contouring procedure.

Like many other surgical procedures, liposuction costs vary broadly depending on a number of factors. These include your geographic location, the specifics of your liposuction procedure, and the skill and experience of the plastic surgeon.

Many medical centers base their pricing on the time a procedure takes. Because different extraction sites and patient positions can add complexity (and time) to each procedure, the price will vary depending on which problem areas are being addressed.

To answer your question: The amount of fat removed is not a specific factor in determining the price of the procedure.

I can't give you any advice on where to seek cheaper liposuction surgery, but I would caution against seeking the cheapest liposuction you can find. Yes, it's possible to travel to other countries for cheaper prices -- but bear in mind that not all liposuction techniques are the same.

Many countries lack state-of-the-art facilities and have different standards of medical licensing for cosmetic surgeons. While the price tag of that "affordable liposuction" may seem tempting, the costs of a liposuction gone wrong can be far higher.

While it's tempting to treat cosmetic surgery like an off-the-shelf product, remember you are ultimately paying for a surgeon's expertise. My advice is to seek a board-certified plastic surgeon with a reputation and history of excellent liposuction results. If costs are an issue, most plastic surgeons offer financing options to help you defer the costs over time.

Dr. Frederic Corbin has 1 Liposuction before & after:

Liposuction before image performed by Dr. Frederic CorbinLiposuction after image performed by Dr. Frederic Corbin

» View Dr. Frederic Corbin's full profile