Major determining factors in the cost of a liposuction treatment include the number of areas being treated and the amount of fat being removed. Liposuction is often combined with other procedures, which can also make a tremendous difference in cost. In the case of a tummy tuck, liposuction is usually a given, and liposuction is factored into the estimate your surgeon provides. Does the patient wish to transfer liposuctioned fat to other areas, such as the breast, face, or biceps? In general, one could say that a breast augmentation using transferred fat costs about as much as augmentation using implants.
I perform a liposuction breast lift/reduction known as Breast LipoLift®. This specialized technique spares more nerves and blood supply as well as removes tissue from the areas you don't want such as near the armpit and the lower portion hanging near your stomach. Once I use this to shape the breast, I then remove the excess skin to tighten the breast and create a more proportional silhouette with better cleavage. This procedure is also more accurate than traditional breast lifts or reductions since I use 3D measurements to uncover size asymmetries. During the procedure I remove exactly whatever is more from the larger side to get as close to symmetry as possible. Since I perform this less invasively the recovery time is faster and drains are not necessary. Over 90% of my patients are out to dinner the next evening taking only Advil and Tylenol if even needed. The size would depend on the proportion with your body versus going for a cup size. It has been proven to have less complications than traditional breast reduction (please see my Breast LipoLift® page web page) and should not affect nipple sensation, mammograms, cancer risk or breast-feeding.
In contrast to laser-assisted liposuction, laser fat reduction does not involve any incisions or downtime. Treatments such as Zerona® and i-lipo TM use cool, safe lasers to break down fat cells. These treatments can physically shrink the fat cells and enable your body to expel them naturally during the detoxification process. Procedures can last between 20 minutes and an hour, although techniques such as i-lipo typically involve a multi-treatment regimen. However, some experts believe that laser therapy can only remove fat cells that are close to the skin, leaving the deeper cells unaffected.
After liposuction, most doctors will require you to wear a compression garment or bandage over the treatment area. This garment will reduce post-surgical bleeding, minimize discomfort, and speed your recovery time. During open-drainage tumescent liposuction, your surgeon will leave the incisions open. Following this type of treatment, the garment will help the anesthetic fluid to leave your body more quickly. Following closed-drainage liposuction, in which the doctor will use sutures to close the incisions, the compression garment encourages your body to absorb the fluid more quickly for faster healing.
If you have a significant amount of loose skin around your midsection, or if pregnancy, weight loss, and/or age has weakened your abdominal muscles, you may want to consider a tummy tuck. However, if you have healthy skin that adheres to the natural contours of your body, you are probably a better candidate for liposuction. Ultimately, the only way to determine the right procedure for you is to schedule an appointment with an experienced cosmetic surgeon.
Most doctors have pictures of past procedures available to view online or in the office. Take a good look at these pictures and decide if the results are satisfactory. Be wary of doctors who provide few pictures and those whose images are so poor that it is difficult to determine the quality of the work. You should also be concerned if a doctor's photos are all taken from the same angle, as this can obscure ill effects, such as ripples or poor contouring.