Although the removed fat cells are unlikely to grow back, body fat has been shown to return to preliposuction levels within a year after the surgery, particularly returning to the abdominal area. Researchers believe the body compensates for the rapid fat loss by putting on more fat. In a trial of 34 women published in the September 2012 edition of the journal "Obesity," the cosmetic benefits of liposuction were lost after one year. A later study, however, suggested that recurrence of belly fat can be avoided by exercise.
Liposuction is generally used in an attempt to change the body's shape. Weight loss from liposuction appears to be of a short term nature with little long term effect. After a few months fat typically returns and redistributes. Liposuction does not help obesity related metabolic disorders like insulin resistance. It can also be used to remove excess fat in the chronic medical condition lymphedema.
In addition to your surgeon's fee, you can expect to pay fees for the surgical venue, anesthesia, supportive surgical garments, pain medication, and other possible needs. Many surgeons have their own surgical suite, staffed by their own nurses and other professionals. If your surgery must be carried out in a hospital suite, it can cost hundreds more. In fact, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that non-profit hospitals charge an average fee of about $2,300 for an outpatient procedure, while state and for-profit hosptials charge an average of about $1,800. However, in some instances, the hospital is the better choice. If you need extensive liposuction, complications are more probable, and it pays to have a hospital's resources available.
Most doctors on RealSelf say that a good compression garment is essential to minimize swelling and bruising, help the skin smoothly adhere to the underlying tissue, and speed up healing; but some don’t think it’s necessary. Doctors who recommend compression garments often have patients wear them 24/7 (with a break for showering) for at least two weeks and then gradually reduce the number of hours they need to be worn over a period of three or more weeks. As a bonus, doctors say, compression helps ease discomfort. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you have been told that you require liposuction for medical reasons, you can be certain that insurance will only cover the extent of treatment needed to relieve your symptoms. In many cases, this amount of treatment is not going to result in flattering aesthetics. As such, you should consider the benefits of paying for further treatment that will help you not only achieve relief, but also an aesthetic enhancement that can help you feel confident about your appearance. Many practices, including mine, will work with patients in need of liposuction for medical reasons to determine a more comprehensive treatment plan, often at a discounted rate.
Dr. Cohen specializes in breast lifts, augmentations, revisions and reductions as well as breast cancer reconstructions. A long time dream of Dr. Cohen’s was to travel to developing countries and provide expert surgical care to those who have no other possible access to medical care. This became a reality in 2007 when she became a founding member and Vice President of ISMS Operation Kids.
In sum, a liposuction procedure that only involves removing some fat from the abdominal region will cost much less than a procedure that involves removing fat from the midsection, flanks, and thighs, or involves other complementary procedures. As with virtually any medical procedure, the extent of your treatment will have a major effect on what you can expect to pay.
The “crescent lift” technique is mostly used for women who have a very small amount of sagging to correct, and involves one small incision that runs halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola. It’s usually only done when a patient is undergoing a breast augmentation, and even then only rarely. It’s more of a preventative measure, unlike the other options, which are focused on breasts that have more advanced sagging.
Recovery also involves unique expenses. Compression garments are very important in liposuction recovery, aiding the healing process and helping the skin conform to your refined contours. I usually provide one free garment. Subsequent garments can cost between $50 and $100. During your recovery, you will be prescribed pain medication to ensure your comfort. Depending upon whether insurance covered any portion of your treatment, and the specific pain medication prescribed, this can cost can range from under a hundred dollars to several hundred dollars.
Liposuction is a procedure that can be performed either under local or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia allows you to remain conscious during surgery, but the treatment area is numbed so you will not feel any discomfort. This option can cost about $100 or more per hour. General anesthesia is used to completely sedate the patient. If it is administered by a nurse, general anesthesia can cost $300 or more per hour. When it is administered by an anesthesiologist, it can cost $450 or more per hour. Deciding which method of anesthesia to use largely depends on the extent of treatment. If the patient is having a small amount of fat removed, local anesthesia may be sufficient. On the other hand, if the patient is having extensive liposuction performed, or if it is being performed in conjunction with other procedures, general anesthesia will probably be the best option.
You may notice an improved body contour immediately (for instance, if you have your saddlebags suctioned), but your results will be disguised initially by swelling. Swelling should improve dramatically after six weeks and continue to go down over the next six months. If you think you’ll need more lipo to get the result you want, wait at least six months for the swelling to subside, then evaluate the situation with your surgeon. Just keep in mind that you’ll continue healing and seeing better results for up to a year.