The Skinny on Liposuction



In 2014, no one is a stranger Liposuction — at the very least the idea of it, if not having had the procedure itself! Both men and women are getting things sucked, tucked and removed in an effort to look thinner and more attractive.

But at what cost does this come to your wallet and your health? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of liposuction procedures in 2013 was approximately $2,866. This figure may not include various additional costs associated with a liposuction procedure, eg. operating room fees, follow-up visits and treatment, hotel stays, traveling expenses, and lost earnings.

Looking specifically in Los Angeles, where everyone tries to look like a celebrity, we see interesting trends and alternatives influenced by the high demand of the procedure in the area. The cost of liposuction in Los Angeles can vary due to deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial boasting coupons and promotions for liposuction and the less intimidating sister of liposuction, lipo-light treatments. Lipo-light, a non-invasive treatment option, is boasted as a more cost effective, lower risk and allegedly similarly effective as liposuction itself. Dr. Berger of Rejuvalife in Los Angeles advertises that a session with him can cost as little as $995 — seemingly much lower than the national average, but still a pretty penny for a cosmetic procedure.

Costs of Liposuction

Costs of Liposuction

Not only are there monetary costs to liposuction, but there are also some costs to your health to consider before going under the sucker. According to the Food and Drug Administration, common risks include: infection, embolism (chunks of fat being carried through the bloodstream and getting lodged in other organs like the lungs and brain, potentially fatal), visceral perforations (punctures to the organs), seroma (a pocket of accumulated fluid in your body), nerve compression/changes in sensation, swelling, skin death, toxicity from anesthesia and death.

But are there any health benefits to liposuction? A new study but the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that patients who underwent liposuction may have reduced their risk of heart disease. Patients with high triglyceride levels prior to undergoing liposuction showed a 43% reduction in triglyceride levels after the procedure. These same patients didn’t have any significantly lower cholesterol levels after receiving liposuction, but their white blood cell counts were lower. High blood cell counts are associated with obesity, strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Some experts are saying that it’s a stretch to proclaim that liposuction can reduce the risk of heart disease at this point; it’s only shown to reduce the level of triglycerides right now. Beyond the fact that the reduction of one’s triglycerides does not dependably result in a lower risk of heart disease, without developing positive eating and exercise habits, overall body mass and triglyceride levels could rise after receiving liposuction, essentially erasing all potential benefits of the procedure.

Additionally, in contest to the idea liposuction may promote better overall health, there are multiple types of fat, and liposuction only affects the presence of one. Visceral fat is the fat that builds up around your internal organs, posing the most serious dangers to your heart and arteries. Liposuction only removes subcutaneous fat, the fat that sits just below the surface of the skin — leaving levels of visceral fat unaffected. Even though the health benefits of liposuction are yet to be fully explored, that isn’t to say that liposuction can’t help your mental health. Patients who receive liposuction treatments have a boost in self-confidence which can help improve self-image issues, resulting in a happier patient with reduced stress levels.

So is liposuction worth it? Every case and every patient is different, and every doctor, patient and researcher can and will answer this question differently. For patients trying to improve their heart health, liposuction may not be the best route to take. For those who have taken the path of diet and exercise, have lost the weight they wanted, but still aren’t totally happy with the shape of their body, liposuction may be a great option. Experts say that liposuction shouldn’t be considered a substitution for good, old-fashioned dieting and exercise when it comes to your heart health. No matter the case, the risks need to be factored into the decision and it needs to be confirmed by a doctor that the patient is healthy enough to undergo liposuction.

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