Liposuction Disadvantages

Body shaping clinic with advanced equipment
Treatment room for liposuction. (Image: kjekol/iStock/Getty Images)

Lipo is the medical term for fat. Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery preformed to rid specific areas of the body of fat. During the procedure, surgical incisions are made into the skin, and a small suction tube is inserted. The fat deposits under the skin are suctioned out using a machine attached to the tube. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, lists the neck, stomach, back, face, hips and breasts as common areas for liposuction. If you are interested in having liposuction, the FDA recommends searching for local doctors who are board certified and members of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery; interviewing with at least two doctors is ideal.

Limitations

Liposuction has limitations and results may not be perfect. Surgeons often counsel patients to have reasonable expectations with the cosmetic procedure, and recommend that they not set expectations too high, according to the FDA. Patients are often satisfied with surgical results; yet, some patients' appearances after surgery are not what was expected or desired. Occasionally a person's shape is not even after liposuction and additional surgery is required. According to the FDA, fat returns to the site of liposuction if there is weight gain after the surgery.

Complications

A person considering liposuction must accept the possibility of complications, advises the FDA. As with any surgery, infections are possible after liposuction. Wound care and antibiotic therapy are often necessary to reduce the risk of complications. Severe liposuction infections lead to narcotizing fasciitis, or tissue consuming bacteria, as well as toxic shock syndrome. Both infections can be life threatening. Additional complications include blood clots, puncture wounds into the organs and changes in sensation at the liposuction site.

Cost

The FDA reports that most medical insurances do not pay for liposuction because it is a cosmetic procedure. The cost for liposuction is significant. The University of Colorado prices a 2.5 hour liposuction surgery procedure at nearly $7,800 which includes suctioning four areas of the hips and thighs. Less expensive treatments are available beginning at about $1,500 during these procedures. The cost of each procedure includes surgeon's fee, operating room time and anesthesia. Overnight recovery, antibiotics and compression garments are also required. The website Liposuction.com reminds patients to not make cost the primary factor when considering liposuction. The website states that the quality of liposuction, including the surgeons expertise and experience, is more important than the price.

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