Breakdown of Procedure Costs

Breakdown of Procedure CostsSo, what are we talking about then?

Well, I want to tell you about the overall cost after everything is included .

Some things to calculate when budgeting for liposuction are anesthesia, operating room facilities, medical tests, prescriptions, post-surgery garments, and follow up treatments. Also, since liposuction removes the fat that has been stretching out your skin, you may find that you need to budget for excess skin removal. Clearly, I can’t give you an exact quote for your final costs here, that has to come after a consultation with the doctor who will be performing your surgery, but I want to walk you through the construction of the cost so that you are as informed as possible about what to expect and what you need to ask.

What I won’t be including here? All of the new clothes you are going to want/need for your new body!

Here are some of the typical things that come together to create your final bill.

Initial Consultation

Doctors recognize that plastic surgery is something that a lot of people fantasize about and need to have some way to make sure that they don’t spend all day just spitting out numbers (that’s why I’m here!) Some will deal with this curiosity by putting their prices directly on their website, with caveats of course indicating that prices vary by case. Others require that you come in for a consultation. Some will do an online consultation via Skype or via other web-cam communication.

This isn’t just sales though, as I’ll tell you about in a bit, different surgeries cost different amounts and sometimes your image of what needs work won’t be the same as the experienced eye of your surgeon indicates. What can you expect these consultations to cost. Well, like all things…it depends. It should be the easiest number to get from the places you are investigating. Sometimes the initial consultation is free, but you should make sure it’s not only free if you agree to the procedure. It is not uncommon for there to be an initial consultation fee charged up front, often this fee is rolled in to the overall cost of the procedure if you decide to go ahead with it. I’ve found that generally the fees in the US run from $75 to $200 (I’ll talk about international options in a later section).

For example, let’s say that you want to talk to Dr. Rocheford in Minneapolis/St. Paul about your options. He’s not just going to spend all day talking to people who aren’t really serious, so he charges $100 initial consultation fee. However, that fee is deducted from the price of the surgery if he performs it, if not, it’s just a $100 fee.

Surgeon’s Fee

This is the one that the American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s gives averages for. It is the largest chunk of the lipo bill and so is a major part of estimating your overall cost. You find this out after your initial consultation and is generally a flat fee based on your individual needs. In other words, it’s not like when you hire a plumber who says they will charge $125 an hour and it could take them one hour or it could take ten.

While shopping around on the price of the surgeon is one of the easiest ways to reduce your overall liposuction costs, this isn’t necessarily an area where you want to look for the bargain basement. If you talk to a few providers and two quote you $3,500 and one tells you they can do the same thing for $750 you shouldn’t necessarily jump at the lowest price. Alternatively, just because somebody charges a lot of money doesn’t mean that they are the best there is.

Somebody with less experience might not charge as much, but do you want a newbie doing your procedure? On the other hand, somebody who has been doing it for 30 years may not be up to date on the latest technology or techniques, so would you prefer someone with more recent training?

This is a good reason not to shy away from doing a couple of initial consultations – even if it costs more. You might want to budget a couple of hundred dollars just for that. After all, you are going to be letting this person operate on you and some people just give you a ‘this is right’ feeling…or the other way around and it’s worth spending a little bit more up front to make sure you are getting what you need!

Here are average lipolasty surgery fees, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons:

Facilities Fee

I find that this is the part of surgery that people forget about most often. After all, of course the surgery has to be performed somewhere and I don’t think there is any other area of life where you are charged separately for the service and the room in which it is performed. As your surgeon clearly cannot perform the surgery outdoors (and if they offer, you should decline!) you do need to budget for the cost of using the facilities.

Check with your doctor to see if this is included in the cost quoted for the procedure. If the person doing your surgery does their procedures in their offices, there won’t be a separate charge. If it is performed in a hospital, the hospital charges the doctor a fee for using their space (sort of like a rental) and they will either roll that into your quote or it will show up as additional charge, so you need to be aware of it. Otherwise, you could be surprised by an additional $500 $1,500 charge to what you had planned to spend.

Depending on how much work you are getting done, the type of liposuction that is being used, and the nature of the anesthesia and recovery you may be required to spend the night in the hospital or surgical center. Hospital fees for an overnight stay can be as high as $600 per night .


You are definitely going to want some sort of anesthesia for traditional or laser assisted liposuction. In fact, the surgery cannot be performed without, so this isn’t an option that can be ‘unchecked’ in order to lower your costs. However, it will be different depending on the kind of anesthesia that you need. General anesthesia, where you are out cold, will cost more than local anesthesia, for example.

The doctor performing your procedure is not the person who administers the anesthesia and so what you are paying for is not only the cost of the actual anesthetic itself but also the expertise of the person applying it. An anesthesiologist will charge a further $500 $1,500 for their services.

Preparatory Medical Tests

The kinds of tests you will need before liposuction depend a lot on your medical history and current state of health. The two most commonly ordered pre-surgery tests are a Complete Blood Count (CBC) to determine if you are anemic and a Coagulation Panel. The Coagulation Panel test is to find out if you will clot normally, something very important before any sort of invasive procedure.

The costs for these tests can vary a great deal depending on location and the lab that administers them. The same CBC test in Brooklyn costs $16 at one location but $117 at another. so you will want to ask about these costs before having them done. The doctor performing your procedure may order the tests for you if you don’t specify otherwise. If you find a place where you can get the tests done more cheaply talk to your doctor about having them done on your own and then having the results sent to her/him.

According to HealthCare BlueBook a routine set of pre-surgery lab tests costs an average of $137. As I said before, the average is only so helpful though. Just to give you an idea, in New York you can expect to pay about $200 $300 for lab work. You may find that having the tests performed on your own is actually more expensive than if the doctor orders them. To have the CBC test done at an independent lab might cost you $76 whereas your physician might be able to obtain the test for $39. Where the advantage might come in to play in that case would be if you are going to need to have a separately charged doctor’s visit in order to have the lap work done, because then you have to add the office visit fee to the lab work.

Also important to keep in mind is that a lot of health insurance companies won’t cover this lab work, even if they have covered similar blood work or pre-surgery labs before. Since liposuction is an elective surgery, they may exclude any and all costs associated with preparation, performance, and post-surgery needs.

Time Out

Liposuction should have a pretty quick recovery time, but a lot of people don’t think about the fact that they will have to take some time out from their regular activities. It’s surgery – and most doctors won’t perform it on the weekend or after hours, so don’t try to go in on Friday at 5:00 and expect to be back at work at 8:00 on Monday morning. The standard recommendation is that you take between 7 and 14 days off work to fully recuperate. Sure, it can be done faster than that…after all, women used to give birth in the fields and then return to work almost immediately, but that doesn’t mean it was pleasant!

You are also under a 10-15 pound lifting limit for a minimum of 3 weeks after the surgery. You’ll be surprised by how often you were lifting things above that range without thinking about it. If you have a job where you are regularly lifting weights above that then you will need to budget for lost wages for a longer period of time.

It’s not just work that requires a timeout, though. If you have kids, that weight limit doesn’t disappear just for them. This clearly isn’t a problem if your kids are teenagers (they shouldn’t be asking you to pick them up anyway!) but if you have young kids you may need to have some extra help around the house. If you are lucky enough to have a spouse, family, and/or good friends who are willing to pitch in, then it may not increase your costs, but it will if you have to pay someone to come in and assist you.


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