Liposuction Pricing in San Francisco: How Much Is It, Really?
First off, the actual cost of liposuction can vary greatly. Secondly, cost should not be the sole deciding factor in choosing your plastic surgeon. Any practice or doctor offering "basement bargain" prices on liposuction is very likely not qualified to perform the procedure or taking shortcuts, which, in turn, can compromise your safety (see Exhibit A - the curious case of Dr. C. Alan Bittner, Dr. Lipo 90210 Turned Fugitive).
With that said, the ballpark price for liposuction in San Francisco is between $5,000 and $30,000.
Why such a wide gap?
There are many elements to consider when looking into the overall cost of liposuction. For this reason, it's quite impossible to pin down the specific amount that you need to shell out unless you go in for an in-person assessment.
As for the different elements that impact liposuction pricing, look out for the following:
- Your liposuction needs and goals
- Type and extent of your liposuction
- Experience and reputation of your plastic surgeon
- Your choice of anesthesia
- Geographical location
Your Liposuction Needs and Goals
In liposuction, pricing will not be the same between two patients because each patient that walks into a plastic surgeon’s office has unique goals and needs.
For example, what your co-worker wants from liposuction may be different from yours. She might be better off if liposuction is focused on eliminating her bra rolls and back fat while you, on the other hand, might benefit the most from the procedure if the liposuction spotlight is placed on your love handles and tummy.
Type and Extent of Liposuction
There are six different types of liposuction available today, ranging from traditional liposuction to SmartLipo to high definition liposuction.
While it's the surgeon you choose to work with, and not the type of liposuction, that matters most in accomplishing satisfying results, the difference in liposuction types impact the total costs.
For instance, the use of additional equipment, such as a laser, can increase liposuction expenses.
The extent of your liposuction procedure is another element that impacts cost. When we talk about extent in liposuction, we’re referring to the following:
- How many areas to be treated? The more areas, the higher the cost.
- How large are those areas? The larger the area, the higher the cost.
- What results are your seeking after? The more extensive or thorough the change, the higher the cost.
For example, some patients seek high definition liposuction to get six-pack abs. Besides the more complex desired outcomes, this type of liposuction is considerably more expensive than regular liposuction because of the additional procedure time and surgical expertise required.
Experience and Reputation of Your Plastic Surgeon
After shopping around for pricing, you’ll notice that some surgeons tend to charge a good deal more than average.
It takes years of experience to master the technical nuances and artistry required to produce natural, wonderful outcomes. In liposuction, the experience and expertise of the surgeon and the staff are what you are paying for. If it seems like you’re getting an "unreal bargain," chances are your results won’t be as gratifying as those performed by highly qualified surgeons.
Speaking of surgeon qualifications, beware of liposuction "chains". They're generally more interested in your wallet than your satisfaction.
These chains of clinics usually advertise with a pitch that goes along these lines:
- We specialize in liposuction.
- We perform "safer" liposuction that is done under local anesthesia.
- We have low prices.
In reality, what typically happens once you visit these chains with basement bargain prices is a bit shady.
A sales person disguised as a counselor will perform your consultation, rather than the doctor who will be performing the procedure. The doctor performing your procedure may or may not be an actual plastic surgeon. Often, he or she will be pressured to rush you in and out of surgery. The outcomes will likely be missing precision, finesse, thoroughness, and any sense of artistic touch.
Your Anesthesia Type
Depending on the number of areas to be treated and the extent of fat reduction, liposuction may be performed under intravenous sedation, local, or general anesthesia.
Steer clear of practices that promote awake liposuction. While awake liposuction may be safely performed under carefully selected situations, the majority of liposuction patients are not the best candidate for this type of approach. By and large, awake liposuction is inherently risky.
Your Geographical Location
Location matters too if you’re thinking about liposuction in San Francisco. In general, the cost of surgery tends to be less expensive in areas of the country with low costs of living. In San Francisco where cost of living is high, liposuction may be typically higher than the national average because it is one of the most expensive cities in the world to operate a medical practice.
Higher prices may be initially discouraging, yet keep in mind that elite cities like San Francisco are home to some of the best plastic surgeons not just in the country, but also worldwide.
Additional Costs to Consider
Our goal at 77 Plastic Surgery is to help you understand what to expect with everything related to your procedure including costs.
We do not have hidden fees, and we want to be transparent. We do not want our patients to experience unpleasant surprises or struggle with their finances.
Here is a list of possible expenses for liposuction:
- Surgeon's fees
- Facility (Operating Room) fees
- Time for recovery
- Medical evaluations, diagnostic procedures, or tests (as needed in select circumstances)
- Special supplies or equipment (as needed in select circumstances)
- Cost of treating any complications (as needed in select circumstances)
Ready to Get the Body Shape You Want?
Liposuction is not a quick fix procedure to get the body shape you want and deserve. To attain satisfactory results, take the time to reflect on your specific goals and evaluate your surgeon carefully.
It's also worth noting that liposuction is more than just removing unwanted pockets of fat. In the hands of a qualified and experienced surgeon, it is an intricate sculpting process to help you get naturally proportional curves. Think of it as both science and art.
As every individual's body type, physique, and liposuction goals are different, so too is every surgeon out there. This online cosmetic self-evaluation is a good start to identifying your unique liposuction goals and preferences.
To help you find a surgeon who has the experience, skill, and commitment to be transparent about pricing, schedule an in-person consultation with your prospective surgeons. Apart from discussing the technicalities of liposuction, make sure to explore possible financing plans with your surgeon.